Q: Here is round two of the same questions. It's still the same.
Q: I have a player who caught their finger in a car door last week. Currently the finger is in a splint. What is the rule regarding her eligibility to take the field this Saturday?
Consistent with the AYSO credo of “Fun, Fair, Safe,” an AYSO player may not play with a splint (or cast) and may not remove a splint (or cast) once at the field in order to play – this policy applies to practices as well as games.
A bit more explanation:
The most important thing in these situations is to protect our players from further injury. To do that, AYSO policy prohibits players from playing with a splint and prohibits players from removing a splint in order to play. Specifically, the AYSO National Rules and Regulations (pg. 8, section VI, K) provide:
Team members shall not be allowed to practice or participate in any game with any type of cast or splint. Removal of any type of cast or splint at the field or surrounding area in order to participate shall disqualify the team member from practice or game participation.
You can find the National Rules and Regulations at http://www.ayso.org/Libraries/
To protect the player, you should encourage the parents to consult with their doctor and to remove the splint only if it is in the best interest of the child. That determination would need to be made before your player arrived at the game, as if she arrives wearing the splint she would not be eligible to play. Simply put, her finger is more important than a soccer game – even a playoff game. (This AYSO policy needs to be enforced by coaches as well as referees.)
Q: The Blue Team has an obvious advantage and is moving the ball out of their end. A White Team player slightly behind the play has fallen down injured. I blow the whistle to stop play and check on player well-being. How do I best return the advantage to the Blue Team when play resumes?
When the referee stops play to check on an injury, the restart is always a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped. The referee can encourage players to be sporting about how play is restarted when the ball is dropped.
A bit more explanation:
Referees must use their discretion in determining when to stop play for an injury. The Laws of the Game dictate that the referee stops play for a serious injury -- in youth games, we must keepin mind that "serious" is an age appropriate conisderation. Once the referee decides the injury is serious enough to stop ongoing play, the referee needs to remember where the ball was, as that is where the dropped ball will take place.
As a technical matter under the Laws of the Game, the referee has no right to force players to do the sporting thing when the dropped ball occurs. However, the referee does have the ability to use his personality to encourage the players to do the right thing. (And given that one of AYSO's core philosophies is good sportsmanship, coaches should be assisting the referee in encouraging the players to participate in a sporting restart.)
To go back to your scenario, one way you can approach it is to announce there will be a dropped ball, explain to the white team that the Blue had the ball when play was stopped for the injury, and ask White if they will do the sporting thing and let Blue have the ball back. They will usually agree. If more encouragement is needed, you can point out that the pros always do it, which is usually enough to convince players to do it. (If necessary, ask the White coach to help explain to the White players -- but this is usually unnecessary.)
There are different ways the sporting dropped ball can take place. In your scenario, White could just back away and let Blue take the ball when it is dropped. Or, especially if it is near the sideline, you could suggest that White kick the dropped ball over the touch line for a Blue throw in, or pass it back to a Blue player. (When the ball is in the penalty area, an easy way to restart is to ask White to let the Blue goalkeeper have the dropped ball. Explain to the the goalkeeper that you are going to drop the ball, and he or she can pick up the ball and do whatever he or she would like to do, just as if he or she had picked it up any other time in the game.)
[For those readers who may have high school players, the rules that govern games between high schools are different. The answer above is correct for AYSO games -- as well as other USSF and FIFA games.]
Q: When I am an AR, if I raise my flag to signal offside, when do I put my flag down if the referee does not see me?
If the referee does not see the flag, the assistant referee should keep the flag raised until either (1) the defensive team gains complete control of the ball, or (2) a goal kick or throw-in is awarded to the defending team.
A bit more explanation:
The advice above comes for Advice to Referees, which is put out by the United States Soccer Federation to provide guidance to referees.
The purpose of the indirect free kick for an offside infraction is to ensure that the ball is turned over to the side that did not commit the offside infraction. Once the offended team has the ball back clearly in its possession, there is no point going back to award the indirect free kick. But while the attacking team still has the ball, the assistant referee should remain standing in the same place with the flag raised so that the referee can stop play.
