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: 29686

Law 7 - Match Duration 9/11/2015

RE: Rec High School

Austin Eshmont of Glen Allen, VA United States asks...

You suspend the game in the 89th minute because of severe weather. The Blue team is leading the White team 5-1. Play is not able to continue due to rapidly approaching darkness and no lights on the field. Both coaches agree that you should declare that the game is complete and the Blue team is the winner. This is the correct decision.
True or False.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Austin, the referee does not have authority to declare the winner, that is up to the ROC. The referee records the particulars in the match report, the league decides the outcome! We are not permitted to award different times to the halves unless it was agreed on prior to the competition but they must in law be equal!
So I say FALSE
Still with a minute left time is relative so there is nothing preventing a consensus of standing around for a minute in a safe place then blow for full time. lol Cheers

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Austin
Referees have no authority to decide the outcome of an abandoned game. That is a matter for the competition organisers to decide on based on the referees report. I suspect that the result might be allowed stand by the review panel in such circumstances.
So the answer to your question is false.
Now the reason such questions are framed is to highlight that referees have no authority in these matters. We might all be tempted in the 89th minute with agreement of both teams to declare the game complete. That is not our decision to make. In a NFHS game the game clock is a matter of record and there may be an official timer in control of a stadium clock. If the clock is stopped then starting play again is the only way to start the game clock again. That is not an option in severe weather cases.
In a FIFA game the referee might not stop his watch to consider the safety aspects of continuing and perhaps make no allowance for any time lost so that when he has finally made up his mind his watch has reached the 90th minute so he can end the game.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 29686
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.