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Question Number: 29511

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/29/2015

RE: All

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

In applying advantage, can we take into account the time left in the match?

For example: The match score is 0-1 in favor of blue. In the 90th minute a blue player in an offside position within red's penalty area touches the ball (assume offside occurs). Before the ref blows his whistle, the offside player is dispossessed of the ball and red team starts a counter-attack. Stopping play for offside would take too much time to set up the free kick, so it is more advantageous for red team to not stop play and allow the counter-attack with a chance to equalize.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
It is a matter for the referee to decide based on the circumstances. I recently had a situation where a goalkeeper was fouled inside the goal area late in the game. I felt that it was more advantageous to allow play to continue as the goalkeeper had the ball still in her hands which would have allowed her to run to the edge of the penalty area and punt the ball downfield. Stopping play for the free kick would IMO have been disadvantageous.
The only difficulty is that if the advantage goes wrong in the last third it can cause problems for the referee. I might also add that if it is that close to full time whether it makes sense to play advantage and then to frustrate the team by stopping play to end the game having just allowed play to continue with advantage. Time can always be added on for the taking of the free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek,
if you answer our June you call it you might think about the very thing you ask.
In the defending third very little advantage is to be had on most occasions as it takes time to play the ball forward. A free kick can be taken quickly as one team chasing a goal down would be likely to do plus you can add time if there is reason to. If the counter attack was from just shy of the midline perhaps holding off on the whistle if there was a very good chance of attacking and scoring to develop such a decision might prove to be favourable?
Its ITOOTR and their view of the circumstances.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Because the referee can always add time under TLOG, the amount of time left in the match is usually irrelevant to whether or not it benefits the attacking team to allow play to continue on an advantageous attack rather than stop play for the foul. The referee always can add time for the team to be able take the free kick.

It matches where time is fixed (like US high school and US NCAA rules), it can be a critical issue that there may not be enough time for the restart (unless there is a basis under the rules to stop the clock).

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Derek,

It's perfectly reasonable for the referee to consider the amount of time left in the match when considering advantage. Where I've spent most of my years refereeing, the schedule was so tight that we were under strict instructions to never play stoppage time. So, even if there was a hint of advantage in the dying seconds I'd keep play going!

Having said that, at any point in the match you're justified in allowing play to continue if the defensive team recovers the ball after an offside infringement. While you won't normally apply advantage in the defensive third, it's always worth considering if you can see a counterattack is being launched.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

You can take all circumstances into consideration with advantage. Typically we apply advantage on an offside if the keeper is going to get the ball in his hands anyways. With that said, I tend to agree with referee Wickham here as we can always add the time.

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