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Question Number: 32721

High School 9/18/2018

RE: Competitive, class 2 High School

Mark Brodis of CASTLE ROCK, CO United States asks...

At a recent game there was no public visible clock, the refs kept time themselves (which is not uncommon at this level). It was near the end of regulation time, game was tied, the visiting team made a goal and as the team was celebrating the ref waved off the goal saying that time had actually ran out and the game's regulation time was over (ended up playing an overtime period).

There was no whistle blown, there was no indication by either ref (team of two) that the regulation time had expired until after the goal was scored, and even then many seconds after the goal was score. I suspect it was after the goal was scored the ref looked at his watch and realized the game had ended '30 seconds before or such.

My question is...if the ref did not make it known that the game was over, then was the game really over? In this case he dis-allowed the goal and the teams played a 20 minute overtime period and ultimately ended in a tie. I am surprised that a ref could dis-allow a goal when there had been no indication that the time of the game had expired, neither ref had said or done anything to indicate the end of the game, both teams were playing full speed, etc.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
Always an unsatisfactory situation. To me if play was not whistled dead with the game ended I think it is unfair to decide that the game should have been ended 30?seconds previously.
In equity I believe that if play continued with no whistle then unless it was blatantly incorrect I would see the 30 seconds as part of regulation time and allow the goal.
If however the referee was of the opinion that he made a timing error then he was entitled to correct it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


There are two high school rules that cover this situation:

Rule 7-1-4 states that a period shall end at the expiration of time which would agree with the referees ruling. However, rule 9-1-2c indicates that the ball is to remain in play until the referee blows the whistle which he did not do in this situation.

Another rule that is considered in this situation is Rule 5-2 which allows the referee to correct an error if the correction is made before the game is restarted. As you indicated, the referee obviously made an error and, in this case, elected to correct the error and not award the goal. I expect that spectator agreement or disagreement with the referee's decision depends on the team that one favors.

The referee made a mistake and corrected the mistake. I think that the correction was proper and the referee showed courage with this decision. Obviously, if he had let the goal stand, no one would have questioned or got upset with him.

When there is no clock, I try to let the teams know how much time is remaining by calling out with 2 minutes, 1 minute and 10 seconds remaining. However this is sometimes difficult because watching play takes precedent over looking at my watch.

Also, my watch has an alarm that buzzes when time has expired. Apparently, this referee did not have an alarm or the nose level was so great that it was not heard.

I hope that your team has a very successful remainder of the season and has no similar encounters.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mark,
well talk about digging a hole for no reason sigh
I thought the USA high school had a running clock with a horn to end matches? In FIFA matches the referee is the timekeeper and his whistle is usually the signal to end it. The definition for Match Duration is VERY clear under both set of rules or LOTG of a match is comprised of 2 equal halves, both team could be furious given HOW the match is ending the one scored upon was AWARE time was over & complained IF indeed they WERE aware or the team scoring thinking it is unfair to say no gaol when no whistle to end the match HAD occurred! . We have a perception problem now as the questionable mechanics could create doubt in the integrity of the official.

How well they (2 referees) sell this will help dispel animosity but it could leave a taint on the proceedings. They better have an iron clad time reference that is convincing . Given we add time for wasted or lost time , 30 seconds if RUNNING time would not be an issue IF they had added time like 4 extra minutes and they played 6 extra minutes now we are in the realm of match fixing. I feel CONFLICTED because I am all about the integrity aspect KNOWING something for certain but then there is an appearance of impropriety versus the reality of the situation? It is as unfair to shorten a match as it is to extend it to allow for a goal but time is usually somewhat flexible given we waste some during the playing of the match & can make allowances for adding a few seconds at the end of a match. In this case it is the referee's decision his match his reputation!

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