Monday, October 24, 2011
Last June I wrote some notes on the practice of players 'taking a knee' during an injury. It has been mentioned by a reader that some action, taking a knee or huddling together, keeps the other players from crowding around the injured player. That's a good point. If other players crowd around they may aggravate the situation. At the least they are in the way of the first aid responders and the referee. The coaches and/or team mangers are the most likely first aid responders and the referee must be near the injured player as the safety of the players is the referee's primary responsibility during a match.
It has also been brought up that having the players who are not injured go toward their team's technical area may be somewhat unfair. Here are comments on that approach to the situation by the Technical Director for Montana Youth Soccer.
"Just read your blog on (take a knee). Personally I am not in favor of taking a knee and yes it's not in the Laws of the Game. But you recommended players coming to the side line for some brief instruction from the coach. Here is where I disagree with you. It may be illegal to coach during an injury. I DO NOT think a coach should be taking advantage of a team due to injury. One coach has to help his/her player, the other gets to coach his/her team. If not against the Laws, definitely against the spirit of the game. I instruct my high school team to get together at the top of the box with the goalkeeper to discuss the game amongst themselves. Just food for thought."
Both comments are valid points made from a practical perspective of coaches. So if there is an injury, which causes a time out call by the referee, then the players should stay on the field of play, get some water, perhaps talk among themselves about the match if they are mature enough to do so and be ready to resume play at the referee's indication to do so.