NCAA Substitutions

Published on October 16, 2009


From Cliff McCrath:
Not sure how ‘inconsistency’ slipped into the situation. Rule 3.6.2. is explicit: If the LEADING team makes a substitution the clock stops. No debate. It doesn’t matter whether the losing team initiates substitutions or is substituting on its own or chooses to substitute at the same time…the minute a substitute from the LEADING team substitutes the clock stops. Rule 3.6.3. is equally clear: It addresses the issue of either team substituting when neither is LEADING…i.e. a tied game: the clock does not stop. If there is any issue whatsoever it may relate to the fact that the committee didn’t add a 3.6.4. (before the current one) and separate the tie situation from the reference to the ‘losing’ coach. When the rule was introduced the committee believed it was clear enough to include both the tie and the losing coach reference in one rule. If it will help we’ll separate the two in the 2010-11 book. Once again, if either team is not leading i.e. ‘winning’ the game the clock is not stopped on any substitution. If one team is leading and that team substitutes during the last five minutes of the second period only the clock stops…regardless whether the losing team substitutes.

My best to all and I hope this helps.

C. Cliff McCrath, Secretary-Rules Editor NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee

2 Responses to “NCAA Substitutions”

  1. Please advise all referees that the on coming players during any teams substitution do not have to wait for their replacements to exit the field, since this is not USSF where time can be added to the game we must allow these players to enter so game can resume as quickly as possbile, especially since we have a running clock that we cannot adjust any add on time. This comes from my being questioned from teams (especially from New England) that their referees do not allow subs to enter until the team mates they are replacing have left he field. I am as a AR always teling their players to enter the field when subing.

  2. Marty, I take exception to, “must allow these players…”. Substitutions are a part of the game, just like the time to set up for corner kick, goal kick or any other free kicks. While I agree there is very little need to slap hands at the touch-line, it can be necessary. In addition, you “must” at least wait long enough to identify who is going off or run the risk of too many players (or delaying the restart to count). In addition you “should” allow sufficient time/distance to ensure the departing player will not commit any misconduct. Nothing ruins game control faster than allowing a new player on and having the departing person (now a sub) commit a red card infraction for which the team will now NOT have to play short! I am certain you are engaging in these common sense items (and equally certain you are not contradicting the pre-game you had with your center official), but there are folks who would read your post and think it OK (or even a requirement) to send players on immediately after the whistle sounds.
    These games are not USSF, and college players know time cannot be added. If they are wasting time entering or leaving, it is on purpose (usually to draw attention to themselves or to provoke the opponent). When you get questioned, and the players from both teams are jogging or sprinting on and off, explain that substitutions are part of the game and included in the allotted 90 minutes. If it appears to be just one team that walks, a warning or eventually a caution should clear things up.