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Question Number: 31443

High School 4/8/2017

RE: VHSL High School

Rob Ford of Stafford , VA USA asks...

In a recent HS game team A was alerted by the AR that they only had 10 on the pitch. The ball was in play. At the next stoppage, Team B had possession. The AR believed Team A should be allowed to put the 11th player in the field and the CR believed they could only 'sub' when they had possession. They ultimately didn't allow Team A to return to full strength. Who was correct?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rob,
From my reading of the NFHS rules, it appears there could be two answers and either official could be correct. It seems to depend on the reason why the team is playing shorthanded. If for instance, they started with 11 players and player A2 has gone off, A2 can come back on at any stoppage but if they want to bring on A12, they would have to wait until their next legal substitution opportunity.

If on the other hand the team started the game with only 10 players, they can make up the numbers at any stoppage, provided the player coming on is named on the team roster.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

First of all, there is no pitch in high school soccer play. Pitch is a baseball term in high school sports. But I do understand that you are referring to the field. As to your question about the 11th player coming onto the field, referee Grove is correct, it depends on why the team was playing with only eleven players. if the team only had 10 players because they elected to play short, they could substitute at the stoppage if they decided to play short for any other reason except misconduct. This is NFHS Rule 3-3-7. An example might be that a player was sent off for an injury, and a team decided not to substitute in order to get the player back in at the next stoppage. If the team decided to play short because of a misconduct, then the substitute could only enter at the opportunity for a substitution (NFHS Rule 3-3-3-b3). If a team is playing with less then eleven players due to not having enough players at the start of the game or because of an error by the officials and teams of starting a game with less than eleven players, an 11th player can come in at a stoppage (NFHS 3-1-3, Situation B). It would be interesting to find out why the team only had 10 players on the field. I hope that your team is having a successful season.

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