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Question Number: 31030

Law 3 - The Players 11/17/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Can you please run through the new rulings that say an injured player does not need to go off the field if they have been treated on the FOP.

Please run through when this applies and when not.

Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
The only change to the exceptions to the requirement to leave the field of play, which are listed below, is the last bullet point on the list
# A goalkeeper is injured  
# A goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need attention  
# Players from the same team have collided and need attention  
# A severe injury has occurred  
# A player is injured as the result of a physical offence for which the opponent is cautioned or sent off (e.g. reckless or serious foul play)
IFAB opined that it was unfair on the offended against team to have to remove its player when the action resulted in a caution or a sending off. Some felt that it might pressure the referee to caution more in these instances. I had a situation recently where a player was winded on an illegal charge. Not sure if the slight injury was a result of the body contact or the fall to the ground. I suspect the latter. Anyway as I did not caution the offender the injured player had leave the FOP and he could not return until the ball was put into play. It did get me thinking yet interestingly the player and his team did not complain. Probably not up to speed on the new amendments.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell,
the exceptions upon leaving the field of play are based on the practicality and fairness of competition that one team could gain an advantage by being responsible for the reason the other team is playing short or simply it is perceived as unfair. The substitution guidelines limit the opportunity to fix or repair an injury to players during the course of a match..
So those in charge of the LOTG decided to amend the referee Law 5 to try to incorporate that fairness principle.

When there is a simultaneous run in with a keeper the player can be treated because the keeper is being treated as the match cannot continue until both teams have a functioning keeper. Now the that is fair BUT the practical aspect will be if only the keeper is up and running but the other player remains down and say is bleeding. Eventually that player must go off to get repaired. The difference here is in the referees' discretion as to how long he would permit the treatment attempt on the field before finally deciding to usher the player to the touchlines, it is not MANDITORY they must go but they might have to anyway!

When two players from the same team collide they are down 2, it would be harsh to force the team to play against 11 opponents so the referee will endeavour to wait till they are recovered if possible, he might still have to get one to the touchline to fix something like a continued bleeding issue but it is not MANDITORY they have to leave. Even if they want and have that option to substitute the injured player, if he can hobble about briefly the referee will restart play with them on the field!

A serious injury no one moves until doctor says so but if the player can not continue the substitution, if available, could be made then and there!

What is fundamentally new and different is the idea that if the injury is created by an opponent's physical tackle where the opponent is cautioned or sent off we do not force the team to play short , it is NOT mandatory the injured player now must leave even if it becomes a practical matter of time and seriousness. Again, the referee could permit the substitution if that option was available or restart with the player hobbling about if he can/wants to continue.

The crux of the matter is the referee is not forced to have the injured play leave in the circumstances I touched upon. But if the player trips, falls, cramps or dives and rolls about to where the referee stops play or the teams puts the ball out thinking he is hurt it is then mandatory for the player to leave the FOP no matter he suddenly recovers thanks to the magic spray!

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