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Question Number: 31547

League Specific 5/18/2017

RE: rec Under 11

John W of Grandville, Michigan USA asks...

Can an U8 player substitute for a U10 team if the U10 team has players missing?

I am the assistant coach for my older daughter's U10 team, we had a game Friday evening and another game Saturday morning. We had a couple girls that were going to miss the game on Saturday so the Head Coach asked if my younger daughter (who is on his U8 team with his younger daughter) would be able to fill in for the U10 team as she and his daughter had before. She didn't play in the first half as the other team was short a couple players too so both teams were playing down one player. Their other player got there in time to play the second half. One of our U10 players was exhausted and begged to sit out the 3rd quarter and since my younger daughter was available to play (we didn't have anyone else sitting out) we allowed it.

There wasn't any issue until my younger daughter (U8) scored twice in the 3rd quarter and the rest of our team perked up and started playing much better. At that point the referee stopped the game and questioned whether it was legal and/or fair to have a U8 player playing at that point. We informed him that we had checked with the league and had had both of our younger daughters fill in on our U10 team before. After a lengthy delay he said that he would check on it later and the game was allowed to continue. We had only our U10 girls on the field for the 4th quarter.

Is there anything in the rules that disallows an AYSO player from a younger team filling in for missing players on an older team?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
I think it would be a local rule not a blanket AYSO policy! I think you need to go local for a definitive answer.

Although this sounds like sour grapes issue roster restrictions are usually an ROC, league or assertion bylaw. For the most part we do not discourage playing up. I suspect there are playtime allowances to ensure regular players get a fair time on the field but truthfully it could be unusual because of the new heading rule I suppose you can not play up if you are too young to head the ball?? I think u-10 still can not yet head the ball so it might only apply to an older group.? Not a referee concern unless it is a actual inclusion within their rules. If the player was on the roster list and had id card . It is true to cherry pick strong youth player and play them up against weaker opponents might seem unfair but to make up numbers for a recreational fun league hard to imagine it as a crisis.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

As a referee I would not be getting involved in players ages on the roster. That is up to the competition organisers to look after based on the competition rules. If there is a roster rule then the referee enforces that based on the information presented. In the absence of a clear rule then the player plays and a note is made on the game card. As I say to team the referee is there to enforce the rules not decide who should play or age groups. If there is an issue teams can protest and a decision made based on the facts. I also find it strange that the situation was allowed yet during play there was a question raised. It was either correct at the start or it was not?
Now my understanding is that players can play up in an older age group provided it is approved. As to temporary play ups one would need to get a definitive local position from the local commissioner.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
As Ref McHugh says, it is not the referee's place to control who is or is not on a team. It would be up to the competition organisers. Other than a possible issue related to player registration, I do not think it would normally be a problem for a younger player to play in an older team. After all, if the player is under 8 years old, then she is by definition, also under 10.

I have had a quick look at the AYSO National Rules & Regulations and I cannot see anything that would make this illegal.

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