Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 29007

Law 7 - Match Duration 11/24/2014

RE: copetitive Under 16

Darin of coeurdalene, id usa asks...

The ref may change a decision 'provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match'. (quote from 2013-14 laws of the game)

I understand the restart part, i.e. calling back a goal after realizing there was an offside. Provided the game wasn't restarted. My question is on the termination part. Here is what happened.

In the pre-tournament ref meeting it was made clear not to ad any time. 'even if the ball is in the air, blow the whistle'.
I was the AR and the center ref allowed about 30 seconds to let the play finish out. The white team scored. The ref then called the end of the game. I asked the center if he 'added time'. He said 'yes, I always let play finish'
When I told him the tournament rules he told me he did not attend the earlier meeting.

So the question is, can and/or should he call back the goal?


Resending this AGAIN let us know if you got it???

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Darin
As play was allowed to continue and the game had not been terminated the referee could not call back the goal. Now the referee made a timing error. His only option would have been to report the timing error but that is extremely unlikely as most tournament organisers would prefer not to have to deal with such a situation and many would see seconds to finish out play as trifling even in a fixed time game.
Put it another way. He would also have been in error to disallow the goal had he done so.
I would also make the comment that fixing game time so rigidly without discretion is unhelpful. If the ball is in the air destined for the goal it is not in the spirit of the game to end it at that exact moment. It does not happen normally in most games so why do something that is contrary to accepted norms.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


The referee has added the time, a goal was scored, and the match was terminated. Nothing can be done after that point BY THE REFEREE. If the tournament had spelled out in its rules of competition that there was to be no added time and the team could prove that time had elapsed, this may be grounds for a protest. That said, I understand tournaments are moneymakers but I stay far away from tournaments that do not allow added time.

Read other questions answered by Referee James Sowa

View Referee James Sowa profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Darin,
in my opinion no, the goal stands I would not bring it back as it were!!
I am not a big fan of ROC changes to fundamental referee duties . If the time frame to get games in and field use is so tight then start and end all matches with a clock and horn signal so no deviation is possible. These changes should be POSTED for ALL to see, not briefly discussed at a single meeting.

It is as unfair to extend a match as it is to shorten a match so whistling for a stoppage once time is completed is certainly indicated within the LOTG. We do not punish a team that has defended well to suffer by allowing an attack to go on and on , but rather allow natural play to run its course. Paying attention to the actual circumstances surrounding the end of the match. Time is indeed relative and rarely to the microsecond!

That said if time is at the discretion of the official and he says, that's all folks, then unless there is some other monitoring system in play there will not be recourse to appeal. Even under the actual LOTG if a match is ended TOO soon it can be rectified to some extent but once it is extended too far, the referee can only report the circumstances and whether tournament officials want to crack this nutter open, is debateable at best!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 29007
Read other Q & A regarding Law 7 - Match Duration

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.