How are Injuries
Handled?

How does ADG deal with injuries and substitutions?

As per Law 33, each team receives an additional substitute and corresponding substitution opportunity. If teams suffer an injury during ADG, the additional substitute ensures that they will not be unfairly disadvantaged.

And as per Law 34, any unused substitutes and or/substitution opportunities from normal play are also carried into ADG.

IFAB allow a maximum of five substitutes per match, with a maximum of three substitution opportunities. They also allow teams to nominate  a squad of twenty-six players. So, up to fifteen substitutes can be nominated prior to the start of a match.

Therefore, for a major competition, even if a team has already used its five substitutes, the manager will still have ten players available on the bench from which to select their ADG substitute.

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What about injury concerns with players cooling down before ADG?

One criticism that ADG sometimes attracts, is that as players cool down they will inevitably suffer more injuries. But data collected by the English FA Medical Research Programme and published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2003-2004 on the timing of hamstring15 and ankle16 strains contradicts this premise. A total of 91 football clubs from the English football leagues committed to the study which occurred over two seasons.

The research found that the two periods when players’ core body temperatures are at their lowest levels,17 namely the first 15 minutes of the match and the 15 minutes immediately following half time, actually contained the lowest number of injuries in both the studies.15,16

In fact, almost half of the reported injuries occurred during the last 15 minutes of each half when body temperatures are actually at their highest. This data supports the notion that fatigue, rather than core body temperature, is the predisposing factor for these injuries.

Before the start of ADG there will be a five to ten minute period where the referee tosses the coin, managers select players and discuss tactics, and the referee records the attacking players. This break will allow the players to rest, rehydrate and lessen fatigue.

While tournaments may elect to play extra time, the author believes that ADG after 90 minutes will be the optimal format.

NEXT: How does ADG Integrate with the other Tiebreaker Procedures?

Learn how ADG might work with Away Goals and Extra Time.