Ref4Me

Enforced substitution?

pankaye

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
This is a similar scenario to something i saw people arguing on facebook.

Scenario: a youth player is injured but his coach won't sub him off. Neither he or I are doctors, but as a referee I judge that he'd be better off ieaving the game. The coach disagrees. Can you insist the player doesn't come on or be substituted........?
 
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afronaut81

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
I don't think you can ever enforce a substitution and there is nothing in Law as far as I am aware to achieve that. Happy to be proven otherwise.

Remember player safety is our priority.
If it is severe enough then I would contemplate abandonment - making the coach aware that if the player is not substituted then I will be abandoning the match and see what response that brings.

Once I have made that declaration though I am following through with the abandonment if they are not subbed.

I would also make County FA and the League aware of the coach's behaviour. Youth League's will have a Welfare Officer and they would undoubtedly have a dim view of this. Similarly the CFA/League can contact other officers in the club to make them aware of the coach's attitude.
 

Mintyref

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Not really something that is within your purview Afronaut.....you already said it, you're not a doctor. "Ask" the player if he wants to leave the fop........when he has, restart play and see where it goes from there....
 

afronaut81

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Not really something that is within your purview Afronaut.....you already said it, you're not a doctor. "Ask" the player if he wants to leave the fop........when he has, restart play and see where it goes from there....

Happy with that. I'm mostly thinking about an incident the one of my County FA's welfare officers shared from one of the matches they refereed:
Youth player collided with another and was clearly concussed. She was also the best player on the team and the manager wasn't prepared to sub her off.

In this scenario there is a high likelihood of further harm hence the more dramatic intervention as the coach was going against the FA's concussion guidelines
 

RefJef

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
If someone is “clearly concussed” they ain’t carrying on playing on my pitch. In such circumstances (I.e the manager insists they play on) I would abandon.

However, that is easy to write, the difficult part is assessing that they are “clearly concussed”
 

pankaye

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
Not really something that is within your purview Afronaut.....you already said it, you're not a doctor. "Ask" the player if he wants to leave the fop........when he has, restart play and see where it goes from there....
Minty, what if in your opinion the player doesn't appear to as if they are in a fit state to play but the coach insist they are? wouldn't your safeguarding duties mean you should not allow the said minor player to play?
to quote the FA safeguarding guidlines

"In football, physical abuse could happen where training methods are inappropriate for the developmental age of the child or young person, where they are allowed to play with an injury."
 

Mintyref

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
If you follow my action you first get the player off the pitch......coach or trainer has been on.........restart, tell them you will not allow the player back unless at a stoppage......if they try to put the player on, they have at least had a break, probably treatment and you can review the situation. Concussion can be blindingly obvious.......but there can also be delayed onset. If this was suspected because of a head injury then I'd be following refjeffs stance, they ain't coming back on.
Key is to get them off the fop and restart.
 

Mada

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
If someone is “clearly concussed” they ain’t carrying on playing on my pitch. In such circumstances (I.e the manager insists they play on) I would abandon.

However, that is easy to write, the difficult part is assessing that they are “clearly concussed”

That's an interesting one as you would need to conduct your own checks to reach that conclusion which again wouldn't be our responsibility as a referee. If they are clear concussed and it's something everyone can see then I guess abandonment is the only option if the manager refuses to substitute them.
 

Peter Grove

RefChat Addict
I got concussed once (playing rugby, not football as it happens). I still don't remember anything after getting on the plane the night before to fly down for the game but apparently after it happened I was wandering aimlessly around the field in a complete daze, not even following the ball or the direction of play and unable to answer even the simplest of questions. You didn't need any kind of medical training to know I was concussed.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
If you follow my action you first get the player off the pitch......coach or trainer has been on.........restart, tell them you will not allow the player back unless at a stoppage......if they try to put the player on, they have at least had a break, probably treatment and you can review the situation. Concussion can be blindingly obvious.......but there can also be delayed onset. If this was suspected because of a head injury then I'd be following refjeffs stance, they ain't coming back on.
Key is to get them off the fop and restart.

Though nothing in the Laws says they have to come back at a restart, just can't come back on until we give permission, which of course we don't have to be quick to give.

And nothing stops us from again stopping and summoning the trainer or manager to attend the player after the player comes on, in which case the player has to leave again . . .

I got a concussion playing in a game many years ago. Coach tried to put me back in a few minutes later, but the stadium started swimming around me when I ran back onto the field--which was lucky for me as it meant I didn't go back in. Modern understanding shows the brain is at much greater risk at that point.

(In AYSO, the large youth soccer organization in the US, if a coach or referee notices concussion symptoms (not a concussion, but symptoms), the player is done for the day. Period. Even if 10 neurosurgeons swear on a stack of bibles there is no concussion. Not necessarily a rule that would make sense for high levels of competition, but does for youth games where there isn't going to be trained medical personnel present. And all coaches and referees have to take concussion training provided by the US CDC.)
 

