The Substitute Rule

The Substitute Rule

Revised Edition 26th August 2015

North Staffs Junior Youth League 

Subject: Substitutes in U11-U15 Youth Divisions & Mini Soccer  –   August 2015

To remove any confusion, correct misinformation and provide the latest information, the following is a summary of the substitution rules. In essence, nothing has changed to the Ladsandads principle of giving each player at least half a game of football, the only difference is that the introduction of repetitive substituting has created different scenarios and understandings.

In the Youth section (U11-15) there can be up to 4 substitutes.

All substitutes must be changed at half time to allow these players at least half a game – the exception being if an injury occurs in the 1st half when an injured player may be replaced by a substitute. If the injured player recovers he may go back on later in the game however this must only be at the Referee’s discretion. After half time subs can be repetitive (ie the substituted player becomes the sub and can go back on). However, the players who missed the first half MUST NOT be replaced – if they were, they then would not get half a game.

This rule is not complicated, if people aren’t looking for loopholes.

The ‘half a game’ rule does not mean playing 15 minutes in the 1st half and 15 minsutes in the second half. This is not what the rule is for- half a game is a FULL and CONTINUOUS half (unless interrupted by genuine injury)

If interpreted any other way, it would open the door to keeping the less skilful player on the touch line for longer periods.

The following is an extract from the North Staffs Junior Youth League rules:

Rule 10(G) states:

A Club may at its discretion and in accordance with the Laws of the Game use 4 substitute players in any match in this Competition who may be selected from 4 players.

For Youth Football- for teams in the Under 18 age groups and below, a player who has been substituted himself becomes a substitute and may replace another player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of Association Football.

An extra clause in the rule states:

All substitutes must play at least half a game subject to injuries and rotated each game to ensure that all players have an equal amount of games in the season’

Mini- Soccer: (U7 – U10) there can be up to 4 substitutes.

Mini- Soccer: There seems to be confusion here also, a fixture amounts to 2 games therefore the following extract from North Staffs Junior Youth League Rule 10(G) applies to each game separately.

For Mini-Soccer-any number of substitutions may be used at any time with the permission of the Referee. Entry onto the field of play will only be allowed during a stoppage in play. A player who has been replaced may return to the field of play as a substitute for another player.

All players must be rotated to ensure each player has equal participation during each game’ 

Clive Dean


North Staffs Junior Youth League

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