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Question Number: 30555

Law 4 - Players Equipment 6/29/2016

RE: Competitive Adult

Nader of Novi, MI United States asks...

In an adult game, a player was asked by the center referee to go off the pitch and put his shin guard on. His team had only 11 players and therefore as soon as he stepped off the field, they were playing with 10 men.

He fixed the issue and was asking to come in the pitch from his bench and the referee asked him to wait until a stoppage.

Is it necessary for a stoppage to allow this player in as his team was short at the time?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nadar
Yes the referee was 100% correct. In the case of checking equipment or a blood injury that can only be done at a stoppage in play if there is no 4th official. How else could a match official, busy with the game, check the player other then at a stoppage . It is unlike an injury return where the player does not have to be checked. He is deemed fit enough by his team to return so the referee simply signals his return. Many confuse those as similar while clearly they are two differing scenarios.




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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The new text in the Laws regarding this states:
'A player who leaves the field of play to correct or change equipment must:  
have the equipment checked by a match official before being allowed to re-enter 
only re-enter with the referee's permission (which may be given during play)'

So if the referee has delegated the responsibility of checking equipment to the 4th official, the player may enter before play stops. But since the vast majority of games do not have a 4th official present, we must wait for a stoppage so the ref or AR can check it.



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