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Question Number: 32182

Law 3 - The Players 1/21/2018

RE: Competitive Under 19

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis, Indiana United States asks...

In the laws of the game, law 3 the players; it states that if a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referees permission, it says to allow play to continue, but caution the players after the ball is next out of play. Then there is another section that says for any other offences, the players are caution and play is restarted with an indirect free kick, from the position of the ball when play is stopped. Does this mean that if there is interference by the player who switch with the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper who is now a field player, play should be stopped and award an IFK and caution the players?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Salvador,
I'm not sure what you mean by 'interference'. As I understand the law, in the scenario of the players changing places, play is allowed to continue so there is no interference to stop for. Also, when the law talks about 'other offences' as far as I know, it means 'offences that are not previously mentioned in the law' so since the scenario of a player changing places with the keeper is already covered and the way of dealing with it is specified, it does not come under the category of 'other offences.'

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
The Law is explicit here. Play must continue until the next stoppage for an unsanctioned changed goalkeeper and then both players are cautioned.
As regards play being stopped for other offences that is at the discretion of the referee. I am unsure what section you are quoting from on an IDFK.
The only offence I can think of is where a player illegally enters the FOP and if play has to be stopped it is an IDFK unless a more serious offence takes places. Again if there is no interference play should continue until the next stoppage.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Salvaddor,
the act of the switch is GOING to be punished with a CAUTION to EACH player because they ignored the correct protocol. However, they are still legal players on the pitch and unless either one commits a NEW foul or additional misconduct there is NO reason to stop play and that includes the former keeper scoring a goal or the new keeper saving a goal. This would be different if the keeper switch occurred with a substitute while the ball is in play not a player!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

In the event that you referee high school games, please note that the ruling for the situation that you indicate is different.

In high school games, as is indicated in NFHS Rule 3-5, the penalty for a field player changing with a goalkeeper when the clock is not stopped and a substitution is taking place, is a warning to both players. This warning is to be made at the next stoppage of play. A subsequent change by the same keeper would result in a caution.

Thus, rather than a caution, as in the International Laws of the Game, the first changing with the keeper while the ball is in play in high school games is a warning that a second occurrence will result in a caution. This changing of keepers while the ball is in play in high school games is a rarity, but if you do officiate high school games, you do need to know the difference in the Rules if the illegal changing occurs.

I hope that you have a very successful 2018 officiating year.

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