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Question Number: 31191

Law 3 - The Players 1/21/2017

RE: 7 Under 19

marc of concord, ca usa asks...

From which part of the field can a player who has gotten an injury be able to return with referees permission?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Marc
A player returning to the field of play can only do so at a touchline if the ball is in play. If the ball is out of play it can be from any boundary line. It can be any part of the touchline or goal line.
However in games involving a 4th official it would be expected that in the case of a blood injury with say a jersey change and with the bleeding needed to be checked that the re entry would be at the technical area if the referee passed the responsibility to the 4th official.
As a general principle referees should not allow re-entry into play close to the ball during play. Players may not expect a player who has been off the field of play injured to suddenly re appear into play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Marc,
If a player has left the field after being injured and receiving treatment, where they can return from depends on whether the ball is in play or not. According to Law 5:

''An injured player may not be treated on the field of play and may only re-enter after play has restarted; if the ball is in play, re-entry must be from the touchline but if the ball is out of play, it may be from any boundary line.''

In practical terms, the player almost always makes their way to the side line (if not already there) as this ensures the quickest return to play. If the player stays on the end line and waits for the ball to go out of play again, the wait could be long - the ball can stay in play for ten minutes or more, at times.

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