How Does Extra Time in Soccer Work?

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Hello, Soccer Insiders! 

You might notice something peculiar if you’re new to the soccer scene. Although each half of a match is due to end after 45 minutes, sometimes the play continues past this. The referee doesn’t blow the whistle for halftime, and a board shows additional minutes of the game on the sidelines. What’s happening here? This additional time is called ‘Extra Time,’ or as others refer to, ‘Injury Time’. 

You’re probably wondering, “How does extra time in soccer work?” This question might seem daunting, especially if you’re new to soccer. But have no fear. You’re in the right place to have your concerns addressed. In this article, we’ll strip down the complexity of extra time, laying it out in an easily digestible, step-by-step approach. So sit back and get comfortable as we demystify the workings of extra time in soccer. Ready for kick-off? Let’s go!

How Does Extra Time in Soccer Work?

What is Stoppage Time in Soccer?

Stoppage or extra time is an additional period added to the end of each 45-minute half of a soccer match. It’s not bonus playtime – instead, it’s time added to make up for the minutes ‘lost’ during the half due to various interruptions like injuries, substitutions, or time-wasting. 

It works like this: 

  • The 4th official (the one typically holding the board on the sideline) will decide the amount of stoppage time needed.
  • They base this estimate on information from the referee about the wasted time in the half.
  • This added time is signaled by raising a board showing a number – this number represents the minutes of extra gameplay.

Why Is There Extra Time in Soccer?

Extra time exists to ensure fairness in gameplay. If you think about it, it wouldn’t be fair if your team is pressing for a goal, and time runs out just because the other team wastes time or a player is treated for injuries. 

Here are the main reasons why extra time is added:

  • Delays in the game: This can be for various reasons, such as a player injury, an argument between players, or issues with spectators.
  • Substitutions: Whenever a player is substituted, it takes some time for the change to happen. This time is added to the stoppage time.
  • Injuries: If a player gets injured and the game is stopped for them to receive treatment, this time is added to the extra time.

What Happens After Extra Time in Soccer?

‘Extra Time’ in regular soccer can make games thrilling, but what happens if the scores are still tied in knockout games after 90 minutes plus the added time? We move to another phase known as ‘Extra Time’ or ‘Overtime’. It’s a bit confusing, having the same name, ‘Extra Time,’ but in a different context. 

This ‘Overtime’ or ‘Extra Time’ in knockout games:

  • Consists of two halves of 15 minutes each, for a total of 30 minutes.
  • If the score remains tied after this additional 30 minutes, the match moves to a penalty shootout.
  • The player-kicking order for the penalty shootout is determined by a coin toss.

Fun Fact: Most Extra Time in a Soccer Game

Have you ever wondered what the longest stretch of extra time recorded in professional soccer is? The answer is a ‘ball-bursting’ 23 minutes! This occurred during a match between Bristol Rovers and Brentford in 2001. Now that’s a lot of injury time! 

In most games, however, you’d expect to see between 1 to 6 minutes of added time per half, depending on the game’s events. Keep an eye on that 4th official the next time you’re watching – they’ll be the ones to reveal just how much extra soccer you get to enjoy!

Key Takeaways

So there we have it, folks! Here are the crucial points to keep in mind to understand extra time in soccer:

  • Extra time, also known as injury time, is added to recover ‘lost’ minutes from each 45-minute half during interruptions in play.
  • The main reasons for additional time are delays in the game, substitutions, or due to injuries. 
  • In knockout games, if scores remain equal after the standard 90 minutes plus injury time, an ‘Extra Time’ phase, or ‘Overtime,’ consisting of two 15-minute halves, commences.
  • If scores are still tied after this period, we move to a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
  • The record for the longest extra time in a professional soccer game is 23 minutes!

By understanding these points, you’ll be able to impress the other parents with your newfound soccer knowledge. Thank you for spending time with me today, and remember – no soccer question is too big or too small to ask. Till next time, keep enjoying the beautiful game!

New to Youth Soccer? Our Basic Rules of Soccer article is a great place to start!!!

Basic Rules of Soccer: A Parent’s Guide to Supporting Your Child on the Sideline

Frequently Asked Questions: How Does Extra Time in Soccer Work?

What Factors Determine the Amount of Extra Time Added?

The primary factors are pauses in the game due to player injuries, time taken for substitutions, and any other reason causing a delay in gameplay. The referee and the 4th official assess these factors to decide the extra time to be added.

Why Does the Winner in a Knockout Game Require an Extra 30 Minutes Or a Penalty Shootout?

If a knockout game ends in a draw after the regular 90 minutes plus injury time, an extra 30 minutes, divided into two halves, is played to try and find a winner. If the score is still level after this extended play, a penalty shootout determines the winner to ensure the tournament progresses.

Have There Been Any Changes to Stoppage Time Rules Over the Years?

While the general concept of stoppage time has remained consistent, soccer governing bodies have refined its application over time, such as stopping the clock during substitutions, requiring injured players to leave the pitch for treatment, etc. This is done to minimize time wastage and increase fairness in the game.