While officiating a U14 tournament match with game time running down, a corner kick was taken by attacking team A. The corner kick ball carried into the goal area where a collection of players from teams A & B were positioned.The ball squirmed out and was cleared from the goal area by defending team B. As the ball soared towards midfield, time expired and I signaled the end of the game with a whistle. I then noticed my AR2 signaling a foul in the goal area.

After consulting with him it was determined a defender B, prior to time expiring, had handled the ball before it was cleared by his teammate. I called all the players back to the penalty area and advised them all, a handling foul was committed before time ran out and a penalty kick was being awarded to Team A. The ensuing PK was scored by team A, thus tieing the game and sending the match to a shootout to determine the winner. Without any special provisions in the tournament rules to rely upon, did I follow correct USSF procedure for awarding the PK?

USSF answer (January 16, 2012):

Well, unfortunately, there is no way the AR’s information can be used: You and the AR did not follow accepted procedure. Once you have ended the game, no further decisions on that game (other than misconduct following the end of the game) can be made. Why? Because by ending the match without checking with your ARs for any information, you have fallen victim to these words in Law 5:
“The referee may only change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.”

Simply following correct procedures would have allowed you to take the AR’s information into consideration, but after the decision to end the game has been made the referee’s hands are tied.