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Question Number: 29713

Law 3 - Number of Players 9/18/2015

RE: select Under 15

dan of vienna, Virginia United States asks...

If there are 7 players on the team... but a temporary injury for one of those players. Should the ref allow the game to continue temporarily with 6, until he can come back on?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dan
The referee should wait until the 7th player is ready to resume. Not waiting can cause all sorts of problems such as perhaps the team deciding that he player is not fit to continue. The question could then be asked as GK why the game could continue with six for a period yet not continue indefinitely.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

He should not allow the game to continue with 6. But, he does not need to abandon the match. As Ref McHugh notes, the referee should see if the player will be able to return within a reasonable time. If not, suspend the match. If so, restart play when the 7th player returns.

What is a reasonable time depends on the circumstances. But, in most cases, a trainer can evaluate the extent of an injury within a few minutes.

Note: the laws do not require much from the injured player. It would be lawful for the player to simply stand on the field near the touchline and not make any effort to challenge for the ball. A team in the lead may prefer the match to be completed!

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