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Cal South E-News | October 2012 REFEREE EDUCATION

October 23, 2012


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Cal South Referee Education

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Here is the scenario…

A referee calls for a water break about halfway through the second half when the ball goes across the touchline. These water breaks are to be one minute in duration, and teams are called back and play restarted based upon the stoppage when the water break was called. What the referee did was absurd. He called the teams back to play, one team came back immediately, and the other team, for whatever reason, took longer. The referee called for the team again and they only started to get back into position when he started play, with the throw-in from the opposite side of the field, thus giving an unfair advantage to the other team which dribbled down and scored an unattested goal.

So, my question to you is, under the Laws of the Game, other than Law 18, is there any Law that was misapplied here? I find only a mention in Advice to Referees, Section 5.7 in the next-to-last sentence, that "the referee should take care that ordering such a stoppage would not disadvantage the opposing team."


We know that this is not written in the Laws of the Game. However, water breaks are becoming more common now, and leagues around the world are having water breaks on each half to help players to cope with extreme hot weather conditions. It has become necessary to establish a water break procedure to help referees administer the water break properly and to prevent any misunderstandings. The following is the procedure to follow for games under the jurisdiction of Cal South:

• 30-minute games between the 15th and 16th minutes of each half.
• 35 minute games between the 17 and 18 minutes of each half.
• 40-minute games between 20 and 21 minute of each half.
• 45-minute games between 30 and 31 minute of each half.
• As dictated by the League Competition Rules for different game periods.
• If at all possible, game should be stopped when the ball is not in play.

WATER BREAK REST PERIOD: Water breaks should be done within 30 seconds or as established by League Competition Rules.

PLAYERS: Players must remain inside the field of play during the water break or as established by League Competition Rules.

RESTART: Game must only restart when both teams have finished their water break and all players are back into position to start the game in a fair manner.

ADDED TIME: Referees should be aware if League Competition Rules establish if the time taken for a water break should be added to each half or if the clocks keeps running on water breaks.

The procedure described above, if followed, should help referees to carry the water break in an orderly and to prevent an unfair situation as the one described above, where only one team was present to restart the game. It is the referee's responsibility to ascertain that water break restarts are done in a fair manner.

Arturo Angeles
Cal South State Director of Instruction