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Question Number: 30622

Law 3 - Number of Players 7/19/2016

RE: Rec Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

In a couple of leagues I referee, the rule is, once it is time to start a game, we start as soon as the first 7 players arrive and are in uniform. This rule I am familiar with. Once the game has started, we send players in one by one until they complete 11 players on the field. Another rule is, a team is not allowed more players in the second half than the number of players on the field at half time. So if a team is a player short when the whistle blows, they are to continue a player down the second half. This rule I cannot find. Am I missing something in ROTG?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
These may be Rules of Competition (ROC) and they are certainly not Laws of the Game. Leagues do operate all sorts of roster rules and what you have outlined reads like ROCs
So the reason you cannot find it is that it is just not in the LotG. The game can start with 7 and the team can add to that to bring it up to 11.
Now the Laws do state that in all matches, the names of the substitutes must be given to the referee prior to the start of the match. Any substitute whose name is not given to the referee at that time may not take part in the match. In essence what that means is that once a team reaches 11 a player who then turns up late with his name not on the roster may not play.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


There is nothing in the LOTG which specify a specific 'cut-off'. As Referee McHugh notes, there is the passage about named substitutes,.

What you quoted is a fairly standard Rule of Competition of most adult leagues around the country. I know that each of the four adult leagues in my area uses the not here by half time, can't play clause.

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