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Question Number: 29709

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/17/2015

RE: Competitive Under 16

Aaron Speca of Virginia Beach, Virginia United States asks...

Saw a weird situation last weekend that made me think of something that might have made a good You Call It question.

Scenario is: goal kick restart for Blue. Red wants a substitution, and the AR on the bench side puts up his flag to signal for a sub. The CR doesn't see it at first and Blue restarts play. The long ball is immediately intercepted by Red and one-touched forward to a charging striker, but too hard and the keeper comes out to pick up the ball. Meanwhile, the CR notices the AR's flag still up and blows the whistle. The players react just a second too slowly ... keeper picks up the loose ball and a second later the striker collides with her with such force that she has to leave the game with concussion symptoms. The collision was such that it was late and reckless (to the level of a card).

Since the whistle blew before the collision, what would the subsequent restart and sanction be (if any)?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Aaron
so should we answer or table this one for later? lol
First off I dislike the raised flag by the AR signalling substitution. If protocols are followed the substitute is at the midline ...before the restart.... indicating he is ready to sub at the next opportunity. The CR should always look to the midline on any substitution or stoppage opportunity to confirm. On a goal kick there should be a ton of time to substitute if the red player WAS already at the midline before the ball had gone out of play. The ARs raised flags should indicate the duration of the substitution up until all those participating have taken their correct positions off and on the FOP. The raised flag will be confusing to the CR, now play has restarted, he is likely to be thinking offside or foul or simply bewildered? The restart is going to be a dropped ball from the position of the ball as no event had occurred which required a whistle stoppage. The unfortunate collision will be held as misconduct if indeed it was and cards appropriate to its severity allocated. And If the red player who is at the midline waiting and wants to substitute at THIS stoppage the CR could allow it! Eye contact, effective communication and FOLLOW substitution protocols, in unlimited sub opportunity matches it is the only way to prevent confusion and chaos.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Aaron,

Interesting scenario!

First off, this is poor mechanics by the AR. If the referee has missed the substitution signal, then the AR must drop the flag, continue with play, and signal again at the next restart (of course, the AR should be constantly checking with his AR as well). Also, the signal should not be the same as the signal for a foul, so even if he kept his flag up the confusion should not have occurred.

If the AR signalled with his flag straight up, then I'm not surprised the referee thought a foul or offside had occurred. Once he has blown the whistle, anything that happens after that does not affect the restart.

So, given that he stopped play for a reason not actually specified in the laws (mistaken flag), the restart is still a drop ball. However, the striker can still be cautioned if the collision was reckless, or sent off if it was using excessive force.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aaron
As play has been stopped by the referees whistle then the only possible restart here is a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped.
As regards the collision the referee will treat that as possible misconduct with a caution for reckless or dismissal for the use of excessive force. That though does not change the restart.

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