« What can we do with $250K? | Main | Correction; mea non culpa! »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Here! Here! My pet peeves precisely. (+ that most leagues don't have frozen rosters, so that players play on 3 teams in 3 different divisions or leagues during the same season. But, hey, that's another blog.) Unlimited substitutions don't develop 90-minute players; unlimited substitutions don't develop smart players; AND unlimited substitution keeps games from experiencing the same ebb & flows that occur if sub's are restricted from re-entering the game. After playing college in US, I played in West Germany in mid-80's and discovered first hand what a benefit limiting sub's is to the game. And back then, we were allowed only 2 subs. The higher amateur levels in the US should restrict sub's from reentering the game according to Law 3 . . . and the quality of play would almost certainly become a lot better.


The amateur roster issue is simple economics. When SFSFL was forced to raise team fees to cover the cost of field usage they helped reduce the burden to the teams. They did this by allowing more players on the roster which keeps the cost that each player pays to play in the league down. They still only allow six subs per game.

While the ideal is substitutions per FIFA guidelines, the reality of managing an amateur team where the players have to pay to play needs to be taken into account. If it gets to expensive then players will drop out and where would that leave us referees?


I gather this is an amateur league? If it is, I have no issue if the league wants to modify the LOTG with respect to subs. This is not a professional league where the letter of the LOTG must be followed. While I agree in principal that unlimited substitutions destroy the flow of games, we are talking about an amateur league. I see nothing wrong with getting players substituted frequently at this level. Older people get tired.

Pat Smith

Being a little older than many of your subcribers,i can recall when we didnt have subs,you played hurt or you played short,In the industrial league i played in in England you only had the referee no linesman my time was rough, but i think it is abused today


Regarding the first item, shame on us. It certainly seems petty. I can only hope someone just wasn't thinking. Which I suppose highlights the fact that a USSF international referee didn't have any input in the hospitality provided our Argentinian friends.

Surely, one of the issues that ought to concern the USSF is how we treat officials of all sorts at international games held in the US. The importance and thoughtfulness (in terms of appropriate knowledge not only hospitality) should not be underestimated. We need to remember that in the soccer universe we are not the superpower to whom others look for direction.

Victor Matheson

I am forced to disagree with Dr. Evans regarding the move to unlimited substitutions in recreational adult soccer. My experience here in Boston is that the strict FIFA substitution rule actually makes the game significantly worse.

Guys who are playing amateur soccer don't want to show up for their game on Sunday not knowing if they are going to get any playing time. Therefore, it is quite common for the "better" Boston league to play games where teams are short players since no one wants to be a substitute in a limited substitution league. In the "worse" Boston league with free subs, games are always 11 v. 11 with a couple of extra guys to cover for injuries that occur during the game because even the guys who aren't starting know they will get 60 or 70 minutes of game time. As a result, these games generally have much better competitive balance than the games in the "better" league. These benefits far outweigh the disruptions caused by occasional substitutions.

I'm not advocating mass substitutions of 7 players every 5 minutes as in U-10 matches, but you guys are crazy if you think the game is best served by having guys waste their weekends coming out to a game so that they can sit on the bench until the 75th minute and then play for 15 minutes.

I have no problem with limited subs in the professional divisions and in a few select amateur tournaments such as the Open Cup, but the rule is completely inappropriate for the 99% of amateur soccer which is played purely for the enjoyment of the game.

The comments to this entry are closed.