Why Does Soccer Have A Running Clock?

why does soccer have a running clock: Scoreboard indicating scoreline and time.

Why does soccer have a running clock? Well, if you’ve ever played the game, you know that it can be pretty intense. There’s a lot of running around, and sometimes, it feels like the game is never going to end. However, the running clock is there for a reason.

This article answers the question “Why Does Soccer Have A Running Clock?” by discussing the benefits of the clock for the game. We also analyze what the game would have been like without the use of the clock.

Why Does Soccer Have A Running Clock?

The running clock in soccer keeps the game fair by preventing teams from stalling which would make the game become a lot less exciting. Plus, a running clock adds to the sense of urgency for both teams. No one wants to be the team that runs out of time and loses the game!

So next time you’re feeling frustrated when the clock seems like it’s moving too slowly, just remember that it is there for a good reason. Soccer wouldn’t be the same without it.

Reasons Why The Clock Is Not Stopped In Soccer

Here are the top reasons why soccer has a running clock, unlike other major sports like basketball and baseball.

The Game is Based on Time

referee watches his time in the middle of a game.

Soccer is a sport that is based on time. There are two 45-minute halves, according to the rules of the game and the clock does not stop for substitutions, injuries, or other incidents. As a result, soccer games can often be decided by a late goal or an early red card. This makes soccer a thrilling and unpredictable sport to watch.

However, it also means that soccer players must be very fit and able to play at a high level for the entire 90 minutes. They must also be able to make split-second decisions, as one wrong move can cost their team the game. For these reasons, soccer is a sport that requires not only skill but also physical conditioning and mental toughness.

It Keeps the Game Fair

Soccer matches are timed using a soccer clock, which counts up from 0 to 90 minutes. This ensures that each team has the same amount of time to score goals and that the game is fair. Without a clock, one team could dominate the match by scoring early and then holding on to the lead for the remainder of the game.

The soccer clock also ensures that there is a consistent flow to the game, with each half being divided into two 45-minute periods. This gives both teams a chance to regroup at halftime and make adjustments to their strategy. In short, the soccer clock is an essential element of the game, ensuring that it is fair and evenly matched.

Keep Track of Time During A Game

The soccer clock is a great way for players and fans to keep track of time during a game. It is a simple device that consists of two parts: a timer and a display.

The timer can be set for any length of time, and the display shows how much time is remaining. A soccer clock is an essential tool for any soccer game because it prevents referees from having to end matches abruptly.

Adds Excitement and A Sense of Urgency

linesman looks on at the dying minutes of a close game
WROCLAW, POLAND – SEPTEMBER 11, 2018: Football friendly match national teams between Poland – Ireland 1:1. Assistant of football referee stay by the touch-line.

Whether it’s a close game in the final minutes or a sudden surge in energy by one team, soccer is a sport that is always exciting to watch. Part of what makes the beautiful game so thrilling is the sense of urgency that comes with the clock.

Unlike other sports where the clock is constantly stopped and started, soccer is designed to have a continuous flow that adds to the tension and excitement. With every minute that ticks by, the stakes get higher, and the pressure increases.

This sense of urgency is what makes soccer so captivating to watch, and it’s one of the reasons why the sport is so popular around the world.

Standard Requirement in Most Professional Leagues And Tournaments

Most professional soccer leagues and tournaments use a standard clock that starts at 0:00 and counts up to 90:00. The standard soccer clock is used in most soccer leagues, including Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and the United Soccer League (USL).

There are a few reasons why most professional leagues demand the use of this standard clock. Firstly, it allows soccer games to be played in any time zone and makes it easier for broadcasters to televise them.

What is Stoppage Time?

Stoppage time is the time added at the end of each half of the game. The amount of stoppage time can vary depending on the reasons for the stoppages, but it is typically between one and three minutes.

Reasons Why Referees Add Stoppage Time

Stoppage time is added to almost every soccer game played today. Here are a couple of reasons why referees feel the need to allow the soccer clock to run slightly past the standard 90 minutes.


If a player is injured, the referee may add stoppage time to allow for treatment and/or substitution.


If there are multiple substitutions in quick succession, the referee may add stoppage time to give each team the chance to have the same number of players on the field.


linesman holds the board to indicate additional time
Referee holds the table for additional time. Football, soccer photo

If a team is deliberately wasting time, the referee may add stoppage time to make up for the lost time. This could include things like stalling when taking a throw-in or goal kick, or delaying the restart of play after a goal is scored.

Weather Conditions

If the weather conditions are making it difficult to play, the referee may add stoppage time to allow for a break in play. This could include things like high winds or heavy rain.

Crowd disturbances

If there is a disturbance in the crowd, stoppage time may be added to allow for a break in play by the referee.


Soccer has a running clock for a variety of reasons, including keeping the game fair, eliminating the potential for stalling, and adding excitement. Stoppage time is added at the end of each half to make up for lost time due to injuries, substitutions, weather conditions, or crowd disturbances.

Also known as Added Time, the length of additional time allowed at the dying period of a game is at the sole discretion of the referees.

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