How Long Is a Soccer Game

By | Last updated June 25, 2017
How long do soccer games last?

Some soccer rules can be pretty confusing.

For example: how long do soccer games really last?

Let’s get rid of all doubts once and for all!

This post here will answer all your questions related to this subject and explain you everything you need to know about soccer matches length.

How Long Is a Soccer Game

A soccer game is 90 minutes long.

It consists of two equal periods, each lasting 45 minutes.

Between each period there is a 15-minute interval.

This is what Law #7 of the International Football Association Board’s “Laws of the Game” states.

How Long Is a Soccer Game

How Long do Soccer Games Typically Last?

Rules are rules… But we’re talking about a sport here and actual human beings playing it, right?

Meaning… it’s nearly impossible to strictly go by the book here.

So how long do soccer games typically last?

Like referenced above, from start to full time, a soccer match is 90 minutes long, with two 45-minute halves divided by a 15-minute break. (With everything added up, it totals 1 hour and 45 minutes or 105 minutes).

However, soccer matches do not always last 90 minutes only.

Factors like wasted time (by any of the teams), disciplinary sanctions, stoppages for drinks or medical reasons, injuries, substitutions, goal celebrations cause the referee to make allowance for the time lost in each half.

When that’s the case, in the last minute of each half the referee informs the fourth official of the minimum additional time to compensate time lost. This additional time may be increased if needed (to make up for time lost during the additional time).

It’s up to the referee — with all of this taken into account — to decide when the game actually ends.

How Long do Professional Soccer Games Last

How long does a soccer game last?

Professional soccer is regulated by the International Football Association Board.

Every year this entity adds, alters or updates the laws of the game.

This is done to ensure the safety of players and fans as well as make the game as exciting as possible.

Law 7 pertains to the duration of professional soccer matches and dictates that every game is composed of two halves of 45 minutes — i.e. each soccer game lasts 90 minutes — plus additional time added by the referee, as needed.

If it’s a playoff match and the result at the end of the 90 minutes is a draw, the match is extended into extra time. Extra time lasts 30 minutes and consists of two halves of 15 minutes.

(If after overtime the score is still a tie, there will be a penalty shootout.)

How Long do Youth Soccer Games Last

Youth soccer leagues obey to different rules.

For example, the number of players in each team can be different (from the regular 11) and the number of substitutions during a match can be higher (than the usual 3 allowed).

The stipulated game length depends on the different age groups.

Here’s how the United States Youth Soccer Association breaks it down:

  • Under-6: Four 6-minute quarters.
  • Under-8: Four 12-minute quarters.
  • Under-10: Two 25-minute halves.
  • Under-11 & Under-12: Two 30-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 10-minute halves.)
  • Under-13 & Under-14: Two 35-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 10-minute halves.)
  • Under-15 & Under-16: Two 40-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 15-minute halves.)
  • Under-17, Under-18 & Under-19: Two 45-minute halves. (Extra time: Two 15-minute halves.)

How Long do Middle School Soccer Games Last

Middle school soccer games usually last two 30-minute halves with a 5-minute break.

That duration may vary, however, from middle school to middle school. In some of them they have matches consisting of two 35-minute halves with a 5-minute or 10-minute break.

If we’re talking about middle school tournament games game length can also be slightly different.

Matches can last two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime, two 25-minute halves with a 5-minute interval or even two 35-minute halves with a 10-minute break.

How Long do High School Soccer Games Last

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, sets the rules that govern high school soccer games in the United States.

While each state determines its own rules and game length can vary, high school soccer games commonly consist of two 40-minute halves totaling 80 minutes.

If there’s a tie at the end of regulation play, what follows are two 10-minute halves of overtime.

How Long do Girl’s High School Soccer Games Last

A girl’s high school game is also 80 minutes in length, consisting of two equal halves of 40 minutes or four quarters of 20 minutes.

The interval between the two halves or between the second and third quarters is 10 minutes in duration.

How Long do Women’s Soccer Games Last

Women’s soccer matches last the same time as men’s soccer matches do: two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime.

Women’s college soccer games also have the same duration.

Conclusion

In this post we learned how long is a soccer game. The answer is generally 90 minutes broken down into two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute interval plus stoppage time.

If there is a tie at the end of the regulation play, the game can end as a draw, or there could be an extra time of two 15-minute halves (with no break between them) if this is a playoff match (or the competition rules state there cannot be any draws).

If the result is still a draw when the extra time ends, there will be a penalty shootout to determine the winner.

We also saw that game length is different from age group to age group where the youngest footballers play the smallest amount of time; and, as they move to the next age group, the longer their soccer matches last.

Back to You

Do you have any more doubts concerning soccer games duration?

How about soccer matches you’re used to play? How long do they last?

Let me hear from you in the comments! 🙂

Your Soccer Friend,
— Mike