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Rolling substitutes to be allowed in FA trial

Football News 24/7
Earlier in the year, permission was granted by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for The FA to temporarily modify the laws of the game and allow more flexibility with substitutions in any age group whose matches are solely for amateurs and are not part of their most senior domestic competition. Boys’ Under 17s and 18s and men’s open-age football are included in certain leagues whose member clubs agreed to take part in the trial.

Particular youth age groups, plus women’s, girls’, disability and veterans’ leagues, have had the option to implement these substitution modifications for some years already. IFAB, in making their decision about this trial, have made it clear that, for the adult trial to progress any further after the two seasons, they want to see evidence that the pilot has a positive impact on retaining and growing the number of players participating in 11v11.

The Essex County FA wrote to each competition and outlined the process to complete should they wish to try the experiment in 2012/13. It was requested that all leagues place the option to their members at their annual general meetings and they had to make it clear that the pilot is for two seasons only, after which the IFAB will review the decision. Referees and clubs involved in regional league should check with their competition whether they’re involved.

Open-Age Leagues Involved: Braintree & North Essex Sunday League, Chelmsford & District Churches League, Chelmsford Invitation League, Essex County Women’s League, Harlow & District Sunday League, Ilford & District League, Southend Borough & District Combination, Southend Sunday League, The Under 21 League. Also youth leagues with Under 18s sections and all County Cups apart from the Essex Senior, Saturday Premier and Women’s Cup.

Guidance for Referees and Clubs When Managing Repeat Substitutions

Law 3 states that, in all matches, the names of the substitutes must be given to the referee prior to the start of the match. Any substitute whose name is not given to the referee at this time may not take part in the match. To replace a player with a repeat substitution, the following conditions must be observed:

o the referee must be informed before any proposed substitution is made
o the substitute only enters the field of play after the player being replaced has left, and after receiving a signal from the referee
o the substitute only enters the field of play at the halfway line and during a stoppage in the match
o the substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play
o from that moment, the substitute becomes a player and the player he has replaced becomes a substituted player
o the substituted player may, under this experiment, then take further part in the match and replace a player
o there is no limit on the number of repeated substitutions that can be made.  However, if the match official believes that a team is delaying the restart of play, then appropriate action will be taken
o all substitutes are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee, whether called upon to play or not

Referees are advised to control the ‘repeat substitution’ procedure and manage it effectively, ensuring they have a record of which players are on the field at any one time. This is especially important if a cup match requires a result by kicks from the penalty mark, where only players who complete the match (i.e. are on the field at the final whistle) are permitted to participate.

Referees are reminded that the laws of the game must be enforced and repeat substitutions cannot be used as a form of disciplinary action to replace a caution or dismissal. Clubs are responsible for informing the referee when they wish to make a substitution.

Thanks to Essex Fa for this contribution - for more info visit www.essexfa.com

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