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Question Number: 31234

Law 3 - The Players 2/7/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31225

When seven become six.

I was AR in a match very similar to that which Gary of Niagara Falls mentioned (post 31225).

In an All Age low division match, team A started with only 8 players and down 0-8 at the break. They lost a player to injury shortly after the second period started. Then another out field player went down injured just near my position at the mid line junction.
Play was ongoing in the far quarter of the field, so I had time to ask if he could continue - knowing that if not, I would have to signal to the CR to advise of the number issue. He couldn't, so as the ball had conveniently just gone out for a goal kick, I signalled to the ref and advised the situation.
With the ref and players from both teams milling around, the injured player - even with his team so far behind " he said he'd rather play in goal then have the match abandoned. His team mates supported his stance.
The ref correctly advise his safety was a concern, however, the player was adamant that he can stand - but just cannot run, and if the ball came to him where there was any danger to his wellbeing, he'd just let it go and if the other team score, then so be it.
They conceded another 9 goals, however, did manage to score one themselves - a well crafted goal and in no way a concession from team B.

Come the final whistle, the winning team made a point of taking the time to individual thank all of the team A players for the gesture of not abandoning the match.
Sport can make you smile for all kind of reason.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Thanks for sharing that with us.
Sometimes though other considerations such as abandonment does not sit well with authorities as decisions have to be made about the outcome, sanction, fines if any etc particularly if the game ends acrimoniously. That can influence decisions for the wrong reason and make teams do something that is not the *best* for that game. I am not sure though a 17-1 game of 11 v 6 fit players does very much for those playing but so be it.
Having said all that once there was seven players on the FOP it is no concern to the referee and there was no decision to be made.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russell,
as I mentioned in the previous post the facts of HOW match develops affects the temperament of how it might end! It is a bit different if the starting few are there trying to continue to have their fun then a deteriorating sanctioned filled match where the missing are sent off not just not there due to unfortunate circumstances. I have seen similar in a 9 man team fight to hold off an 11 in a well played match as well as a shortage of players where the two teams traded players to have a fun match and the shortfall team agreed to forfeit the match as a no show. . You are correct the game can make you smile I suppose I sounded very negative in my last post without realizing it!
Thanks for reminding me of how much we all love the game even under trying circumstances.

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