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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34125

High School 2/18/2021

RE: Varsity High School

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

NFHS rules, 5 seconds left in the half, red team clears the ball toward the goal and the red striker runs from midfield to collect and shoot. Blue team defender comes from behind and fouls red striker, clear DOGSO. After the foul, but before the clock is stopped, time expires. Can the referee replace time to the clock to allow for the DFK?

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


NFHS Rule 7-1-4 indicates that a period ends at the expiration of time except that play shall be extended beyond the expiration for the taking of a penalty kick.

Although the foul occurred before the period ended, time had expired before the clock was stopped.

In this situation, unless stoppage was an error on the part of the timer, the period had expired and no time should be placed on the clock. If the stoppage was timer error than time could be placed on the clock. (NFHS Rule 5-3-2i.)

I hope that you have a successful girls soccer season.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
Our colleague Referee Manjone has given the NFHS Rules position on this.
It is the same in FIFA games in that no further play other than the taking of a penalty kick is allowed once time has fully expired.
The difference is that in FIFA games the timing is not as strictly managed as NFHS with the referee being the sole timekeeper and he has discretion to make allowance for time lost for injuries, substitutions etc. That discretion can and does allow some latitude in FIFA games by allowing a few extra seconds as many referees only "guesstimate" the added time so those referees would probably deal with the DOGSO and allow a brief restart.
Where a referee has timed the game by stopping his watch each time for time lost then when the watch reaches zero no further play is allowed. That system has been used by some referees and there has been frequent questions on this site about the referee whistling for the end of a half or the game in a promising position. If time is expired then play ends. Each referees has to manage the timing according to the Laws / Rules and use with integrity whatever timing method he has decided on.
If an offence happens during play and time expires the referee can still take the appropriate disciplinary action. In this instance as it is half time a referee in my opinion should take the necessary disciplinary action rather than ignoring it.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek ,
it is a great question. If there is no opportunity to restart how necessary to follow through with the showing of a red card for the DOGSO?

Did the timekeeper and referee communicate correctly so that if the clock COULD be stopped it might play a part for the time to issue and show the red card & for the player to leave the pitch?

What about if the free kick location was in a decent scoring spot and the game tied or the team with the free-kick behind by a goal? Would it not be fair to ensure that DOGSO foul did not rob them of the chance under the auspices of time running out? The LOTG or in this case the rules of high school do permit a PK to occur just not a DFK or INDFK . If the DOGSO had occurred within the PA then we will go forward with the PK. Hard to take if the foul was just outside the PA and through no fault of the free kick taker too much

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