Stoppage Time and Soccer’s Running Clock

Stoppage Time pic
Stoppage Time pic
Stoppage Time

Heidi Scott has spent the last nine years as an attorney and certified public accountant (CPA) in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and as owner of Schuyler Brown Land Title. She previously spent 15 years as a tax attorney with the Illinois Department of Revenue. Heidi Scott contributes to the local community in a number of ways and is the founder of the town’s first ever travel co-ed soccer team.

European football, known as soccer in the United States, differs from comparable team sports in several ways. The game’s running clock is one of its most unique features. A professional soccer game consists of 90 minutes of play separated into two 45 minute halves. Over the course of both the first and second half of play, the game clock never stops. Any stoppage of play – be it a foul or player injury – is dealt with by officials as the clock continues to run.

To compensate for this lost time, referees add stoppage time at the end of either half. Stoppage time varies from game to game, but generally falls between one and five minutes per half. To further heighten the drama that can result from the game’s running clock, this stoppage time is not exact. Three minutes of stoppage time, for instance, could result in exactly three minutes of extra play, or closer to three and a half or even four minutes. It is also not uncommon for referees to allow an attack to play out in full before calling the half or game.