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Question Number: 32377

Law 5 - The Referee 4/16/2018

RE: Rec Under 11

Mark Fischer of Armonk, NY USA asks...

A new referee was being mentored by a more experienced referee (both teens), with the new referee as center ref and the more experienced ref as an AR. The new referee blew her whistle to signal the end of the game but not loudly enough, so play continued and a goal was scored, giving a victory to the team that scored it. The more experienced ref did not realize at first what happened. I believe that so long as the teams and refs had not left the field, the error could have been corrected and the goal disallowed. Please confirm or advise. Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
Once the game was ended by the referee then no further play can be allowed and the goal is disallowed. It makes no difference if the officials left the field of play or not as the goal could not be awarded. It is not a change of decision which requires that it is done on the field of play.
The only issue was the communication of the end of game decision so that information should be communicated to the teams on the field of play that the game was over before the goal.
It is a hard lesson for the referee to learn and shows how important a strong whistle is. I suspect that the scoring team would strongly contest that the whistle did in fact sound.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mark,
you are correct the decision can be altered based o the referee timing of the events! I note the use of the clock & horn to end USA high school matches does not suffer whistle failure.
It is a shame but it does occur where a referee will drop, break or simply lack the strength or confidence to blow the whistle hard enough. The fact is the match was over when the referee ended it and the goal should not have counted & the explanation made as to why. It will not sit well but it shows WHY your whistle SPEAKS for you and it has power & influence over match conditions .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mark,
Once the referee blew the whistle, the game was over, whether the players heard it or not. So any goal scored after that point does not count. As ref McHugh says, disallowing the goal is not changing a decision. The decision was taken and the game was ended when the whistle was blown and any 'goal' that occurred after that point is automatically invalidated.

This should have been communicated to the teams at the time and the referee's report should document this and reflect the true score in the game.

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