The Duration of the Match
TIME WASTING AND THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
My State association has just approved unlimited substitutions for next year. I have seen a post on your site for a similar question, but some scenarios were not discussed. I am sure the coaches will think of many ways to delay the game with these substitutions.
While Advice to ref explains the substitution ins and outs, I cannot find any information on whether a player MUST come on, after being beckoned by the ref or some examples that IMO end up being time wasting. (My guess is not)
Player A is ready at the centerline. Coach calls for substitution. Ref acknowledges substitution request. While Player B is in the process of coming off, coach tells ref that s/he does not want to sub anymore.
IMO = Time wasting, but player B can either stay on or go off (had permission to leave)
Player B has come off, referee beckons player A on, but coach decides not to send player A.
a) wants a different player (My call would be to continue the game with or without player B or A, not waiting for the new player and to tell the coach to have that "new" player ready for subbing at the next opportunity.
b) doesn't want to sub anymore
Any advice on what is best and most practical (assuming proper subbing procedures)?
Answer (November 19, 2005):
The referee can and may not ignore requests for substitutions for any reason other than to ensure that the substitution conforms to the Law. Even if it seems that the purpose is to waste time, the referee cannot deny the request, but should exercise the power granted in Law 7 to add time lost through 'any other cause.'" And, as Law 7 tells us: "The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee." In other words, the amount of time added is up to the referee.
If the substitute has reported correctly to the match official (fourth official or the assistant referee on that side of the field) before the stoppage, the referee, upon recognizing that fact, should allow the player to leave the field and the new player (substitute) to enter the field. If the immediacy of the restart (which is the right of the team with the restart) naturally draws the referee's attention away from any pending substitution requests, then the substitution will have to wait. A substitution, if properly requested, is a right not to be lightly denied. There are only two reasons to do it: Either the substitute is not ready or the team with the restart wants to restart immediately.
We need to remember that technically it is the player who requests the substitution, not the coach or any other team official. If the new player (at the direction of the coach or on his/her own) decides not to enter the game, then simply restart the game without the player who has left the field. The team will have to play down a player until the new player decides to complete the substitution process--but that new player will have to get the permission of the referee to enter. This will soon put a stop to any more foolishness by the coach. The failure of the substitute to enter the game when the referee has given permission could be regarded as delaying the restart of play, a cautionable offense.
There is of course another issue--namely, the ability of the player on the field to refuse to exit. This also is the player's right, no matter what the coach wants and no matter how much the substitute may want to enter. Again, becoming aware of this situation, the referee can simply restart play leaving the player on the field and the coach and substitute fuming on the sideline. Life is tough.
ENDING THE PERIOD OF PLAY
I am a new Level 09 referee. I need some guidance about how a match ends. I understand that if a penalty offence occurs at the end of match time the penalty kick is taken. Are there any other set play situations that require carrying them out, such as free kicks, corners and goal kicks, that need to be taken after time has (just) ended?
Answer (May 6, 2008):
There is no set or particular moment to end a game. Law 5 empowers the referee to act as timekeeper and to keep a record of the match. Law 7 instructs the referee to add time (at his discretion) for time lost in either half of a game or in any overtime period for the reasons listed in Law 7 (Allowance for Time Lost). Referees allow additional time in all periods for all time lost through substitution(s), assessment of injury to players, removal of injured players from the field of play for treatment,wasting time, as well as "other causes" that consume time, such as kick-offs, throw-ins, dropped balls, free kicks, and replacement of lost or defective balls. Many of the reasons for stoppages in play and thus "lost time" are entirely normal elements of the game. The referee takes this into account in applying discretion regarding the time to be added. The main objective should be to restore playing time to the match which is lost due to excessively prolonged or unusual stoppages. Law 5 tells us that the referee's decisions regarding facts connected with play are final.
Some referees will end the playing period while the ball is in play and there is no threat to either goal, such as allowing a team to take a goal kick and then ending the period. Others will end the playing period at a stoppage. Our advice is to do what is comfortable for the referee and fair to the players.
The referee must always add time lost; however, as Law 7 tells us: "The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee." In other words, the amount of time added is up to the referee.
To that we can only add that we sometimes find that referees abandon good sense in situations such as this.
And finally, to answer your specific question, no, a penalty kick is the only restart required by Law to be completed even though time is over (including additional time allowed for time lost due to excessively prolonged delays).
DURATION OF EACH HALF
I was the official of a game that started 10 minutes behind schedule. Before the game, I advised the teams that the 1st half was going to be reduced 10 minutes but, the 2nd half was going to be the 45-minute half. I was a little skeptical in my decision because I have seen other referees adjusting each half equally for the time that was behind schedule (ie, if 10 minutes behind, then 40 minutes halves). None of the teams made any comments nor did my assistant referees.
What is the procedure to do this?
Did I make the correct decision?
Answer (July 21, 2009):
Unless there is something in the rules of the competition in which you were refereeing that permits the referee to arbitrarily shorten periods of play, then you have to follow the Laws of the Game.
LAW 7 - THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
Periods of Play
The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two teams. Any agreement to alter the duration of the periods of play (for example, to reduce each half to 40 minutes because of insufficient light) must be made before the start of play and must comply with competition rules.
As you can see, the Law calls for "two equal periods," not one of 35 and one of 45. If you are going to shorten the periods, you must get the agreement of BOTH teams and make the decision that is fairest to all concerned. This must be done before the game begins. (And, if you were being assessed, the game would not count because the full amount of time was not played.)
GUIDANCE ON ADDING TIME
How do I determine how much time to add to a period of play
Answer (March 13, 2011):
In the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees, we find under Law 7:
Allowance for Time Lost
Many stoppages in play are entirely natural (e.g. throw-ins, goal kicks). An allowance is to be made only when these delays are excessive.
The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play.
The announcement of the additional time does not indicate the exact amount of time left in the match. The time may be increased if the referee considers it appropriate but never reduced.
The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half by increasing or reducing the length of the second half.
The U. S. Soccer Federation has determined some suggestions for referees in this area. The referee must make allowance for time lost, but must use common sense; if the time lost is less than the suggestions below, add only the actual time lost.
Substitutions - 30 seconds
Assessment of injury (simple) - 30 seconds
Assessment of injury (rainier) - 60 seconds
Removal of injured player - 2-3 minutes
Time wasting - 15-30 seconds
Wasting time (goal kick, corner kick) - 30 seconds
Any other cause (simple) - 15-30 seconds
Caution - 30 seconds
Caution with injury - up to a minute (or more)
Send-Off - 60 seconds
Send-off with injury - up to a minute (or more)
Goal celebration - 60 seconds
Bench ;problem - 60 seconds
Goalkeeper violations - 5-6 seconds must be enforced
Remember that these are only SUGGESTIONS. The decision of the referee is final