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Question Number: 29103

Law 15 - Throw In 1/14/2015

Brian Auer of Pittsburgh, PA USA asks...

The answer to You Call It #35 [foul throw because thrower never completed the substitution procedure] includes the following:

'A substitution problem like this should never occur because the AR should have the flag held horizontal above the head until all players being substituted for have left the field...'

The USSF Guide to Procedures indicates that the AR:

'Gives the substitution signal [flag horizontally overhead] and holds it until eye contact is made with the referee'

and then

'When acknowledged by the referee, lowers the flag'

The GtP mechanic is what I use and how I mentor others, i.e. it's merely to signal the that not correct?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Good spot Brian,
Eye contact between AR and CR is a component of experience and repetition. The signal is maintained unless the referee waves it off, thumbs up etc... The far side AR drops his when the near side supposedly in contact with the referee drops theirs. It is clear we have a lack of any eye contact given how the situation was explained. It is why your USA official national advice constantly tries to force good habits as part of the ongoing training for referees. It is obvious getting panicky or rushed that procedures, not fully indoctrinated as a habit, get overlooked. Remember unusual situations most often occur when normal protocols get sloppy!
PS did you answer #36?

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
The advice you quote is correct and used throughout the soccer world. In the You Call It the question outlined a lack of communication between the referee and the AR. The referee and AR clearly should not have allowed the incorrect procedure .
I would also say that in the vast majority of games the AR on the technical area side of the field of play signals substitutions with the horizontal flag so it does not arise as the AR drops the flag once acknowledged by the CR so that he can attend to the substitution process. It is up to the AR to ensure that the substitution enters and the player leaves in line with the procedure.
If there is a 4th official then the horizontal flag is dropped once acknowledged.
If something untoward happens after that then a flag or whatever has been agreed in the pre match is the best way to deal with it. The referee should not restart with a raised flag.

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