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Question Number: 26869

Law 7 - Match Duration 10/2/2012

RE: Competitive High School

Grant of ., Ontario Canada asks...

Hi refs. In today's Premier match between West Ham and QPR, a player of the team leading 2-1 was cautioned in the 93rd minute. The player feinted taking a free kick, so I assume that he was penalized for delaying the restart.

It seemed harsh to me, but perhaps this is the expectation of professional games? Would you similarly discipline a player in a youth competitive match, or just chastise the player to get on with it?

I know that on IDFK's, I've seen players run over the ball without touching it in order to deceive the opposition, it seems the same situation.


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Grant
The caution was for delaying the restart. In the 93 minute Tomkins clearly was not putting the ball into play quickly enough and in added time this will always attract howls of 'time wasting' from the team that is trailing and its fans.
I have used the caution in those situations where players are clearly intent on not getting on with play, trying to waste as much time as possible out of a restart and it makes no difference what level it happens at. It rarely happens at underage as the players just want to get the ball and get on with play. It is not part of very young players thinking unless instructed to do so by a coach.
As regards feinting that would not be the same unless the circumstances were similar and the 'feint' was to delay putting the ball into play.
As an aside If I could make one Law change in the Laws of the Game I would replace the caution for delaying the restart with turning the ball over to the opponents, a 'use it or lose it' decision. I see players delaying the taking of a throw in, free kick and a caution may be harsh while a decision to turn the restart over would be all together a more appropriate 'censure'. The caution uses up even more time and the opponents don't really see that as 'fair' to them as they want the ball to try to score.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

One would suspect the referee had already warned the team about delays at that point in the game, so the caution is certainly appropriate. There is no requirement to warn, of course.

While the referee is the time keeper and has the power to add back time lost thru such time wasting maneuvers, so late in the game it becomes a serious game management issue. At 93 minutes, we are already three minutes into added time, and such behavior can cause control issues for the referee team and bad blood between the teams.

I doubt you would see this ploy at less skilled and younger levels, unless it is coached, so there would be much less enforcement and/or need for the caution.

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