A soccer game has a number of distinct rules, which can be pretty much confusing to understand. If you are viewing a soccer match for the first time, a lot of doubt may arise in your mind, “How Long Is A Soccer Game?” or how it is played between two teams and so on.
The rules and regulations may seem highly intimidating to you for the first time. You will see the players are in the field, but the clock is running. And suddenly, the referee gives a whistle, and the player stops. The ball goes out of the ground, and play resumes. So, these are the things that will get you more and more confused. You do not see this type of rule in any other games.
Length of a Soccer game:
Generally, a soccer game is played between two teams. Like, every other game in the world, it also has a fixed length. Due to different issues arising in the game, its length may change.
A soccer game’s length is 90 minutes consisting of two equal halves that last for 45 minutes each. After each half, the referee is allowed to add some extra time to resume play if he wishes. In between two halves, there is a 15minutes break. In this 15minutes half-time break, the manager and players get a chance to refuel their bodies and rethink their tactics if the game hasn’t gone according to their plan.
If the match ties, and if it is not very necessary to declare a winner, the match can end in 90minutes. If determining a clear winner is a must, another extra two halves of 15minutes each are played.
How Long does a soccer game usually last?
According to the rules, a soccer game lasts for 90 minutes. But since it is just a game and the real players are playing it, it’s almost impossible to maintain the exact time here. On average, a soccer game lasts for 2hours.
A soccer game is 90 minutes long, and by adding the 15 minutes break, it is 105 minutes in total. If overtime is needed, the length changes.
However, a soccer game does not usually last for 90 minutes only. During the game, a lot of time is wasted because of several issues. The game’s length varies depending on factors like stoppages for drinks or medical issues, injuries, offsides, fouls, Corners, substitutions, goal celebrations, etc. If the time is lost by these factors, the referee allows some extra time to play after each half. The fourth official is informed by the referee to add some extra time to make up for the time lost. In this way, a soccer game usually gets longer.
Factors Affecting the Length of a Soccer game:
A soccer game length changes depending on various factors:
- Stoppage Time:
A game can be interrupted for a number of reasons. So, to make up the time loss during a match for many reasons like drinks or medical issues, injuries, offsides, fouls, Corners, substitutions, goal celebrations, etc. The referee adds a few minutes at the end of every half. On average, about 1-5 minutes is added by the referee. This is known as stoppage time. Referees can give as much stoppage time as he wishes.
Sometimes a soccer match ends as a draw after 90 minutes. So, to bring out a winner, some extra periods are added to play. About 20 minutes of extra period in total consisting of two equal halves of 10 minutes is given. If both the teams fail to score in this period, they move to a penalty shootout.
- A Draw Game:
A draw game is when the score of both teams is equal even after the second half is finished. If a game is drawn, different things may occur depending upon the rules of the soccer league. Some leagues finish as a draw or tie, some leagues go into overtime, and some leagues play penalties directly after 90minutes.
If nothing could separate the two teams, even with overtime, penalties are taken. As a result, the time to finish a football game takes around 2.5hours
Length of a Professional Soccer Game:
The International Football Association Board regulates professional soccer. The rules and regulations are altered almost every year to make the game more exciting. This alteration is also made to ensure the safety of the players and fans.
Law #7 of the International Football Associations Board’s “Laws of the Game” states that every game must have two halves of 45 minutes and a total of 90 minutes. If the referee wishes, he can add some extra time, as needed.
The knockout matches usually get longer when the first 90 minutes end as a draw. If the 90 minutes ends as a draw, the referee again gives another 30mins to play. This 30minutes again consists of two equal halves of 15 minutes each. If the overtime cannot separate the two teams, the referee gives more time to play a penalty shootout.
Length of Youth Soccer Games:
The youth soccer game does not obey the traditional rules of soccer games. The length of youth games varies depending on their ages. In youth soccer games, more substitutions can be done, and the number of players in each team can be different.
The game length varies depending upon the different aged groups.
According to United States Youth Soccer Association:
- A group of youth below 6years of age will play Four 6-minute quarters.
- A group of youth below 8years of age will play Four 12-minute quarters.
- A group of youth below 10years of age will play Two 25-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 10-minute halves.)
- A group of youth below 11 & 12years of age will play Two 30-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 10-minute halves.)
- A group of youth below 13 & 14years of age will play Two 35-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 10-minute halves.)
- A group of youth below 15 & 16years of age will play Two 40-minute games. (Extra time for two 15 minutes)
- A group of youth below 17, 18, & 19years of age will play like the rules of football. A 90 minutes game consisting of two equal halves and a 15 minutes break in between the half.
Length of a Middle School Soccer Game:
A middle school soccer game also does not follow the rules of a professional soccer game. It is played by its own rules.
The soccer games in middle school last for two equal halves consisting of 35 minutes each and a 5minutes break between the halves. The length varies from middle school to middle school. In some middle school soccer games, there can be two 35minutes halves but a 10minutes break between the halves. The tournament game length of a middle school soccer game can be slightly different.
Generally, in middle school soccer, a match can last for two 20minutes halves with a 5minutes break, or two 25minutes half with a 5minutes break, or two 35 minutes half with a 10minutes break. The duration of a match is not specific!
Length of a High School Soccer Game:
In the United States, the NFHS has set some rules that are followed by the high school soccer game. But, NFHS does allow each state to have its own rules and game length as well.
A high school soccer game is generally 80 minutes long, consisting of two equal halves of 40 minutes each or four quarters of 20 minutes each. The game is over just when the game clock ends.
The overtime rule is determined by both teams before a soccer match starts. In most cases, the teams do not agree unless it is a tournament match.
In a high school tournament, the team officials determine whether they should play overtime after a tie game, how long it should be over time, how to determine a winner if the match ends as a draw. Sometimes, after the match ended as a draw, the team decides to directly play a penalty shootout, and other times may decide to play extra two halves of 10minutes each.
Length of Girls High School Soccer game:
A girl’s high school soccer game is also 80 minutes long, consisting of two equal halves of 40 minutes each or four quarters of 20 minutes each.
In a girl’s high school tournament also, the team officials determine whether they should play overtime after a tie game, how long should be overtime, how to determine a winner if the match ends as a draw. Sometimes, after the match ended as a draw, the teams decide to directly play penalty shootout, and other times may decide to play extra two halves of 10minutes each.
Length of Women’s Soccer Game:
A women’s soccer game lasts the same as a men’s soccer game. It is 90 minutes long in total with two equal halves of 45 minutes each and a 15minutes break in between the two halves. If the game ties after 90 minutes, an extra time of two equal halves of 15mins is played.
The rules and regulations of soccer are equally applied to both men’s and women’s soccer. Both men and women must play the game abiding by the same rules and regulations.
So, if someone asks you “How Long Is A Soccer Game,” the simple answer would be that a soccer game is a total 90 minutes game consisting of two equal halves of 45minutes each and a 15minutes break in between the half time. Until the referee blows his whistle, the clock does not stop.
If the match ties after the end of 90 minutes and nothing could separate the two teams, the overtime plays its role here. An extra time of two 15minutes halves is given, and even if they can’t score, the game moves to the penalties to determine the winning team.
The length of the soccer game varies depending on the number of ages. The youth plays less amount of time while the professionals play more amount of time.