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What is Stoppage Time?

For US fans of soccer, the concept of stoppage time might be a little bit confusing. This is because the way that soccer works is different to other games in terms of how the time clock works. Don’t worry though, we can provide all of the information that you need to completely understand what stoppage time is and how it works.

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Important Stoppage Time Information

It’s important to know that stoppage time isn’t always referred to as stoppage time. It’s because soccer often has a range of terms for a single thing. It’s part of the issues with soccer being a global game that has roots in lots of different countries. So, if you hear added time or injury time, these are both terms for stoppage time.

What is Stoppage Time?

To put it simply, stoppage time is additional time at the end of each 45 minute half. The reason that this is added on is because soccer doesn’t utilize a stopwatch in the same way that Basketball or Football do. So, when there is a stoppage in the game, the clock is allowed to count down and then this is added onto the time at the end of the half.

This doesn’t normally include the time that the ball is out of play. So while throw ins, corner kicks and goal kicks are being taken, time will not be added on. However, it does count for goals scored, substitutions and injuries. It should also be noted, that if a team is deliberately wasting time on throws ins, corner kicks and goal kicks, then the referee can choose to add some time on in order to combat this.

How do we Know what the Stoppage Time is?

There are a number of ways that this is conveyed to the watching fans. The first is through the fourth official. When each half is coming up to the end of the standard 45 minutes, the fourth official will hold up a board with how much time is being added on. This will allow the players, referee and fans in the ground to know how much is being added on. Fans at home will also be shown this on the TV screen.

As an additional perk of watching at home, the added time will then be added to the match clock in order to show how much time is left to play.

Is this All there is to it?

No it’s not. Just because the stoppage time board says 3 minutes, it doesn’t mean there will only be 3 minutes played. The stoppage time just counts for 3 minutes minimum of added time. For example, if a team divided to make 3 substitutions just as the stoppage time started, this could end up using up all 3 minutes of time. So, in this case the referee would add an additional 3 minutes to the clock. The same would apply for injuries or goals being scored.

How Much Time can be Added on?

It all depends on how many stoppages there were during the game. If it’s a fast-paced game with very few stoppages then there could be as little as a minute added on. However, lots of breaks in play, injuries, goals and substitutions mean that there will likely be more than 3 minutes added on. A serious injury could lead to there being over 20 minutes of added time, especially if the player was unable to be removed due to a head or neck injury.

Because substitutions add on time when they are made, it means that the second half usually has more time added on. On top of this, teams do tend to waste more time in the second half, especially if they are winning.

What has been seen at the 2022 World Cup is an increase in time being added on for time-wasting. It has led to a lot more stoppage time, especially in the early matches. Some people have even used the extra stoppage time for over/under betting in the goals market, as there is more time for goals to be scored. There isn’t a limit on how much time can be added on, so there could in theory be 45 minutes of added time.

Do Coaches use Stoppage Time as a Strategy?

Yes they do. A lot of coaches will try to waste time during the game in the hope that they waste more time than is given. An example of this would be from goal kicks. Time taken for a goal kick is rarely added onto stoppage time. So, if an underdog is winning they will likely take a lot longer with goal kicks than normal. On the other hand, if a team is losing the goalkeeper would take the goal kick a lot faster than normal. It shows just how important stoppage time can be to the result of a game.

How to Bet on Stoppage Time

At first glance, you can’t bet on stoppage time. At least, you can’t bet on how much stoppage time will be added on in the game. However, you can use stoppage time to your advantage when betting. The main way to do this is to use the over/under market and in-play betting.

Stoppage Time and Finding Value

During a soccer game, the longer it goes on without any goals, the higher the odds will increase for the over/under market. So, if a game is set at 0-0, the odds on over 0.5 goals being scored in that half will increase the closer it gets to 45 minutes. If it was 1-0 it would be over 1.5, 1-1 it would be over 2.5 and so on. However, if you have been watching the game then this is where you may be able to find added value.

If there has been a significant injury, a lot of time wasting during the game, lots of subs being made or anything else that will add time on, then you may believe there is going to be a significant amount of time added on. In this situation, as the game gets closer to the half ending, the odds on the next benchmark for goals will increase. If you’re aware that there is going to be a lot of stoppage time, but it hasn’t been announced yet, this is where you will place your bet. It will allow you to get the best possible odds before the stoppage time has been announced.

Of course, you should do your research beforehand to ensure that a late goal is likely, you can’t just do this with any game. But, if you time it right, you can get excellent value when using the stoppage time of a soccer game.

Will Wood
Will Wood - Crypto Gambling Expert
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Will has been writing professionally since 2015. He worked in education for almost ten years and had always written as a hobby, so when he decided to change careers, writing was the only right choice for him. Initially, he ghostwrote both fiction and non-fiction books but soon moved into writing about sports betting. From there, he found gambling was the topic he enjoyed the most. In 2016 he reviewed a Bitcoin faucet and since then has never looked back. 

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