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Question Number: 29686

Law 7 - Match Duration 9/11/2015

RE: Rec High School

Austin Eshmont of Glen Allen, VA United States asks...

You suspend the game in the 89th minute because of severe weather. The Blue team is leading the White team 5-1. Play is not able to continue due to rapidly approaching darkness and no lights on the field. Both coaches agree that you should declare that the game is complete and the Blue team is the winner. This is the correct decision.
True or False.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Austin, the referee does not have authority to declare the winner, that is up to the ROC. The referee records the particulars in the match report, the league decides the outcome! We are not permitted to award different times to the halves unless it was agreed on prior to the competition but they must in law be equal!
So I say FALSE
Still with a minute left time is relative so there is nothing preventing a consensus of standing around for a minute in a safe place then blow for full time. lol Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Austin
Referees have no authority to decide the outcome of an abandoned game. That is a matter for the competition organisers to decide on based on the referees report. I suspect that the result might be allowed stand by the review panel in such circumstances.
So the answer to your question is false.
Now the reason such questions are framed is to highlight that referees have no authority in these matters. We might all be tempted in the 89th minute with agreement of both teams to declare the game complete. That is not our decision to make. In a NFHS game the game clock is a matter of record and there may be an official timer in control of a stadium clock. If the clock is stopped then starting play again is the only way to start the game clock again. That is not an option in severe weather cases.
In a FIFA game the referee might not stop his watch to consider the safety aspects of continuing and perhaps make no allowance for any time lost so that when he has finally made up his mind his watch has reached the 90th minute so he can end the game.

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