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Question Number: 33494

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 6/30/2019

RE: Under 12

steve of havant, hants england asks...

If after a ball has been kicked and is in the air the ref blows full time , and the ball goes into the net , does goal count ?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Steve,
Time is up when the referee decides it's up. When he blows his whistle, that's it.

Futsal is different - if time expires after the ball is kicked, the half doesn't actually end until the ball goes out or another player touches it.

With stoppage time most referees will find a couple of extra seconds for that extra kick - only because stoppage time can be a little imprecise to start with. But that's not written into the laws - rather it's a convention that's crept into the game.

I know at, say, tournaments games often don't have stoppage time. Where I spent most of my years refereeing in Australia, that particular region had instructions to not apply stoppage time to any game except first grade. Reason being that there just wasn't time - there might only be 5 minutes scheduled between games - and you've already lost this with the halftime break, let alone everything else the referee has to do between games! In those games, I would apply it strictly and I had no qualms about ending the half while the ball was in mid-air towards an open goal. I have, in fact, done so. Because under those particular conditions, I believe it would be unfair to the defending team.
If there's no stoppage, and the half ends at 45:00, then logically there's no reason why a goal scored at 45:01 should count.

I included discussion on non-stoppage time games because I don't know the circumstances of the game you're referring to. But either way - time ends when it ends.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
When time fully expires and time is up with the whistle sounded no further play is allowed.
Timing has always been an issue and there are two schools of timing. One is where the timer reaches zero and the whistle sounds no matter what. In those instance the referee stops the watch for all stoppages such as injuries, substitutions etc. when the watch reached zero the whistle sounds.
The other method is where the referee allows a discretionary amount of added time for the same stoppages so he / she can find a second or so to allow the final play to finish out.
In your instance the referee has used the former method so when the timer reached zero the game is over.
Either method is acceptable and in the US with NF High School timing the exact timing method is a feature.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steve,
In the situation you describe, the goal does not count. As soon as the referee's whistle goes, time is up and no further play is allowed. Now, since time-keeping is not an exact science and the referee is the sole judge of when time has expired, in my experience many, if not most referees will allow a second or two extra when the ball is in the air heading towards the goal, to see the outcome.

Not all, however - there was a well-publicized incident a couple of years ago when a referee in an English league match blew for half time just after a player hit a shot at goal but before the ball crossed the line. The decision was controversial and the referee received criticism from various quarters but the goal did not count. There's a report and video of the incident on the link below.

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