These types of situations are why it is important for referees to look toward their assistant referee on a regular basis -- especially when there is a reasonable probability that there may be an offside infraction.
Q: Should assistant referees keep track of players who replace injured players at times other than recognized substitution opportunities?
Ideally, yes, but for purposes of U10,U12, and U14 games in Region 13, the most important thing is to record the player who started the quarter.
The player who starts the quarter is the one who gets "credit" for playing the quarter with respect to the Region's requirement that each player play 3 quarters of the game. (If the injured player does not return for later quarters, it is important record the X's in the appropriate columns and provide an explanation on the game card as to why the player did not meet the 3-quarter requirement.)
A bit more explanation:
In addition to monitoring the 3-quarter requirement, the game card makes sure the assistant referee has a record of who is a player and who is a substitute at any time. During regular season games, this is rarely an issue, and would only come up if a substitute improperly went onto the field. In playoff or tournament games, it can important at the end of the game, as only the players on the field at the end of the game may participate in kicks form the penalty mark.
(Referees and assistant referees should remember that in the case of injury, the coach is not required to put in a substitute. The coach may instead elect to play a player short until the injured player is ready to return. In such cases, the player must have the permission of the referee before re-entering the field. If the coach elects to make a substitution for the injured player, the injured player will need to remain out until the next substitution opportunity.)
Q: Should the referee blow the whistle when a goal is scored? If so, how many times?
Generally not. The whistle is only needed if the players are unclear that the ball went into the gaol and is out of play. The referee signal for a goal is pointing to the center circle for a kick-off.
A bit more explanation:
As a general matter, referees blow the whistle only when needed. We are advised as referees that a whistle that is used too frequently when it is not needed will have less impact when it is needed. When the ball is clearly in the goal, everyone knows it so the whistle is unnecessary. But when it is not clear that the ball went in the goal, the referee may need to blow the whistle to stop play before signalling for the goal.
More generally speaking, the whistle must be used
- to stop play
- for a foul; or
- for the end of a half or overtime period; or
- when players don't understand play is stopped; or
- to signal that it is OK to restart play
- on a kick-off or penalty kick; or
- on a free kick if the referee has had to assist in setting the 10-yard* distance;or
- following substitutions, injuries, cautions, or dismissals.
But the whistle is not needed to stop play when the ball leaves the field of play for a throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, or a goal being scored -- unless the ball briefly leaves and comes back and players are not sure what happened. A whistle is also not needed to give permission for free kicks, except when the referee has made the free kick "cremonial" by setting the 10-yard* distance for the free kick.
To get back to the original question, when a goal is scored, the referee should look at the assistant referee to confirm the assistant referee agrees the goal is good and should then signal by pointing to the center circle.
(The assistant refree signals to the referee that the goal was good by making eye contact with the referee and then moving toward midfield. The assistant referee only needs to raise the flag to signal a goal if the ball has legally entered the goal and come back out, so that the assistant referee needs to advise the referee that the goal actually scored.)
* The 10-yard requirement is replaced by an 8-yard requirement for Region 13 U10 games.
Q: Can the goalie be switched during a game, for example right before a penalty kick? My understanding is that substitutions can only be made at the quarter and halftime breaks, or for an injury. Replacing a goalie for a penalty kick, and then going back the the original goalie directly afterwards, seems to violate this rule. Please advise, thanks.
Yes, a team may change the player designated as goalkeeper with a player already on the field before the taking of a penalty kick.
A bit of explanation
The Laws of the Game (Law 3) require that one of the players on the field be designated as the goalkeeper. Law 3 further explains that any player on the field may change places with the goalkeeper provided that (1) the referee is informed before the change is made, and (2) the change is made during a stoppage in the match. Changing who is designated as the goalkeeper is not a “substitution” within the meaning of Law 3. A “substitution” means a substitute (an eligible player not currently in the game) is joining the game and a player on the field is leaving the game. (As alluded to in your question, AYSO rules have modified the Laws of the Game as to when substitutions may take place (including limiting substitutions to half-time, about half-way through each half, and for injuries); AYSO has not modified the Laws of the Game as they apply to changing the player designated as goalkeeper.)
