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Question Number: 33304

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 5/3/2019

RE: Under 7

Lauren of Adel, IOWA United States asks...

How many times do you blow the whistle at the beginning, half, and end?
Also, for U7 do they check in and have captains?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Lauren
It is not set out in the Laws just that a signal has to be made. So it is left to each individual referee to decide
Some have mentioned a practise of one whistle to start, two at half time and three to end. I have used it although not all the time.
The key is that the signal should inform players of what is happening and there should be no uncertainty as to what the whistle is for. It will never be an issue to start the game yet if not done properly it can be at half time and at the end of the game.
At Under 7 there are no captains required and local procedures will decide how rosters if any are managed. I suspect at very young ages as it is not competitive rosters are not required except perhaps record who is present.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Lauren,
In terms of the laws there is no fixed protocol for a specific way of whistling to signal a particular point in the game. I have noticed some referees who use the method mentioned by ref McHugh but not everyone follows this and it is certainly not mandatory. I would often use a similar method but not actually using two or three separate blasts of the whistle, more along the lines of a fluctuating loudness of whistle, cycling from soft to loud twice for half time and three times for the end of the game. I have also noticed other referees who do it this way but again, it's up to the individual referee.

As ref McHugh says, U7 games don't usually have captains, but your local U7 competition organisers should hopefully be able to give you some guidance about things like check-ins and whether captains are used, if you ask them.

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