Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 30555

Law 4 - Players Equipment 6/29/2016

RE: Competitive Adult

Nader of Novi, MI United States asks...

In an adult game, a player was asked by the center referee to go off the pitch and put his shin guard on. His team had only 11 players and therefore as soon as he stepped off the field, they were playing with 10 men.

He fixed the issue and was asking to come in the pitch from his bench and the referee asked him to wait until a stoppage.

Is it necessary for a stoppage to allow this player in as his team was short at the time?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nadar
Yes the referee was 100% correct. In the case of checking equipment or a blood injury that can only be done at a stoppage in play if there is no 4th official. How else could a match official, busy with the game, check the player other then at a stoppage . It is unlike an injury return where the player does not have to be checked. He is deemed fit enough by his team to return so the referee simply signals his return. Many confuse those as similar while clearly they are two differing scenarios.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The new text in the Laws regarding this states:
'A player who leaves the field of play to correct or change equipment must:  
have the equipment checked by a match official before being allowed to re-enter 
only re-enter with the referee's permission (which may be given during play)'

So if the referee has delegated the responsibility of checking equipment to the 4th official, the player may enter before play stops. But since the vast majority of games do not have a 4th official present, we must wait for a stoppage so the ref or AR can check it.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30555
Read other Q & A regarding Law 4 - Players Equipment

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.