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Question Number: 32452

Law 5 - The Referee 5/15/2018

RE: Local club football Adult

Dave of Maroochydore, Qld Australia asks...

1. Can a referee be substituted at half time, even if he is not injured? We had an incident last week where the person that refereed the first half decided at half time that he could no longer continue in the second half because he felt the match was too hostile for him. His AR controlled the second half, while he officiated the sideline.

2. If the game officially restarts from half time (ball is kicked) and there are 12 players on the filed, what should the outcome be?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Dave,
I have interceded in matches as an AR where the center referee was clearly overwhelmed and wanted to quit. I have also encouraged CRs that were having difficulty to work through it and to use me as AR to hammer the touchlines using him and in few cases her as the authority but my knowledge. As long as those ARs are registered to officiate within the league there is no law stopping a switch. I had a British referee switch out the ARs to stay with the same team through the whole match. I can tell you there was a lot of wailing and screeching about that but nothing in the LOTG prevent it.

The key point in losing confidence or feeling threatened is the possible loss of a referee who thinks officiating is just not worth the hassle. There are those of us who make it hard on ourselves by not being knowledgeable or in decent shape to stay with play or have obnoxious or bad attitudes which facilitates a lot of dissent & abuse but by far the unreasonable actions of adults along the touchlines is horrendously detrimental especially to young or inexperienced referees ..

In regards to a restart with 12 .
I suggest a quick count but if spotted immediately get the extra guy off and restart .
If the restart has continued for bit and only while play is ongoing you realize restart with an DFK to the team with 11 and caution show a yellow card to the extra player.
If it is a natural restart & then you find out just remove the extra guy caution and show the yellow card but if it was because of your actions you might want to just get him off. I once signalled for 3 subs on when only two had left because I mistakenly believed three had left. . One player had left the tech area to go to the washroom and was along the far touchline waving to his parents in the stand . I thought he was waving to show he had stepped off sigh. Not my finest moment but I saw no reason to caution once I realized there were 12 players on the pitch given it was my fault

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
Nothing in the Laws that prevents such a change. As part of the referee pre match instructions the possibility of having to change the referee is discussed and what would happen in such a scenario. Planning for that is deciding which AR would come in, what the former CR can do, do the ARs become linesmen only, recording of information, the replacement referee having all the necessary kit such as whistle, cards to take over etc. Most times it is because of injury, illness yet other situations are possible. I know of a recent situation where due to abuse a referee was taking in an over 4os game that he walked off and said he had enough. He was replaced by another referee who happened to be there.
So the more important factor for me is the reason for this to happen. Many in the game fail to see the dwindling numbers in officiating and the age profile of those still remaining. Hostile, unpleasant games cause many new recruits in officiating to walk away or older officials to say that they have had enough. It also puts many off in getting involved in the middle.
So in this instance the referee and crew did the game a favour which was to continue. Perhaps due to the hostile nature of the game it should have been abandoned and all three officials walking away?
On your second question the answer is that the referee stops the game if there is interference by the extra player, cautions him and asks him to leave the field of play. The restart is a DFK from where the extra player interfered with play. If there is no interference then play can continue until the next natural stoppage and the player is cautioned and removed from the field of play.
If a goal has been scored it is disallowed with a caution for the extra player and a DFK restart from where the extra player was located.
If play had restarted after a goal was scored by a team with an extra player the goal must stand. In all instances the extra player situation is reported to the competition organisers who may decide to take action based on what is reported which includes accepting the result or ordering a replay.

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