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Question Number: 29492

Law 3 - Number of Players 6/21/2015

RE: Comp Adult

Marty of Lavington, New South Wales Australia asks...

Can play be restarted if a player who has been sent off has not yet left the field of play?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Marty,
In my opinion it could only ever be a BAD bad idea. The advantage to do so is nil if you control the match time and the potential for huge problems is staring you in the face so why? What if he starts a fight or gets involved in play and forces a opponent reaction causing you to send them off as well?

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Marty,

Definitely not. The laws require that any cards need to be handled before play is restarted, and part of a red card is that the player is sent from the field. If he's still on the field, then the process hasn't been completed, so play cannot resume.

Sometimes referees do get play going when the player has almost left the field, especially in games where stoppage time cannot be played due to strict time restrictions, and this usually has no effect on play, but referees shouldn't be allowing it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Marty
Play should NOT restart until the dismissed player has fully left the field of play. Technically the dismissed player is now an outside agent and if an outside agent is not interfering play could continue. However the best advice is to wait until the player has left the field of play including the surrounds and is behind the barriers or is entering the changing room or tunnel. That then ensures that there is no possible reaction. retaliation, misconduct etc which will require the referee to intervene again. As the dismissed play is now an outside agent that will have an effect on the restart should the referee have to stop play again to deal with any situation.
Even if the dismissed player is bring tardy in his leaving the referee should not pressure himself to restart. Time lost in the removal of the player can and should be be added on. I have watched dismissed players take the longest route to the changing rooms and in a slow manner. The game does not restart until he has left.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Nope. The player needs to be in his way to the locker room.

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