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Question Number: 29704

Law 7 - Match Duration 9/14/2015

RE: Varsity High School

Ronda of Aliquippa, pa usa asks...

If the ball is in the air when the clock runs out of time, when is its considered a goal?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Under high school rules, when the clock expires, the match is over. The ball must have completely crossed the goal line before time expired for it to be a goal. There is no "in the air" rule, as in basketball.

Under the laws of the game, the referee has discretion to add time. But, the same result follows if the ball has not crossed the goal line when the referee determines that the match is over. It is rare for a referee to stop play while the ball is in the air - but it has happened.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ronda
In NFHS rules the game is ended when time has fully expired. So for a goal to be scored the ball must have crossed the line before the time ended and the whistle sounded.
In FIFA games the referee has a little more discretion in that he can wait the second or so to see the outcome. The timing method used is less exacting in that a referee can *find* a second or so in added time which is usually a mixture of stopping the watch for say injuries and making a lost time estimate for the number of substitutions made. Having said that some referees manage their watch like the timing clock in a NFHS game stopping it on each occasions and when it reaches zero the whistle is blown no matter where the ball is.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa

Soccer is not like basketball or football. When the time is up, the game is over; regardless of where the ball is. In high school it is very black and white. Clock hits zero, game is over. In a FIFA game, the game is over when the referee decides time has elapsed. This gives the referee the power to allow a goal to be scored within a few seconds of the end of the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

If the ball had not crossed the goal line prior to time expiring, there is no goal scored. As indicated in Rule 7-1-4 in the NFHS Rules book, a period shall end at the expiration of time. The only exception is to permit a penalty kick to be completed. Please note that the timer may assist the referee in determining the position of the ball when time expires as is indicated in Rule 6-2-3d on page 35 of the NFHS rules book.

I do hope that you have a successful season.

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