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Question Number: 30437

Law 3 - Number of Players 5/20/2016

RE: Recreational Under 15

Mike of Coudersport, PA USA asks...

Are players, coaches or parents allowed on the field during half time, or any intermission between quarters when the game is not in progress?

During a game I wanted to discuss a topic with the refs so I walked out to the center circle where they were. I was informed by the head ref that I wasnt allowed on his field. In another game I walked across the field to get a parent to come look at their child because I thought an injury might need more than ice. On that time as well the ref told me to stay off his field. Is this appropriate and correct?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
The Laws of the Game allows for physios and medical personnel to enter the field of play at an injury stoppage to assess the player. At all other times during the game everyone includes subs etc should not enter the FOP. Some grounds have rules about not entering on to the grass although that has nothing to do with the game.
Now at half time I see no reason to not enter. In fact some grounds require that the technical area personnel must cross the FOP to leave. Also at half time substitutes may use the opportunity to warm up on the field of play and perhaps to have some shooting practise. That can and does include coaching/ fitness personnel.
I suspect in the instance of entering to discuss a topic that the CR used the FOP instruction to prevent such a discussion. On the injury incident it depends if the entry was for assessment or not. At Underage I would have no issue with entry of a coach at an injury situation. In fact I would welcome it to ensure the player gets treatment and is safely removed.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mike,

This will be the decision of the home team (the ground official) and/or the league - the laws of the game only stipulate who can be on the field during the match itself (including stoppages and Kicks From The Mark) - nothing about the half time interval. In my experience, if there's a fence around the field (even if it is just a very, very basic set of posts with a rail along the top) then this typically indicates that people not part of the match are never to enter the field. Without a fence, people might be - but again, the ground staff may decide not to allow people on the field.

The only reason I would expect the referee to comment on whether you're allowed on the field would be if your presence on the field directly affects the refereeing team (such as approaching them).

If the referee knows that there is a league or ground rule preventing you from entering the field then I don't think the referee has acted inappropriately in advising you to leave the field.

Some leagues also have strict rules that nobody is allowed to approach the referee at halftime or immediately after the match.

It is unclear if your incident around the injury was during a stoppage in play while the injury was being attended to. If so the laws only allow for team officials (physio or whoever is responsible for that duty) and medical staff to enter - parents and spectators are not to enter at all.

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