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
In youth football, sometimes the referee has to be the responsible adult and make calls the alleged responsible adults won't take.

Whether that is calling a pitch unfit to play on, judging someone's behaviour is inappropriate or judging that a child is injured and there is a safeguarding concern.

The call needs to be made, whether that fits in with the laws of the game or not
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
In some of my games the coaches had to ask themselves if i was clearly concussed! 😂 it was generally copious Guiness but the symptoms are quite similar!
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
No different to the league cup final last year, Chelsea were ordering Kepa to go off, he refused to go, he stayed on. Not really a lot the referee can do about it.
 

Hoosier Ref

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Haven't been around lately... Here is the thing. If they are INJURED and it is serious, as deemed by the referee, the referee must ensure they are removed from the FOP. If the referee has waved on medical treatment for the player, the player must leave the FOP. If they do not it is unsporting and they should be cautioned. If they continue to refuse to leave the FOP, I think a case can be made for a 2nd caution. A non-injured player refusing to sub off is something totally different. That player stays on the field and cannot be ordered from the FOP. A player with what the CR feels is a serious injury.... different story. I'd be shocked if they wouldn't leave after the first caution. If they are showing concussion symptoms, this is a serious brain injury. They do not re-enter the FOP unless the CR is satisfied that they are NOT seriously injured (depends on how your league, association, etc. Around here, they must be examined by the trainer and cleared).

I have had one instance with a clear head injury in a high school game. A ball into PA and two players cracked heads. One took a driven forehead into her temple, came down and immediately went to ground holding head. Game was stopped immediately and there was a trainer on the sideline. I spoke to the player and she was disoriented. She wanted to stay on the field as it was a playoff game and they were down a goal late in the game. I directed her off the field to be examined by trainer. The coach tried to argue and refused to sub. I informed him that the game would not continue with the player on the field and that he could play short or sub (return subs allowed). I don't recall which he opted for but she left the field and was cleared to return in a few minutes (really surprised she was cleared).

  • stops play if a player is seriously injured and ensures that the player is removed from the field of play. An injured player may not be treated on the field of play and may only re-enter after play has restarted; if the ball is in play, re-entry must be from the touchline but if the ball is out of play, it may be from any boundary line. Exceptions to the requirement to leave the field of play are only when:
    • a goalkeeper is injured
    • a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need attention
    • players from the same team have collided and need attention
    • a severe injury has occurred
    • a player is injured as the result of a physical offence for which the opponent is cautioned or sent off (e.g. reckless or serious foul challenge), if the assessment/treatment is completed quickly
    • a penalty kick has been awarded and the injured player will be the kicker
  • ensures that any player bleeding leaves the field of play. The player may only re-enter on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped and there is no blood on the equipment
  • if the referee has authorised the doctors and/or stretcher bearers to enter the field of play the player must leave on a stretcher or on foot. A player who does not comply must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour
 

pankaye

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
i see a lot of people say referees cannot enforce substitution. and I agree in principle for adult players who have mental capacity. however what if it was youth players. How ill that come reflect on the calculus.


In a tight u14 cup final, a player for away team is acquires a leg injury. the coach examines her and tells her "you are my best player. go out there and win us the game" the coach clears her to play. to your untrained eye, she seems to be struggling to walk. you ask her if she is alright, but with tears in her eyes she says no but she doesn't "want to let her team down" and wants to play and insist on playing. It is clear to you that she is injured seriously enough that she should not be playing. there are only 15 minutes left to play in the game and the teams have used all their subs.

what action would I take? I always thought child protection principles meant the welfare and safety of the child trumps the LOTG, or what that child wants:
 

Nij

Well-Known Member
i see a lot of people say referees cannot enforce substitution. and I agree in principle for adult players who have mental capacity. however what if it was youth players. How ill that come reflect on the calculus.


In a tight u14 cup final, a player for away team is acquires a leg injury. the coach examines her and tells her "you are my best player. go out there and win us the game" the coach clears her to play. to your untrained eye, she seems to be struggling to walk. you ask her if she is alright, but with tears in her eyes she says no but she doesn't "want to let her team down" and wants to play and insist on playing. It is clear to you that she is injured seriously enough that she should not be playing. there are only 15 minutes left to play in the game and the teams have used all their subs.

what action would I take? I always thought child protection principles meant the welfare and safety of the child trumps the LOTG, or what that child wants:
You still can't enforce a substitution, even for children. Trying to do it and "LOTG be damned" would be grounds for a competition appeal and potential disciplinary action against the referee, and rightfully so.

If you believe a youth player is being forced to play through serious injury, and this is detrimental to their health beyond the expectation a game of football, you instruct the team official to remove her from the field, and you abandon the match if they refuse. There is no option in between.
 
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