By: Todd Abraham, NISOA Senior Director of Instruction
I received a question about how to deal with misconduct during substitutions as a result of the recent note about substitutions and reporting into the game. In the case where the game was stopped at a legal substitution opportunity and the referee beckoned the substitute A12 onto the field to replace player A6. Player A6 then commits violent conduct before leaving the field of play. The referee ejects player A6 and shows a red card. How many players should Team A be permitted to play with after this incident?
This is another area where the NCAA Soccer Rules and IFAB Laws of the Game are different. The Laws of the Game require that a player leaves the field before the substitute enters so there are never more than 11 players of record on the field at any time. The time associated with substituting may be considered when adding time at the end of a period (often referred to as injury time). The NCAA timing procedures are different in that there is no provision for adding time at the end of the period. Should time be wasted, then the clock must be stopped at that point in time. To avoid time wasting (and frequent clock stoppages) during substitutions, as well as to maintain game flow, the NCAA has decided to allow substitutes to enter the field before the player comes off.
Since that is the case, there may be more than 11 players on the field (when the ball is not in play) during substitution situations. Any of those players may be cautioned or ejected as players during that short time. If either the incoming player (A12) or the exiting player (A6) is ejected the team will be required to play with one fewer field player.