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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 24735

Law 7 - Match Duration 3/27/2011

RE: competitive Under 15

aw of ridgefield, ct usa asks...

At the highest level of competition all parties are aware of added time by aid of the fourth official. However, in leagues where there is no fourth official, what are your thoughts regarding informing each team (or manager) of the amount of added time? I would think that if there is a substantial amount of added time (2+ minutes?) it may calm some emotions if the referee made a quick gesture to each team informing them of the added time. Thanks for this great web site!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

In general in tight games it is not a good idea to get involved with players/ team officials regarding time. Players don't have watches so 4 minutes can seem like ages while waiting for the final whistle.
In certain situations it can be advisable to tell the teams. It helps if there has been a long stoppage due to injury and the referee has to play a lengthy period of added time.
I had one regret a few seasons ago in an end of season play off game and I had to play 8 minutes of added time due to a lengthy injury stoppage. During added time the winning goal was scored. Had I informed both teams of 8 minutes added time it would certainly have helped me deal with the after game hassle from the losing team.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

In games without stadium clocks - most youth and amateur games - players will often ask the referee how much time is left. If the ref has time to check and reply, and if players aren't asking every minute, the ref in all decency should answer, including how much stoppage time she has included up to that time. But if the requests get obnoxious, the referee is free to (and correct to) ignore the request.

Often somewhere in the last 5 minutes or so, at a convenient break, I will call out the time left so all can hear.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

There is no established protocol for communicating time left or added in a game to the teams in the absence of TV or fourth officials with boards and I'm glad of that. Each referee will need to determine based on the game at hand whether it is practical to let the teams know the amount of added time, if any, or time remaining.

A great deal depends on the speed of the game, the teams, the competition level, the temperature of the game and the behavior of the teams. A team or player who asks how much time is left or will be added every few minutes ruins it for everyone. If the team captain asks (politely) at an opportune moment, the wise referee is happy to help and will share with both teams. Usually, the ARs will know this as well, as this is communicated by signals among the referee crew in the last few minutes of the game (if the officials are well trained). However, they should never phrase it as 'there are three minutes left/added' as more time may be added. The better terminology is 'there should be about three minutes left, more or less - it's up to the referee'.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

I usually will announce at 'Adding at least X minutes.' (I also usually indicate when there is about 10 minutes left in the half.) I often see the same teams, and it helps greatly in match control when they know I will add time for time delaying tactics during the match. Many players expect referees will never add time. As Ref Maloney notes, however, there are some matches in which letting the players know how much time is left simply tells them how much longer they have to commit mayhem. YMMV.

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