Going back to your question, the referee has stopped the match to award the penalty kick. Accordingly, the defensive team may inform the referee that it wishes to change goalkeepers, and may make the change -- so long as the goalkeeper is changing places with a player already legally on the field.
Q: If a goalkeeper is sent off during a match, must one of the remaining field players be the goalkeeper, at least until the next sub opportunity?
A bit of explanation
Under the Laws of the Game, each team must always have a goalkeeper. (Law 3.) So when a goalkeeper is sent off (shown the red card), another player must be designated as the gaolkeeper. Under AYSO rules, a player being sent off is not a substitution opportunity, so no substitute may enter the game to become goalkeeper. Instead, as you state in your question, a player already on the field must assume the duties of the goalkeeper (including, of course, putting on a distinctive shirt) until the next substitution opportunity.
Q: On a ball kicked to the keeper(not headed etc,) - by a teammate - after playing the ball with his feet in the penalty area, can the keeper then pick up the ball - in the penalty area? Thank you!
A bit of explanation
When the ball is deliberately kicked to the goakeeper by a teammate, Law 12 prohibits the goalkeeper from handling the ball. The goalkeeper cannot get around this rule by kicking the ball first and then using his or her hands. (This also means that if the ball is deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is outside of the penalty area, the goalkeeper may not use his or her feet to kick the ball back into the penalty area and then handle the ball.)
(More information on the Law regarding balls deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper can be found in USSF's Advice to Referees, section 12.20.)
Q: Is "Ask the Ref" answering questions now?
Yes! Unfortunately, there has been a lag in coverage for which we apologize to anyone who may have had questions submitted. The Refs are back, and answers to the questions in the queue will be forthcoming, as well as answers to any newly submitted questions.
Q: If it is extremely cold out, can we allow the kids to wear sweatshirts over their uniforms?
A: No, the players' numbers must be visible. They can wear sweatshirts under their shirts, just as long as the hood is inside the shirt. Ideally the sleeves of the sweatshirt is the same color as the uniform shirt, but don't be a stickler on this.
Q: BU12 question: I have heard that the keeper may play a ball so long as it was not kicked to him intentionally. I saw a keeper called on this in a very questionable manner in week 1. Can you please clarify this rule and how it will be called in U-12? I am not sure what to tell my kids.
This is the part of Law 12 that describes Indirect Free Kick Fouls comnmitted by goal keepers and is often misunderstood. This law is designed to discourage time-wasting by the team that is ahead at the time but can be violated by either team. Law 12 states that a ball that is deliberately kicked (with the foot) to the GK or to where the GK can play it is perfectly legal but it is considered a breech of the law if the GK then picks up the ball with the hands inside the penalty area. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the GK's team and won't whistle this violation without 100% certainty that the ball actually was deliberately kicked (with the foot) to the GK. By the way, many misquote the law by saying a "pass back" to the keeper, when the direction that the ball is traveling is less important than what the intent of the defender was. Be careful when attempting to whistle this violation. If you have to ask yourself, "was that a [deliberate] kick to the GK, or not, then let it go. Otherwise, award the IFK to the opponents.
Q: can you ref your own girls games in U10?
Yes, in Region 13.
Q: If one of my ref is not available for one of the home games, can I recruit a parent to be a line ref?
Yes, a "Club Ref" can be recruited. They are named "Club Refs" because they are provided by the club. They are not considered impartial so club refs can only indicate whether a ball is in or out of play. They can not signal direction on throw-ins, nor can they indicate whether a player is offside nor can they assist the referee in calling fouls.
Q: During a match, if a player commits a send-off offense against a TEAMMATE, does that team still play shorthanded?