My GU15 team played in a tournament this weekend with 30 minute halves. First off the referee declared he was starting his watch before either team was on the field. My team took the field, and the other team took an additional minute and a half to enter the field in which I assume the referee was still continuing the time. I had started my watch when the referee initially declared he had started time. 28 minutes into the game and my player is fouled just outside the 18-yard box. I call a sub and get another player on the field. My player takes position to have a shot on the free kick and the referee blows for halftime before the kick is taken and before he blows the whistle to allow my player to take the shot, and at 29 minutes. Is this allowed, from what I understand, the ball must be in play to call a game or halftime. The play was dead in result to the free kick. Was the referee right to be able to call for halftime?
Answer (May 30, 2013):
There are a number of possibilities in this situation, but I shall list only the possibility most flattering to the referee:
Because they have scheduled too great a number of games on too few fields–and do not want to engage more referees or more fields, both of which would cost more money–many tournaments instruct the referee to start the game precisely at the time specified in the tournament program and to end the game in time for the field to be cleared immediately for the next game. The referee is allowed no flexibility in the timing. You will likely find this in the small print of the tournament rules.
In addition, no matter what the tournament rules may be, referees should NEVER take away a scoring opportunity from any team. That should be a no-brainer.