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Question Number: 30544

Law 7 - Match Duration 6/26/2016

RE: Under 12

Dave Yearwood of Gillingham, Kent United Kingdom asks...

Today my team was playing a match in a 7-a-side tournament. It was the dying seconds of the game we were losing 4-3 my player scored as the referee started to blow his whistle and went in before he'd blown it for the third time to signal the end of the game. Should that goal have stood?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
The first sound of the whistle is key not the second or third sounding when the game ends. The referee had decided that the game was over and the whistle is the signal of that decision. So in fact the game ended a fraction of a second before the whistle signalled the decision. Subtle point yet an important one.
If the ball did not cross the goal line before the whistle sounded then no goal can be awarded.
Now the referee on the day no doubt made a decision. If he decided that the goal was not scored then that is the decision.
Final point I would make us that there can be a unique competition rule on timing. For instance in Futsal there is an assistant referee responsible for timing. When time has expired he sounds an acoustic signal. If a shot has been taken during the signal the referee waits until the outcome of the shot before using his whistle to end the game. I suspect though that your game was not played under ROCs or that it was timed using the Futsal method in which case the regular law of ending a game applies.if the ball has not crossed the line before the whistle then no goal can be awarded.
BTW the 3 sound whistle is to distinguish the whistle from a free kick etc.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Dave,

Time ends when the referee decides that time ends. The 'end' of the whistle isn't actually of any significance - though in a way, neither is the start; imagine a scenario where time has expired, the referee goes to blow his whistle but drops it instead. It may take 5 seconds for him to find the whistle and blow it - but time actually stopped 5 seconds ago when he decided to blow the whistle. The whistle is simply a signal.

In the past I've refereed in areas where even regular competition games had strict instructions not to apply stoppage time - this was due to extremely tight scheduling. As such, when time is up, it's up - doesn't matter if the ball is in flight to an open goal. Allowing an extra second or two for a goal to be scored in a match under instructions not to apply stoppage time would be unfair to the defending team.

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