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Question Number: 31096

League Specific 12/8/2016

RE: competitive Adult

Jacob of Malindi, Kenya asks...

Thank you for your help! However, I wish to seek for an elaborate interpretation of law 7 in relation to what actually happened. Law 7 part 1 says the period is 45@ half and a maximum of 15 min break. It adds that the duration can be changed through a decision made between the two teams and the ref, and (the decision) is in line with the competition rules. Now, say the ref is in the FOP by 5.15 pm but with the two teams still lined up at the touch line sorting some issues. The office is aware of the competition rule but they tell you to wait so then the earliest time for kick off becomes 5.40pm. How is the procedure of the law 7-1 above here? you call the teams and ask them if they are comfortable to play that match within those remaining minutes (by using the captains)? And you cross check with the available competition rules? Is that so? And if no rule which allows the game to be played, like in the previous scenario, but the office insists you officiate the match which law 7 are they using? Law 7 -1 allows competition rules to be used, and to my understanding by directing the ref to go on officiating the office's verbal directive instantly became a rule? Should these competition rules be those written before the league started or anything (including verbal) said anywhere by a member of the office?
Enjoy your December!!!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jacob
Let me tell you how I would handle this situation. When the two teams are ready to play I call the captains. I tell them that in my opinion there is 50 minutes (estimate it on the time left to dusk) of playing time available as the game will end at 6.30. I inform both captains that it is 25 minutes a half with a quick turnaround at half time for some water, short break etc.
The game then ends and I report that the game was played over 50 minutes.
If the teams are unhappy then I revert to the competition rules to sort out any issues. In the absence of rule the LOTG applies.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jacob,
Unfortunately, if you want a definitive answer to your scenario based on Law 7, I don't think you are going to get it. Law 7 only deals with the duration of the match and not with either the actual kick off time or the relationship between local competition organisers, their rules and how they implement them in relation to the match officials.

In my experience local competition rules are usually fairly flexible, expecially in terms of getting games to go ahead and not have to re-schedule them, which is a hassle for everyone involved. I used to referee in a league where the ROC said that a game could be abandoned if it had not started within 15 minutes of the kick-off time. I can tell you that games frequently kicked off later than that, especially on days with lots of back-to-back games.

I think ref McHugh has given the 'common sense' (sometimes known as Law 18) response here - get the match to go ahead and include the details in your match report.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jacob,
silly people in silly situation make silly choices. Smarter more compromising people make smarter choices.The Law 7 is simply a format by which a match can be reasonably concluded. You have unreasonable people chances are the match might not have a justified conclusion but be challenged or forfeited! A referee does his best and reports or records what happened and why he took the actions he deemed necessary.
Cheers and Merry Christmas

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