I was the center referee in [a local] U-11 girls game. . . . Just was looking for your expertise in the matter of applied add-on time. I felt my actions were justified. Many referees do not add on time and to me, ruin the spirit of the game. I understand time constraints in tournaments and multiple games on the same field yet, this was not the case. What is your outlook on upholding add on time?
USSF answer (November 10, 2010):
Unless the local rules of competition specify otherwise (as in some tournaments, which do this counter to the Laws of the Game), 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). Five minutes added time to U11G may seem a bit much at that level of play, but it can easily be justified.
Referees allow additional time in all periods for all time lost through substitution(s), assessment of injury to players, treatment of injuries on the field , 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. Time must also be added for deliberate delays or other infringements of the Laws at restarts and for disciplinary matters.
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. The only time lost that is normally not added to a period of play is ball retrieval for goal kicks, corner kicks, or throw-ins, unless they are extended through timewasting tactics by either team.