Coaching During Injury

Published on October 8, 2010


Situation: A player is injured on the field and the referee calls the coach on the field. The coach begins coaching the other players while dealing with the injury. This is a violation of rule 12.14.1. “Athletic trainers and coaches may enter the field only if instructed to do so by the referee; however, it is not permissible to provide coaching instruction to any player(s) while attending an injured player(s). The penalty is a caution or ejection. Do not allow this to occur during the games assigned.

4 Responses to “Coaching During Injury”

  1. I have yet to see the answer to whether a coach can pull his entire team over to the coaching box and give them instructions while a player is down injured. If this is allowed then how do we stop injuries from becoming time outs for coaches and changing the basic nature of the game? How do we know that the player going down is really injured and not part of a “coaching ploy” to get a time out. I do not see why the rule can not be simple and say that the coach may not speak with their players during injuries. The AR on the bench side or the 4th official in big games can monitor for violations. I am tired of gamesmanship ruining our sport.

    • The question posed by Chuck Coan came up at our meeting tonight. The written rule seems to imply that coaching from the coaching box is permissable during injury timeouts. I am waiting for an answer to his question so I can brign it to the attention of my members. Thanks.

      • All: For lack of better terms this issue can be called “borderline” or, by inference, “parallel truths”. Rule 12.14.1 (2) specifically mandates that such options for the coach (or other bench personnel) do not exist during specific injury situations. In short: NO COACHING WHILE ATTENDING INJURED PLAYER(S). At the same time, if the coach ~ or other bench personnel ~ remain in the coaching area, and players gather to hydrate, there IS NO MANDATE against doing so! Indeed, there are guidelines in 12.14.2. that are hard to overcome by mandate. The ‘spirit’ of the law says it’s not a good idea; the ‘letter’ of the law says it “is permissable”. In 49 years on the other side of the touch line I observed referees allow and forbid. That kind of leaves it to the referee’s choice.

  2. As a coach I would say that this is a very bad for the game as it is most likely the case that one team has an injured player and is tending to them. Whilst the other team is talking tactics giving them an unfair advantage.