I have had some injury situations recently that left some folks (players, fans) unhappy with my process for dealing with them. So I wanted to start a discussion to see if/how I can improve. First of all, the bad injuries are easy. As I have stated to numerous players and coaches, if I see blood or bones, I'm stopping play. If I don't, then I am using my judgement. Same with obvious head injuries. Instant whistle. The grayer area is in a competitive game (not a kiddie youth match) when a player is down with apparent injury and the play/ball is moving away in the control of the other team. If my snap judgment is minor injury and in my experience 90+% of these end up with player continuing to play in the game. So I will allow play to continue until opponent gives up the ball. Other refs have said things like - we are not doctors and should stop play immediately for apparent injuries. I say, we have to interpret all events on the pitch and don't want players thinking they can stop game by being "injured". Some examples: 1) I was doing a 15UG premier game and a girl went down at midfield and other team had an attacking opportunity. She is sitting up holding her leg. Her teammates are indicating she needs help. I do the swivel head thing looking at play, looking at girl. No immediate danger, play on. Leather lungs from the stands bellows "what the hell is wrong with you!". Attacking team loses the ball and I blow whistle. Whole episode took about 7 seconds. Coach comes out and takes player off. She is back playing in 5 minutes. 2) Another 15UG game and almost same scenario. Girl goes down like a ton of bricks at midfield for what I thought was trifling bump. She is prone on the ground and not moving. Same scenario with play moving away in attack. I look back - still prone. Look away to see attacking team lose ball and blow whistle. Look back really worried that I messed this one up and she is gone. I can't find her and she had obviously gotten up and resumed play. Almost like the little kid, who when parent does not validate the boo-boo, decides I'm not really hurt. 3) U15B Cup match - boy goes down with apparent minor injury. Other team controls ball and makes a pass, then starts dribbling directly at the injured player. I whistle to stop play. Attacking team protests, but I told them it became dangerous when they moved into his vicinity. 4) Slightly different topic - same U15B match - 2 boys chasing ball into the corner, defender a step in front. Kid behind (attacker) goes down for no apparent reason. Defender corrals ball and turns then just looks at the kid on the ground. I did not see a foul and am waiting for something to happen. Nothing does, so I blow the whistle. Turns out attacker got hit in mouth from a swinging arm. I consult with AR2 who says it was incidental contact due to running motion. I was originally going to call a drop ball, but given that the defender (unintentionally) hit the attacker, I'm giving a DFK to the attacker. Fans are upset because I had not originally called a foul and coach asked about it after game. We can hope that attacking team would demonstrate sportsmanship and kick ball out, but when this does not happen, there is no reason to penalize them for a non-foul injury to the other team. I know this is an extremely subjective area and also one where if we make the wrong call, it can be a big deal. But I also know that in the 1700 games I have reffed, I have needed an ambulance twice. A15-30 second delay in treatment is not going to make a different in 99.9% of these situations. What say you?