How to Waste Time in a Soccer Game

How to Waste Time in a Soccer Game

Wasting time in a soccer game is frowned upon. And, rightfully so!

This article isn’t to promote you wasting precious seconds in a soccer game but rather to show you the different ways other players waste time. Because I know you’re better than this 😉

But, if you need examples, here are some funny time-wasting moments in soccer…

Also, it’s more prevalent in professional matches so I hope this article will help you understand the various tactics players use to “kill the clock”.

Delaying Tactics on the Field in Soccer

Here are some strategic tactics used if a team needs to regroup or catch their breath during a game.

Faking an Injury

If players want to waste some time on the field, faking an injury is a classic tactic.

When a player takes a dive and pretends to be injured, the game has to stop while the referee checks on them. Sometimes, an onsite trainer is called to check on the player.

In this case, the referee should add extra time but this doesn’t always happen or it’s not equal to the actual injury time.

A well-timed fake injury can sometimes give a team more minutes to rest. Of course, if a team overdoes it, the referee might catch on and give the player a yellow card for simulation.

Slowly Walking

Another way to waste time is to take time walking to the ball when it goes out of bounds.

Instead of sprinting over to retrieve the ball, a player takes their time and walks slowly. I see this happening quite often when a team is leading later in the second half.

This will slow down the pace of the game and run seconds off the clock. Those seconds and momentum can compound quickly.

Excessive Celebrations

When a player scores a goal, it’s natural to want to celebrate.

But if a team really wants to waste time, they can take their celebration to the extreme.

In this case, they can run around the field, high-fiving every teammate, and take their time getting back to the center of the field for the kickoff.

One way to combat this for the opposition is to grab the ball as soon it’s scored and run the ball back to the center line. This will force the referee to whistle for the kickoff faster.

Unconventional Ways to Waste Time in Soccer

If you want to waste more time in a soccer game, there are plenty of other ways to do it. Here are some more effective strategies to look out for:

Taking Long Breaks

One way to waste time is to take long breaks between plays.

This can include taking a long time to tie your cleats or adjust your shin guards.

Players make it a point that they are doing something important but it’s just another tactic in their time-wasting arsenal.

Stretching for Extended Periods

Another way to waste time is to stretch for extended periods of time.

This can be especially effective for goalkeepers or players who are frequently involved in set pieces.

By stretching for longer, players can delay the restart of play and give their team a chance to catch their breath.

Delaying Goal Kicks

Delaying goal kicks is a sneaky way to waste more time.

This can include taking a long time to set up the ball, walking around the penalty area, directing teammates to their positions or even pretending to be injured.

If the referee catches on, they may caution the goalie with a warning and then penalize them with yellow card if they continue to do it.

Risks and Consequences of Time Wasting in Soccer

Repercussions from Referees

Disrupting the flow of the game by wasting time can lead to consequences from the referees. They may issue yellow or red cards to players who repeatedly waste time.

For youth soccer players, this could affect future games if they are involved in a tournament.

Additionally, referees may add extra time to the end of the game to make up for time wasted, which can give the opposing team more time to score.

Negative Impact on Teammates

Wasting time can cause frustration and resentment towards the player who is doing it. This can lead to a breakdown in team chemistry.

Furthermore, if the opposing team scores during the extra time added by the referee, it can lead to feelings of guilt and blame among teammates.

For the reasons just stated, I suggest never prioritizing time wasting in your games. Just go out there and work hard and have lots of fun…no matter how much time is left on the clock!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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