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Question Number: 29572

Law 4 - Players Equipment 7/30/2015

RE: Recreational Player Adult

Christel Lindberg-Phelps of Killeen, Texas United States asks...

Player 1 on Team A has possession of the ball just outside of Team B's penalty box. Player 1 shoots the ball and his shinguard falls out of his sock. The ball goes into the goal. Player 1 then reaches down to ground to retrieve his shinguard and put it back in his sock. The referee does not see the shinguard fall out the sock. Player 2 from Team B tells the referee that Player 1 has no shinguards on. Player 1 shows the referee his shinguards and tells him that it fell out of his sock. The referee then calls back the goal and awards Team B a goal kick. Is this correct?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Christle,
No it is NOT correct! Wrong in law! Wrong restart if play was stopped for such an offence! Although we expect the players to be adequately protected with the mandatory equipment we are realistic given things break, a shoe comes off or a shin guard slips out is something that can occur during regulation play. When it is noticed we do ask the player fix it but we do not necessarily stop play for it immediately. In the process of shooting, if a player looses a shoe or a shin guard and takes a shot that ends up in goal, it will count. If we noticed the player running about with no shoe or holding the shinguard as he chased around after players then we might tell him to fix his equipment or leave the field of play but if it occurs as he is actually involved in play we likely allow things to clear out or calm down before we would insist he fix the issue. It is feasible we might stop play for PIADM as a safety concern. That would be an INDFK. The mandatory aspect of equipment does insist proper gear be worn correctly but it is their safety and others that concern us! Once asked to fix the equipment he MUST comply or face disciplinary action, here a card could be shown if no compliance, however, until restricted by the referee he participates same as anyone!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Christel
This is incorrect for a number of reasons.
First of all Law 4 tells us that in the event of any infringement of this Law play need not be stopped. The player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to correct her equipment. We also know that from the Advice on Law 4 that if a player loses her footwear accidentally and immediately plays the ball and/or scores a goal, there is no infringement and the goal is awarded because she lost her footwear by accident. One can conclude from the advice that a shinguard which is also equipment would be treated in a similar manner and that the goal should have been awarded. If a player was to continue to play without the proper equipment then that is an infringement of Law 4 or it can also be considered playing in a dangerous manner. Most referee will treat it as PIADM as that does not require a caution. As the player corrected the equipment immediately on the field of play the palyer does not have to leave and the restart is a kick off. The referee might ask the player to ensure that it does not happen again and perhaps ask that the shinguards are properly secured.
Now the 2nd part where the referee got it incorrect was the restart. It had to be an indirect free kick from where the player infringed the Laws not a goal kick. All told the referee reacted here to a complaint by an opponent and knew that something was amiss yet failed to know the full extent of the Law and advice.
I guess that had the Player A1 said to the referee that she had both shinguards what would the referee have done? I also think that players need to pay particular attention to their equipment as if the shinguard feel out while taking a shot it suggests to me that they were not properly secured and as a result afforded little protection. Perhaps it is a lesson to make sure that the pads are properly in place and held securely to do the task that they are there for.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Sounds like the referee over thought this. The goal stands and the player is instructed to put his shin guard back on. It is that simple!

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