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Question Number: 32851

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 10/28/2018

RE: Under 17

greg of madison, wi usa asks...

sometimes teams are late getting back from halftime. this especially happens in tournaments where there is a strict 5 minute halftime and delays will lead to future games backing up.

i dont want to be a pest to teams about it, but there are times when one team will have their entire lineup out on the field and the other is still on the bench even after calling them out multiple times. i would like to be able to start the clock before kickoff but i figure that is not proper for a referee to do, especially if the winning team is the one not coming out on time.

are there any options besides to keep asking the team to come out? can a coach or captain be cautioned for delaying restart (coach just a warning since cannot be cautioned)

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Greg,
Not a pest just be insistent!
Just like the great singer Aretha Franklin said R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Time wasting sigh it is a curse at tournaments with the inordinate pressure for field use that games simply are scheduled so tight there is little room for leniency.
The best thing is to cut to the chase ASAP.
The LOTG mandate a halftime break, although 5 minutes is pretty short, the LOTG state a maximum 15 minutes but (ROC) Competition rules are allowed to state the duration of the half-time interval and it may be altered only with the referee's permission.
So when you START the game as the captains at the first kick off remind them the half is only a FEW minutes due to tight schedules so not to dawdle & start the 5 minutes break exactly as you end the half.

Now assuming there is not a stadium countdown clock as I have seen a two minute warning and a 1 minute warning for a horn to sound teams informed if they were not ready to play they stood the chance of forfeit or fines!

Personally I hold the directors responsible in tournaments to give the teams the heads up of what COULD occur if they disrespect the referee instructions requiring timed starts given they caused it by the scheduling. Loss of a point or poor conduct report in case of a tie, fine, forfeit etc.. I tend to remind coaches of ten minute halves or fifteen at the 5 minute mark & 2 minute mark & then whistle demanding the teams ON the FOP at the 1 minute mark.

Remind the coaches & captains of both teams (Only 5 minutes! )
At 2:30 minutes WARN the two teams that only 2 minutes remain until kick off . (That extra 30 sec is our decision time) At 3:30 again caution both teams only 1 minute left to take to the FOP but do it in a more commanding tone than before use an index finger to indicate 1 and get up close use a loud commanding no nonsense tone COACH ONE MINUTE captains at center please . At 4 25 Be AT the center circle with ball in your hand, ARs at the ready, you guys need to BE there ahead just to set the example. Hit the whistle with some attention toots if they are not already on their way out. Ask for Captains Or if they are doing a huddle cheer, just call them, 'Let go goes times a wasting! So although you are pressuring the teams to get out into the Field a bit ahead of 5 minutes but in no way have you set a caution or red flag that anyone is in trouble, you were simply advising them of their limited time! If they are dawdling usually means coach is instilling some tactical advise or pumping up the emotion place the ball in the middle of the circle . Look at the watch nodding your head as if counting down getting ready to put the whistle up and if they are IGNORING you or disrespecting your instructions. TO arbitrarily issue a caution show a yellow card to the captain is something I do not agree with even if get into a problem area where a team is obviously dragging their feet, so what other option do you have?

I do not like to threaten coaches with expulsion if teams do not comply but a carefully veiled warning 'Do you really not want to watch the rest of this match coach? You have 15 seconds to get your team on the field of play so we can restart or you could be watching from the parking lot. Seriously guys you need to move it! We are on a tight schedule. This was addressed at the start of the tournament.

I really can not stress do not start the match unless both teams are ready to go. I know it might be frustrating but let that keeper get to his goal unless he is so obtuse, before you let the other team take that shot from center as their opponents are running onto the FOP. I have on one occasion that I can recall cautioned the keeper for delaying the restart because he refused to hustle into the goal after the teams delayed the kick off in a match they were leading . In one or two others where I had a disrespectful keeper waltzing about as the team taking the kick off was his opposition I just signal to restart and watch to see if they try for the open goal.

I find if teams SHOW me that time does not mean anything then those teams gets few benefits from my own idea of time!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Greg
The way that I suggest is that the referee needs to impose himself strongly on the situation by insisting that the players take up their positions. I certainly would not caution the captain but I would be having strong words with the coach. I would be saying things like this game needs to start in the next minute. Please show some respect to the opponents, to the teams that are following on afterwards etc i.e. whatever words the referee is comfortable with.
Another option is to ask the coach for his assistance. Using words like Coach I need your help here. The field is under tine oressure. Can we get started in the next minute?
In some ways the response has to fit the referees character. I know one referee who was a real drill sergeant. He left teams in no doubt about tardy starts / restarts. As an AR I was even wary of him. He would be over with the team barking out instructions to get the game going in a timely manner. He left no doubt or any room for argument as he was going to ensure the game started on time.
My approach is more around looking for adherence to the time and seeking teams help with that. I am still firm yet not bellicose to the extent that I get into spats with teams.

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