14B.7 Penalties - unsporting behavior (Closed for comments)

Comments about this discussion:


"In every instance of a violation of the rules the Referee must penalize the offending team,..." associated with 14B.7.5 Penalty Box "The Referee can send a player off the field for two minutes, five minutes or for the remainder of the game. This is done in the case of unsporting behavior and ..." and with 14B.9.1 General Considerations (Fouls) "Intentional delay of the game is not permitted."

It becomes more common that by the end of a game (e.g. last minute) that players or a team intentional delay a game. The referee has for the moment the only penalty against the offending team to sent some player in the penalty box for a certain time. This may not have the necessary power of a punishment.

I would suggest 2 options for a suitable punishment.

  • Time stop and free shot "6.5m" against the offending team


  • Play 1 or 2 minutes extra time plus sending one player of the offending team for 2 minutes in the penalty box by reason of unsporting behavior

Instinctive feeling of the referee is required!



A free 6.5m shot is fairly game changing as it almost guarantees a goal, but then extra play time is not always possible so both options are difficult.

Would a corner be better or do you think it does not penalise the timewasting team enough?




First I would like to clarify that we all speak about the same: Intentional delay of a game is when a player/team does not resume the game (after free shot, goal keepers ball, resume after goal, corner...) within a reasonable time after the referee has whistled. Right? 

I also see problems with a 6.5m and with additional time as well. Even it is sometimes not fair, I would 'only' give 2 minutes to the offending team. I mean, if a referee realises that a player is waiting to long for example with the execution of a free shot, he can immediatly interrupt the game with a time out and give two minutes. Then he could also change the advantage to the other team with a free shot.

Independent of the decision, we have to add the punishment for intentional delay for sure.


I agree if a intentional delay happens in the first half of a game or at the beginning of the second half the punishment should be more soften and your option should be used after a warning.

In the last 2 minutes of a game sending a player off the field for two minutes, five minutes or for the remainder of the game is the same punishment.

By repetition of intentional delay or in the last 2 minutes a referee should have a harder option to punish >up to< 6.5 m.

We should prefer to give the referees more options to select from suitable to the current situation on the field. >Instinctive feeling<! Normally I would start with a warning order like "hurry up, speed up, move on" and etc.



I think the punishment of intentional delay should always be (more or less) the same regardless of the current situation on the field (score/playing time).

It is not up to the referee to decide a game. The referee can hurry up himself e.g. by placing the ball quickly. But it should not be up to the referee to create new situations (like a 6.5m) or extend the duration of the game.

The referee can by repetition (also by different players) of intentional delay send several players off the field. In this case the opposing team would have a big advantage.


I agree with Nicolai, the punishment for intentional delay should ALWAYS be the same regardless of the situation. Wasting 40 seconds in the first half is the same as wasting the last 40 seconds. It is just more likely to occur in the last 40 seconds. 


I think if the referee can note the time when time wasting occurs and has the ability reset the clock at that time (after sending the person off for unsportsmanlike conduct) then that is enough of a deterrent.

The main result being that if your team attempts to waste time you will lose a player AND the time will be reset at the point where you started wasting time resulting in your team  being disadvantaged.


Even if the timing system in use doesn't have the ability to be wound back 25 seconds a stopwatch or timer is usually on hand and can be used to do it manually fairly easily. Referee can add 25 seconds to the game time and use the whistle to signal end of game instead of the usual siren from scoreboard system.


The problem with noting the time wasted is that it is very difficult to say when the time wasting starts. The player/team has to have some time to execute the free shot.

If the referee can set back the time AND send of a player for 2 minutes that would be a double penalization of this team. In addition if the time is set back the team opponent the time wasting team has a big advantage (same time and a player less to play against).

So i suggest that the referee can send a player off the field OR set back the time but not both.



The time would only go back to when the referee believes the wasting occured. Yes it would be referee discretion but many rules are referee discretion, like the advantage rule. Say a team wasted time for 15 seconds,  the difference in the referees opinion of when the time wasting started would probably be anywhere from 2-5seconds. One referee might give the team  an extra 12 seconds, a different may assume it to be 17 seconds. It is very minor.

I think time wasting purposefully to avoid the opposition the chance to come back is a serious breach and unsportsmanlike foul. Having a heavy penalty, a player gets sent off and the time is regiven is a harsh enough penalty that teams will not attempt it as it will not achieve anything for them.

I think it would only be given in a serious case of time wasting, players hitting balls out of court, knocking people off, not moving 2m away from someone trying to take a free shot, getting off their unicycle in the opposition half after a goal and tieing their shoe. I don't think it would be given for a player riding back slowly to his side.


I agree with Nicolai, where the punishment of intentional delay should always be (more or less) the same regardless of the current situation on the field(score/playing time).

However, turning back/adding on time may prove to be difficult.. If possible the time should be stopped, allowing the referee to either talk to the player or send them off.. 


I like the comment by Gareth. I think the referee can stop the time if necessary (e.g. when a player is injured or a player is sent off the field).

If time wasting occurs, the referee shall stop the time and give a penalty of two minutes to the time-wasting player. In this situation only few seconds are wasted and the time wasting team is punished enough.

I also agree with Gareth in his opinion, that turning back or adding time might be to difficult.


Valid points I agree with this. So do we need an additional wording to outline stopping of time and send off?



If a team is deemed to be purposefully timewasting by the referee the time should be stopped

A player from the time wasting team shall be sent off for 2minutes




Does Nicolai´s comment from the discussion "Rule 14B.7.1 Free Shot II ..." work here as well?

But Rule 14B.7.1 says also that "The free shot is executed from the point where the violation was done." 

We should add also a free shot for the opposing team.



For "intentional delay" the possible punishment "play a curtain extended time" does not find any friend. Therefore this part of the discussion has to be stopped.



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