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Question Number: 14805

League Specific 2/5/2007

RE: Senior High School

John Salemi of Ventura, CA USA asks...

February 5, 2007
I was a referee Assessor in a Boys JV game served by two referees doing a Dual Referee system. In the Dual Ref system the "clock" is given to the trail referee and his whistle starts each half and ends each half. In the California Interscholastic Association, non-varsity matches are played with two 35 minute halves with a running clock with no stoppage or added added time. The two referees are designated 1 or 2 with the Ref 1 being the head referee who can decide any disagreement between referees.
At the end of this game the junior referee, #2 signaled with his arms crossed over his head at or near the end of time but did not blow his whistle. He had the "clock". The Senior official allowed play to continue because there was an attack in progress and within a few seconds of the signal a goal was scored after which a kickoff was taken and the whistle to end play was sounded.

In my opinion the two officials did not communicate or signal properly. The Junior official signaled that time was out and this called for stoppage of play even though he did not blow his whistle and even if he was in error about the correct time. The Senior official did not have the clock but he could have blown his whistle and conferred with the other referee. After conference the head referee could inform both benches how much time was remaining and resume play with time starting after the ball was played.

The purpose of the running clock is to ensure that the following Varsity game starts on time. Sometimes the good of the game demands that time must stop to correct and clarify things for both sides.

When I am the official field time keeper I have two watches, one with the running time and the other with the game time including any stoppage by me. When the game time is out I blow my whistle three times, Toot, Toot, Toooooot and point to the center circle to signal game end.

Your thoughts please,

Best Regards,

John Salemi
SCSOA, Unit i, CIF
Ventura, California

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi John,
I dislike the dual system even though I understand the particulars of why it is used. I dislike matches where the time is so rigid we can not forgo a horn sounding the end of a match even though I get the reason of conflicting scheduals and time constrainsts. Either you have a system in place that is CLEAR when you change the laws of the game or you find the compatability of the referees in the performance of their duties is only as good as they are. The match ends when time runs out and why is the referee without the final say the one deciding the final whistle???

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Answer provided by Referee Mike Gartenhaus

You are playing US high school rules, and not FIFA LOTG. It is not up to you to decide to add time, nor is it allowed. All the referee is allowed to do is signal that the clock be stopped for the allowable stoppages (Card, Injury or Penalty Kick), or if on the watch, the watch should be stopped. The clock does not start again until the ball is touched and put back in play. The #2 official in your example did not signal correctly, as two crossed arms over the head is merely the signal to stop the clock, and not that time has ended. Either a referee's whistle, or if the scorebaord clock is used, a horn should sound. The #1 referee was correct in allowing play to continue until the official signal that time was up was sounded.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

In USA high school there are specific times to stop the clock, at all other times the clock runs. In the last 10 seconds the timer, off the field, must count down to the end. When time is kept on the field play ends when time does, there is NO added time. This applies even if the ball is in flight towards goals. When the time ends the match is OVER>>>. Again this is peculiar to USA high school as is the dual system of control. Both are ridiculous.


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Yet another example of why US High School should have just left the LOTG alone. That said, you can't add time in this game, period. I agree with your assessment. The trail Ref has the responsibility to blow his whistle when the game is over, not just give the signal as the other referee cannot be watching behind him and still keep up with play. The goal should never have happened as the trail referee should have blown his whistle. he did not so now these 2 referees have to decides if time had ended ior not. If it hadn't, why did the timekeeper Referee cross his arms. What a mess.

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