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Laws of the Game


2. Number of substitutions

Official competitions

The number of substitutes, up to a maximum of five, which may be used in any match played in an official competition will be determined by FISA, the confederation or the national subbuteo association except for men's and women's competitions involving the 1st teams of clubs in the top division or senior ‘A’ international teams, where the maximum is three substitutes.

The competition rules must state:

  • how many substitutes may be named, from three to a maximum of twelve

  • whether one additional substitute may be used when a match goes into extra time (whether or not the team has already used the full number of permitted substitutes)

Temporary amendment:

Competition organisers have the option of applying either or both of the following:

  • During the match, each team:

    • may use a maximum of five substitutes

    • has a maximum of three substitution opportunities*

    • may additionally make substitutions at half-time

  • Where extra time is played, each team:

    • may use an additional substitute (whether or not the team has used its maximum number of substitutes)

    • has one additional substitution opportunity (whether or not the team has used its maximum number of substitution opportunities)

    • may additionally make substitutions:

      • in the period before the start of extra time

      • at half-time in extra time

If a team has not used its maximum number of substitutes or substitution opportunities, the unused substitutions and opportunities may be used in extra time.

*Where both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as a used substitution opportunity for each team.

Other matches

In national 'A' team matches, a maximum of twelve substitutes may be named of which a maximum of six may be used.

In all other matches, a greater number of substitutes may be used provided that:

  • the teams reach agreement on a maximum number

  • the referee is informed before the match

If the referee is not informed, or if no agreement is reached before the match, each team is allowed a maximum of six substitutes

Return substitutions

The use of return substitutions is only permitted in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots subbuteo, subject to the agreement of the national football association, confederation or FISA.