Soccer Clock Rules

Just like many other sports, an official keeps the time of a soccer match. Unlike many timed sports, soccer matches are continuous, and the game clock does not stop running. Let’s learn what a running clock means and how this can affect the game. We'll briefly discuss the match format, game clock, and stoppage.

The Game Clock

soccer game clock

In association football, there are two halves of time. Each half is 45 minutes in length. The running clock is one of the most important parts of soccer. While there are slight variations depending on the league and competition, soccer timekeeping is fairly straightforward and standardized.

The running clock does not stop and is always running, which means the players are playing on the pitch for a continuous 45 minutes each half. The clock starts at zero and counts up to 45, after which stoppage time is played, followed by halftime. When play resumes in the second half, the clock counts from 45 minutes up to 90 minutes, which is the end of regulation play.


Unlike other sports, there are no timeouts in soccer. Teams only regroup in between halves. In fact, the game clock will keep ticking even if the referee signals a stoppage of play for things like an injury, hazard on the pitch, or a medical issue. If this happens, an equal amount of time will be added to the end of each half, called stoppage time.

There are a lot of terms related to the timing rules of soccer. Here is a list of related concepts in soccer: