College Soccer Overtime Explained

The new rules played a massive part in the 2022 NCAA D1 Women’s Championship game…

When 90 minutes of action isn’t enough to decide a winner in college soccer, the game can move into an overtime period much like the professional game. However, there are a few differences to note, particularly a 2022 rule change that affects how often overtime is played at the college level.

The first change is that regular season matches that are tied at the end of the 90 minutes of regulation will now end in a tie. Previously, college soccer games in a stalemate after full-time would enter two 10-minute periods of sudden-death overtime, known colloquially as “golden goal” rules, and games would only end in a tie if the score remained even after 110 minutes.

This rule change cuts down the total minutes of soccer a team can play over the course of the season and also evens out each team’s schedule, meaning everyone has played the same amount of minutes and no team will have played significantly more than any opponent, thus reducing the fatigue that comes with that.

The second change is that the days of the golden goal are over. As of 2022, if a postseason game (meaning conference or NCAA tournament) is tied after 90 minutes, overtime will not end when one team scores a goal. Even if a team scores seconds after kickoff in the first OT period, the game must continue until both 10-minute periods have been completed.

Should the score remain even after both OTs, a penalty kick shootout will decide the winner. The general idea behind this rule change is to improve the quality of play, giving teams a chance to get back into the game even after conceding in overtime. Often, neither team commits numbers forward for fear of leaving itself vulnerable to a tournament- or season-ending counterattack goal.

Here’s how the 2022 NCAA D1 Women’s Final played out in one of the most exciting games in Women’s College Soccer history.

Do you like the College Soccer time format or would you prefer to see the traditional FIFA rules applied? The countdown clock certainly appeals more to traditional American Sports viewers but it could be time for college soccer to fall into line and manage time the same way as the rest of the world.

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