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Question Number: 32757

High School 9/29/2018

RE: Varsity High School

Lionel Heinold of Ephrata, WA United States asks...

Match is tied after two overtime periods. Shots are to be taken from the mark. One entire team leaves the field, can they take shots?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Lionel,
leave the field of play as go in to the change room? Never come back? Then you abandon & try to find out the back story here??
Apparently high school want their players to go to the team area after the match ends. . IT is ONLY at FIFA where the teams are supposed to remain at the midfield so reduce to equate can occur if necessary, we find out the order of shooters from the available eligible players on the FOP after the flip and from the referee which end the shots will be taken from . Usually one AR is in charge of the midline area the other AR is on the goal line to assist with the shots. IF this was FIFA you now COULD have an issue who WERE the eligible players on the FOP at match end but in high school they allow any player who is not disqualified to participate but I assume they choose their shooters to return to the centre circle or list those participating in the shootout . So Yes you let them take their shots if they are tardy in coming back or you are trying to get the coin flip in to decide who shoots first and they are balking at your desire to get on with it. Until you asked this question I was unaware at the high school level the teams MUST go off the FOP so I assume that while cautioning might be an option a simple word of warning should get everyone back to where they need to be.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Lionel,
Actually, as my colleague ref Manjone has pointed out to us, under NFHS rules, the teams are not supposed to remain on the field when KFPM are to take place. Under the NFHS 'Tie Game Procedure' item 7, it is stated that:

''Unless participating in the kicks as a kicker or goalkeeper, team members, coaches and other bench personnel shall remain in a designated area as determined by the state association.''

As per ref Manjone's response, this is normally the team area. This being the case, both teams should in fact be leaving the field and so it would be the team that remains on the field that would be in the wrong.

This is in contrast to the IFAB's laws in this regard where, as ref Dawson mentions, players are supposed to remain on the field - and can even lose their turn to kick (and have it counted as a miss) if they fail to return in time.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


This is a high school game, and if it is played under NFHS high school rules, The teams are not to remain on the field. They are to go to the team area and stay there. Any eligible player (not disqualified) whether in the game at the end of the second overtime or in the team area is eligible to participate in the kicks from the mark. Only the kickers and the goal keepers are permitted on the field. All other players, coaches, etc. must stay in the team area. Here in Alabama, the kickers must return to the team area after the kick. I do not know if this is also the case in Washington. However, to answer your question, yes they can take the kicks and the team that stays on the field is illegal under NFHS High School Rules, and if they do not leave the field can forfeit the game.

I am curious to learn the result of the game that you mention.

I hope that you have a successful fall season.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Lionel
Depends what you mean by leaves the field.
The correct procedure in a NFHS game is for the team to go to their respective team areas which I assume is what one of the teams did here
Perhaps the referee decided that with all things considered that he allowed one team to stay on the FOP?
The answer is the outcome of the game and what happened.
I as a referee have had spats with teams about following minor game protocols. As I got older, wiser and on reflection I did not sweat the small stuff particularly when no one was bothered.
It probably reads that the team that stayed on the field should have gone to their team area but chose not to and the referee allowed that.

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