NCAA proposal: Referees will finally get to keep time

It is a measure of how behind college soccer is that the official time is still kept on the scoreboard, the clock runs down from 45 minutes, and there is no stoppage time per se.

At its annual meeting, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee recommended to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel making referees the official time keepers.

Referees will signal how much stoppage/extra time is left and blow the final whistle, ending the spectacle of p.a. announcers counting down the final 10 seconds of a half or overtime period. Clocks will run from zero to 90 minutes, as you'd normally see at a soccer match.

“In discussions with match officials, as well as the coaching community, the opportunity to align with FIFA rules regarding added time makes common sense for our game,” John Trask, chair of the committee and men’s soccer coach at Wisconsin, told “Match officials worldwide are responsible for administrating the length of a soccer game, and it will be a significant enhancement to college soccer.”
13 comments about "NCAA proposal: Referees will finally get to keep time".
  1. Randy Vogt, March 29, 2018 at 9:17 p.m.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I believe the great majority of college refs would want this and I even advocated this in an article three years ago:

  2. beautiful game, March 29, 2018 at 9:46 p.m.

    Finally, a small step toward common sense.

  3. Ron Benson, March 29, 2018 at 10:06 p.m.

    Hope NC high school does the same .

  4. Wooden Ships replied, March 29, 2018 at 10:18 p.m.

    Agreed Ron. All schools need this change.

  5. Wooden Ships, March 29, 2018 at 10:17 p.m.

    Finally, a major embarrassment will be removed. Next step, two semester season.

  6. John Richardson, March 30, 2018 at 12:19 a.m.

    It’s about time (yes pun intended !)

  7. R2 Dad, March 30, 2018 at 6:39 a.m.

    Hope this is the first of many changes to NCAA soccer and not the last.

  8. Andy Mead, March 30, 2018 at 10:12 a.m.

    Completely meaningless change. The average game time is effectively the change. Given the gross differences between NCAA's soccer rules and FIFA's LOTG, this change is nothing but window dressing. Until they institute one-way substitutions (NCAA baseball seems to be able to handle it), NCAA soccer will continue to be more akin to lacrosse and both hockeys than it is to the game most of us watch and follow - and many of the elite college players play off campus with their club and national teams. It's good to change the time-keeping, if only because it's a distraction. The practical effect is negligible beyond a couple times a year where they have to figure out whether the ball crossed the line before the horn.

  9. Peter Martini, March 30, 2018 at 1:20 p.m.

    Someone has to really explain to me why the NCAA feels they have to follow FIFA "worldwide" in this regard?
    Why is it "common sense"? Common sense dictates the time to the final whistle be known by all.
    What is the "enhancement to college soccer"?
    NCAA officials currently are responsible for administering the length of the game. Why does Trask suggest they are not? Why did the NCAA rules committee recommend something already in place? It is just that currently EVERYONE is informed as to the official's decision.
    Currently a typical NCAA 45 minute half lasts much longer than 45 minutes of running time and a couple of minutes of stoppage, because actual stoppage time as decided by the ref is tracked by stopping the clock. These legitimate down times last much more than 2-3 minutes per half.
    What is the current 'worldwide" sense of an official "announcing" two minutes (usually incorrect) of stoppage time only to then let 3-4 minutes run as they allow teams' offensive forays to wither before they end a half or game? What is the continued sense of coaches imploring refs to end a game by pointing at their wrists?
    It is FIFA and "worldwide" that should adopt NCAA's current timing. "Follow-the-rest-of-the-world" has always been the rallying cry of some soccer aficionados in the USA who for some reason feel inferior.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, March 31, 2018 at 12:05 a.m.

    With all due respect Peter, that’s garbage. Inferior? Perhaps you’re mirroring yourself. The US has not earned, nor deserves, to tinker with the beautiful game. To purists your position is blasphemous. But, I do mean with all due respect and look forward to more of your posts. 

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, March 31, 2018 at 9:19 a.m.

    "Match officials" is a term of art meaning the licensed referees assigned to officiate the match. The referee, 2 assistant referees and sometimes a fourth official. Traditionally the referee controls the game making every decision including when each period starts and ends.

    Not knowing exactly when a period will end encourages teams in close matches to compete until the final whistle. This maximizes the challenge to the mental and physical toughness of the players. Of all sports, soccer presents the biggest range of physical challenges to an athlete. Those mental and physical challenges peak in the final minutes of a period, if players don't know exactly when the match will end.

  12. frank schoon, April 1, 2018 at 9:42 a.m.

    Now that this move or rather change has been made we're going to gets lots improvement in the quality of soccer ...

  13. Wooden Ships replied, April 2, 2018 at 7:01 p.m.

    Sarcasm. You know that’s not true, but hopefully not having to listen to that insideous countdown horn.

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