The Globe -- Bethlehem
December 1, 1923
A Swing Along Athletic Row

Advocate Substitutions in Soccer Games
Secretary T. W. Cahill has just received and transmitted to the National Commission of the United States Football Association, a report that will figure as one of the most important ever made in football. It is t he report of the special committee appointed by the Council at the last annual meeting to draft a proposed change in the laws of the game, designed to admit of substitutions during the progress of a game of soccer football. The report, brief and direct, is a model of its kind and reflects credit upon the members of the committee, Arthur Sale, of Detroit, Chairman, William S. Haddock, of Pittsburgh and Sam Goodman of San Francisco. The report reads:

"To the National Committee of the United States Football Association: Gentlemen:

Your special committee appointed to draft a proposed changes in the "Laws of the Game" relative to substitutions in competitive games, beg leave to report that they have unanimously agreed upon the following recommendation, to be submitted to the Federation Internationale de Football Association, as an addition to Law 1.

1 -- A maximum of two (2) substitute players, unconditionally, to be allowed in any one game.

2 -- A player who has been substituted for, shall not be permitted to return in the same game.

3 -- No substitutions whatever during the last fifteen (15) minutes of play.

"Considerable thought has been given to this matter, both by correspondence and a personal exchange of views around the table and we respectfully request the United States Football Association to work for its adoption by the Federation, as we believe it will make for the best interests and progress of the game."

While the movement in favor of a change in this rule has perhaps been more widely discussed in this country than in the other soccer playing nations of the world, the demand for a change has not been confined to the United States. In fact, so strong has been the sentiment that the International Board, composed of the best soccer minds in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which has always been the maker of the rules for the world, unbent enough last season to make a change which indicates an assent to the principle of substitutions, but is not clearly enough set forth to help out the situation. The old law merely stated that the game should be played with eleven players on each side. A natural interpretation of this would be that there must always be eleven players on each side to constitute a regular game. But this was, many years ago, constructed to mean that the game should start with eleven players on a side, but that if any player had to be withdrawn because of injury, illness or being banished for rule violations there could be no substitution. Under this it was not unusual to see one club of eleven men overwhelming another with ten or less. It was to remedy this condition the demand for a change in the rules arose.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club