Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 30055

Law 4 - Players Equipment 1/27/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Carl Donkin of Sunderland, England asks...

During a game my football boots were feeling uncomfortable. I asked the referee if I could leave the field to change my boots, he agreed I could but advised to wait for him to call me back onto the pitch. I changed my boots and shouted to the ref that I was ready to come back on. He waved me onto the field and 5 seconds later the ball went out for a throw in. .as I went to collect the ball to take the throw in the ref said I could not take it and someone else had to take it. This is something I have never experienced in playing Sunday football and was wondering what the ruling is on this and if the referee was correct not letting me take the throw in. Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Carl,
perhaps the referee has confused a substitution with a player off the field with permission or momentum?
When he stated you could FIX your equipment, he gave you permission to BE off the field. He only needed to ensure your new boots were ok to play in but he could ask the AR or 4th to confirm that . ONLY the referee can allow you back on. Once he was satisfied your equipment was ok you are available to participate there is no reason in the LOTG for you to step into the field of play then step back out to do a throw in or take a corner kick. BECAUSE you are STILL a player, whereas a substitute must first step onto the field to become a player then go back out to take the throw. A player must exit the field to get to these balls the fact you were there already is immaterial.

AND if I am confused, you did re-enter the field then only after you entered the ball went out and the referee did not want you to take the throw then I have zero idea what he thought or what his reasoning could be.


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Carl,
The only explanation I can think of would be if you hadn't yet entered the field of play. If so, the referee may arguably have been justified in requiring you to step onto the field first to clearly show that you've re-entered play (arguably, this may be unnecessary for a player returning to the field like this), but no reason to stop you from taking the throw.
It's a little bit like a substitute coming on at a stoppage; they can take a throw in (though a number of referees incorrectly believe otherwise), but they must step onto the field first.
If you were on the field already then I really have no explanation for this!

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Carl
Referee is confusing player re-entry with a substitution and he also got the procedure incorrect. A substitute has to enter on to the field of play first before he becomes a player so he cannot take a thrown in without first stepping on to the FOP.
In this case you were a player, left to deal with equipment and as you requested re-entry he should not have allowed you to return until the next stoppage in play when the new boots could be checked. Once checked the player can resume play which includes a throw in etc. The same would apply to a blood injury which is unlike a normal injury as the bleeding needs to be checked that it has stopped. . Once he called you back on there was no reason to prevent you taking a throw in.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30055
Read other Q & A regarding Law 4 - Players Equipment

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.