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Question Number: 30872

High School 10/7/2016

RE: HS High School

Jason of Binghamton , NY USA asks...

A player is fouled in the box and falls to the feet of another player who scores into an open goal about the time of the whistle. It happens very quickly. Is this a pk or does advantage allow the goal to stand?

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Jason, The ball is out of play as soon as the whistle sounds as is indicated in NFHS Rule 9-1-1. It sounds to me as if the ruling will be a PK, but it would be up to referee team to determine if the ball had gone in the goal before or after the whistle. When something like this happens, the referee often wishes that he/she would have swallowed the whistle so it could not have been sounded. I will now give you an example of something that a referee should never do. In a High School State Championship Semi-final game with the score tied and 20 seconds remaining in the game, the attacking team moved in for a goal. The player with the ball was tripped outside the penalty area. The referee sounded the whistle for the foul, but the attacking player maintained his balance and took at shot at the goal that entered the goal untouched. The referee indicated that the goal was good, and when asked about the whistle, said that no whistle was sounded. The goal was, therefore, counted and the attacking team won the game. In high school play, no protests of referee calls and rules decisions are permitted, and even I, the coordinator of the games, could not overrule the referees even though, many players, coaches and spectator including myself, heard the whistle. What was the referees decision in the scenario that you presented?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jason,

Whether a game is being played under NFHS rules or the Laws of the Game as promulgated by the IFAB, the referee's whistle causes play to be stopped. As Ref Manjone states, it all depends on when the whistle sounded. If it was before the whole of the ball crossed the line, the goal cannot be counted.

So when fouls occur in or around the penalty area it is usually better to be a little slow on the whistle, in case the situation develops in the way you describe.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
Both NFHS and FIFA codes are identical on this. As soon as the whistle sounds no further play is allowed. So if the referee sounded the whistle before the ball crossed the goal line then no goal can be awarded nor can advantage be played. It is for this reason that referees should give themselves a short second or so to wait and see what develops. That allows the referee to play advantage and award the goal.
I recall in a Champions League final between Arsenal and Barcelona in 2006 the referee blew on a foul by the Arsenal goalkeeper. Had he waited a second or so he would gave seen the ball go to a Barca player who scored. Instead he had to award the direct free kick on the edge of the penalty area and send off the Arsenal goalkeeper for denying a goal scoring opportunity. He is on record as regretting making the early call and sounding the whistle. Had he not done so he could have played advantage and awarded the goal. Now sometimes the whistle and the ball crossing the line can be so close that it is difficult to determine which came first and in those cases the whistle has made no impact whatsoever. Some refs sound the whistle for a goal which perhaps allows him to say that it was for the goal he whistled for.

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