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Question Number: 26302

Mechanics 5/7/2012

RE: Rec Under 15

Milo of Thousand Oaks , Ca Us asks...

In a game this weekend, ball crossed the goal line but the AR was slow acknowledging the goal. By the time he did, the goal keeper had punted the ball up the field. There was discussion on how long play can continue before the center could stop the game and award the goal if no stopages and restarts occur?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Milo
There is no time limit on how long it takes for the signal to be acknowledged and the goal to be awarded. The defining moment is the next stoppage and restart. So if play has restarted through a throw in, goal kick, free kick, etc the referee cannot then go back beyond that decision to make a prior decision or to change his mind.
So in your scenario play was not stoppped, the ball was punted down field and as long as there was no stoppage in play with a restart the referee was perfectly entitled to go back to award the goal.
It is poor mechanics and communication between the officials but that is all that it is.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The correct mechanics provide for the assistant referee to sprint to the goal line and raise the flag. It is common for a defender to continue to play the ball that has crossed in and out of play. The flag should remain up until the referee acknowledges it. The other assistant referee should also raise the flag when it becomes clear that the referee hasn't seen the initial signal. When the referee stops play, the assistant's indication that a goal has been scored is to run up the touchline.

Assuming play never stops and then restarts, the referee has until the final whistle to award the goal.

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