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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30451

Law 7 - Match Duration 5/25/2016

RE: Competitive Under 13

Matt Noah of Fargo, ND USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30450

Thank you both for your excellent responses to my question. I especially enjoyed the Clive Thomas video. In youth soccer, many coaches employ tactics which slow down games in hopes that the game ends prior to the opposing team having an opportunity to score. American football has a rule that a game can't end on a defensive penalty; specifically to stop defenses from holding pass receivers from catching balls, etc. The penalty is called, time is put back on the clock and the offense is allowed another play. This can go on until the defense does not get called for penalties or time expires.

In the corner kick situation, the ball is dead and time had obviously not expired unless the ball went off the pitch at precisely the time when time expired. As others have pointed out to me, 'dead ball' time can be added on to the game at the referee's discretion and everyone seems to have adopted this mentality. Take the corner kick and if a score is not immediate, then blow the whistle to end the half or the game. I would say the same for free kicks. That could be abused more often by different players encroaching on the 10 yard mark-off, the ensuing pace-off by the referee or yellow/red cards for the sole purpose of wasting time and not allowing the free kick to be taken.

Over the years, I have certainly come to realize that the rules are what the referee decides they are, not what is written in the rule book. But that is a different topic, altogether.

Again, I appreciate the insight and clarification. I will pass along your excellent answers to the coaches in my club.

What do you believe is common practice and was Clive Thomas correct in his actions in that game and that corner kick. To prejudice my position, I believe the goal should have stood and that he made an inexcusable error.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matt
Let me be clear about this. Play can be ended when the ball is out of play. The clock does not stop with the ball out of play like some other sports. The reason is that ball out of play is part of the game and its timing. In a 45 minute half it is estimated that the ball is in play for on average 34 minutes. Clearly the 11 minutes when the ball is out of play is not all played out as added time. Only certain lost time is accounted for such as injury, substitutions etc.
So let us say that the ball leaves the FOP at 44.40 with no stoppages to account for. The player who is taking the kick walks / runs from left back position and gets to the ball at 45.00. Assuming there is no reason for the referee to add on lost time the game can and should be stopped for half time before the kick.
In the Clive Thomas incident the ball had left the FOP at some time before 44.40. After some issues with illegal ball placement with the AR and change of kicker none of which involved Swedish players the kick was taken at 45.06. It took Brazil nearly 30 seconds to take the kick which clearly along with the incident involving the AR may have prompted the referee into ending the game as did. He waited until the clock passed 45.00 and then blew it up at 45.06. So entirely correct in law with no refereeing error made although it was frowned on by those in the game as not the done thing. Referee Thomas did not officiate a FIFA game after that incident and some suggest that was the reason.
In respect of common practise most referees will add on time for deliberate time wasting such as encroachment, kicking the ball away, delaying the restart etc. So the restart does get taken when the opponents delay the restart for unsporting reasons.
Many depending on their timing method will also just see a play through to a conclusion by allowing a restart such as a corner kick, free kick, chance on goal. There has to be a time though to decide to end the game. I recall a recent game where I allowed an attacking throw at the end of the game in added time close to the penalty area. Like the corner I felt I would see out the play. The ball in fact went out three times in succession after that and on the third one I ended the game. The attacking team was not too happy yet there was no way I was going to continue play just because of the attacking position.

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