Is Football (soccer) the only sport that does this?

The ref ends the game in a close match once a team has finished its scoring opportunity (Usually the team behind). Before you start exploding about injury time and saying the ref doesn’t do that…when’s the last time you saw a game end mid-shot? Or with the ball in the leading teams penalty box? Almost always the ref lets the play finish for drama’s sake.

Hey, I have no objection and enjoy it, but its odd compared to other sports.

and that’s not even getting into some teams getting LOTS of extra time to come back (see Fergie Time)

I remember NASL had a clock that counted down from 45 mins. Im almost sure they stopped the clock on injuries and when the ball was out of play. And when the game ended it ended.

I’m having a little trouble understanding your meaning, but I’ll give it a try: In American football, if the clock goes down to zero in the middle of a play, the game’s not over until the end of the play.

And in basketball, a shot that’s in the air when time expires will count if it goes in.

This is probably the classic example, from the 1978 World Cup:

[quote=“Baron_Greenback, post:4, topic:751301”]

This is probably the classic example, from the 1978 World Cup:


The fact it was so controversial establishes my point. “What ref does that!”

But thank you for a counter-example.

Edit: and by “Play” in my OP, I mean the flow of play.

Rugby can end many minutes after regulation but it’s not entirely in the ref’s hands.

In boxing, if a fighter is knocked down at the end of the round, under certain rules, the 10-count proceeds past the end of the round, and he’s out if he cannot answer.

Also, in gridiron football, a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, so even if the clock is at zero, the offense can have another play.

Posts 2 and 3 are perfect examples. Alternatively, in hockey the game is done at 0.0 even if a puck is in the air and not touched again. In soccer it makes sense to let the build up play out. The time is never exact so you have to give the benefit of the doubt to a team that’s in possession and attacking.

Is there such a thing as a slow drive in soccer? Where the team gets the ball deep in their own territory, and is working it up the field, but only gradually? It seems like in such a situation, having to work against a time limit (even if an unknown one) is important.

Yes, and if that was what was happening the ref would blow the whistle. In soccer typically a ref will allow a specific attack finish as long as there is clear direct progression towards the goal. But I have seen games whistled dead on a sideways pass a lot.

MLS had the “countdown clock” early in its first season as well, presumably to make it easier for most Americans to grasp. The version I heard was, the league realized that most of its fans were already fans of the sport, and it switched to the “traditional” method of counting up from zero and having the referee decide exactly when a half ended.

Note that NCAA and high school matches where scoreboards are present use the “countdown to zero” method (IIRC, in NCAA, the announcer counts down from 10 as well; I assume it’s so the referee doesn’t have to keep switching between the clock and the play), and the half ends when it reaches zero, even if the ball is halfway across the goal line when it does. In this case, soccer is just like ice hockey - the entire ball must be past the entire width of the line before the time expires or it is not a goal.