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?

USSF 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).

Leave a Reply