Angelo Mathews was timed out in cricket, can it happen in other sports?

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews (L) was timed out during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on November 6. Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images

Angelo Mathews became the first batter to get timed out in international cricket after he was adjudged to have taken more than two minutes to face his first ball after the fall of the previous wicket. Can this happen in any other sport? If not an outright dismissal from one entire facet of the match like Mathews, are there any other penalties an athlete can face due to getting timed out?


In tennis, there is a set amount of time allowed between points and games and even for medical timeouts.

For example, there is a maximum of 25 seconds allowed between points, which is applicable for both for serving and receiving. This includes the time the server may need to get ready (bounce the ball, etc) and the onus is usually on them to meet the shot clock. However, the receiver also must be ready in position within this time. When the players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of 90 seconds are allowed, including time for using the towel and hydration.

If a time rule is violated, there is a warning after the first offense and for each additional violation, the offending player is given a point penalty. This is usually at the umpire's discretion but a visible shot clock on court was introduced in 2018 and has led to several bust-ups between the umpire and players.

One of the most striking incidents of this was during the 2019 US Open men's singles final when Rafael Nadal got a time violation for taking too long to serve while serving for the championship against Daniil Medvedev, and was broken. Nadal did go on to win the five-set epic, though.


In hockey, a time penalty is a crucial factor to look out for when it comes to penalty corners (PC) and penalty shootouts.

In a penalty shootout (when a result is decided after a draw), the attacking team has an 8-second time limit to finish the hit. If the attacker fails to execute the shot within eight seconds, the hooter goes off and the shot is not counted.

A bizarre example of a penalty shootout incident involving the time limit happened at last year's Commonwealth Games semifinal between India women against Australia. The first penalty in the shootout (after 1-1 in regulation time) was ordered to be retaken. India goalkeeper Savita Punia had made a save off the first attempt by Ambrosia Malone but it was not counted because the 8-second stopwatch did not start. The penalty was retaken and converted. Later, all three Indian players missed while Australia scored from all their attempts to win the shootout 3-0 and advance to the final.

During a penalty corner, both attacking and defensive teams get a 40-second time limit to set up their play. If the teams fail to adhere to the time limit, then the umpire might decide to penalise the attacking team by taking away the penalty corner or instruct the defender to move away from the PC defence if the team is taking too long to line up.


In December 2022, a time limit was added to the Rugby laws for kicks to be taken for conversions after tries and penalty kicks as well. The changes came into effect on January 1, 2023, and were seen in action recently during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which South Africa won with four penalty kicks in the final. While none of his four kicks in the final came close to running down the clock, there were a couple of incidents in previous matches at the World Cup where South Africa's Manie Libbok completed his task with no more than two seconds left on the clock.

Two laws were modified to include the time taken for the kicks to be a legal point-scoring option.

Law 8.8d Conversion: (The kicker) takes the kick within 90 seconds (playing time) from the time the try was awarded, even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again. Sanction: Kick is disallowed.

Law 8.21 Penalty Kick: The kick must be taken within 60 seconds (playing time) from the time the team indicated their intention to do so, even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again. Sanction: Kick is disallowed, and a scrum is awarded.

In both these scenarios, the failure to adhere to the time restrictions deprives attacking teams of an opportunity to score points, with a conversion after a try worth two points and a penalty kick worth three points.


For a sport intimately linked with the clock ticking towards 90 minutes and more, you would assume footballers and their referees are fastidious when it comes to time-keeping.

The rules are clear enough in IFAB's Laws of the Game. Yet, Kolo Toure fell afoul of Law 7.2: "Players are entitled to an interval at half-time, not exceeding 15 minutes; a short drinks break (which should not exceed one minute) is permitted at the interval of half-time in extra time. Competition rules must state the duration of the half-time interval and it may be altered only with the referee's permission."

The first leg of Arsenal's Ro16 tie against Roma in the 2008/09 season was witness to a bizarre scene as the second half kicked off with Arsenal down to nine men. William Gallas was off the pitch, but understandably so as he received treatment. Kolo Toure, who had the superstition of always being the last to emerge for the second half stayed back behind Gallas, and as he took to the pitch, earned himself a yellow card for entering the field of play without the referee's permission.

"I learned a new rule today", said Toure after that game, underlining that even a Premier League champion could use a rule refresher on occasion.


Wrestling has the concept of a passivity clock, Here a wrestler who 'avoids' wrestling and makes no attempt to execute any holds or tackles is first given a verbal warning by the referee. However, if the wrestler remains inactive on the mat, then the referee stops the bout and puts the wrestler on the "passivity clock." This is a 30-second period within which the wrestler must mandatorily score a point, as stated in Article 46 of the United World Wrestling's rulebook.

Scenario (i): If either wrestler scores a point in the 30-second period, then no additional point is awarded. However, if neither wrestlers scores a point, then the opponent of the wrestler who was put on the "passivity clock" will be awarded a technical point. No challenge can be requested for penalties given as a result of passive wrestling.

Scenario (ii): If neither wrestler has scored a point inside the opening two minutes of the first period, then the referees must mandatory designate one of the wrestler as inactive (the same procedure described above is administered). When there are less than 30 seconds remaining in either period, if all three of the refereeing body agree a wrestler is evading and/or blocking his opponent, then his/her opponent is awarded one point and caution (i.e fleeing the hold). This situation can be challenged.

Scenario (iii): When there are less than 30 seconds left in a bout and the refereeing body agrees unanimously that one of the wrestlers is passive, they may issue a caution to the wrestler at fault for fleeing-the-hold and one point to his/her opponent. Should this point determine the winner of the match, the other wrestler may request a challenge.

In Greco-Roman wrestling, the active wrestler is awarded a point if his/her opponent is found to be passive. The active wrestler also has the right to choose whether to continue the bout in standing or par terre (ground) position.