How Long Is A Soccer Game?

How Long Is A Soccer Game

How long is a soccer game? If you are a soccer fan and have spent quite a few hours watching your favorite teams compete on TV, you might have noticed subtle differences between soccer and other sports. For example, in a soccer game, the clock usually runs up, not down, like in most sports. Moreover, the clock doesn’t stop for an injured player.

How does that impact you? The timing of the soccer game and the minutes that involve the action depend on how the clock runs and how it is followed throughout the game. Asking “how long does a soccer game last” doesn’t just tell you the duration of the game but the breakdown and moments you should not miss.

The following sections will break down the length of a soccer game and different terminologies related to the same that are necessary for a soccer fan. This includes the popular term “stoppage.” Join us as we explore the different kinds of soccer games and the difference in time duration.

Factors that Impact the Length of a Soccer Game

If you are wondering how long does a soccer game last, some of the factors that impact the time include the following;

Predetermined Time

An average soccer match is played over two different periods. Each of these periods at 45 minutes long with 15 minutes half time. However, there are many different soccer leagues out there, and each might follow different times. For example, youth leagues and high school games are shorter than bigger tournaments.

Additional Time

Aside from the predetermined time, soccer game players are also allotted additional time to replace that wasted during a substitution, play injury, or time wastage as determined by the referee. Faking an injury or taking too much time making a decision can have consequences for players in soccer.

The Tie

If the two teams experience a tie, the laws of the game determine what must happen next. Depending on the league, the game may be declared a draw or extra time is allotted for penalty kicks. Teams may also be allowed to rest in between.

Popular Questions About Soccer Game Timings

The popular questions about soccer game timings below can provide clarity on the average soccer game length;

1.     How many minutes in a soccer game?

In the earliest soccer games, soccer teams were known to play until sundown. There was no official time, leading to many discrepancies, tired players, and unfair wins. In 1886, the 90-minute time frame was determined to encourage fair play.

The length of most soccer games is 90 minutes of gameplay overall. This is broken down into two periods that are 45 minutes long. Half time is allotted between these periods, which lasts 15 minutes.

2.     How long does a soccer game last for the audience?

If you are trying to estimate how long it will take to finish watching a soccer game, you should set aside 2 hours of your day. Most soccer games will last up to 2 hours or more depending on whether the game is a tie or is allotted additional time. In case of a draw, there is a penalty shootout determining the winner.

3.     What can extend the time of a soccer game?

Additional time is usually allotted due to stoppages, which causes a game to be interrupted. This can include injuries or other hiccups that waste time. Stoppages are added to the clock and accounted for in the end.

However, if you are watching the World Cup, you might not witness a tie. If the teams experience a tie, the time is extended by 30 minutes (two 15-minute periods). Teams can attempt to score during these 30 minutes, and if they still can’t determine a winner, a best-of-five shootout comes into play.

4.     Where is the additional time added?

If you are wondering whether the additional time is added to the end, that isn’t true in all cases. The additional time for stoppages will only be added to that specific period. For example, if stoppages accounted for 3 minutes in the first 45 minutes, the first period would be 48 minutes overall.

These stoppages will also include substitutions that allow soccer players to substitute up to five players during their game.

5.     How long is a high school soccer game?

Unlike the World Cup, a high school soccer game will contain two 40-minute periods with a 10-minute halftime. The teams can also agree to a shorter halftime if they deem it necessary before the game.

Besides high school soccer games, college soccer is also popular. If you are wondering how long a college soccer game is, here are some facts to note;

  • College soccer is just as long as the World Cup games, with a 15-minute halftime and two 45-minute periods.
  • If both teams cannot score a point before the game ends, the game will experience a tie under the Golden Goal Rule. This means that the teams will be allotted overtime.

Different age categories experience different soccer time lengths;

  • For children under 8, soccer is divided into four periods with 12 minutes of game time.
  • For children under ten, soccer includes two time periods of 25 minutes each.
  • Players under 12 can play two 30-minute periods with an overtime of two 10-minute periods if required.
  • For players under 14, the length extends to 35 minutes.
  • For players under 16, the length will extend to 40 minutes with 15 minutes of halftime.
  • Players under 19 usually play according to the World Cup rules.

How Long Is A Soccer Game? – Final Thoughts

Soccer is an exciting game indeed. In fact, the popularity surrounding this much-loved sport pulls many excited fans to the stadiums each year. If you are trying to estimate how long it will take to go through a game of soccer, don’t forget to consider the additional time and stoppages.

A great way to note how long the game will take during the game itself is to keep track of the stoppages. With every stoppage, the game can get longer and more time is added to allow players to finish their game.

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Credit: Sky Sports

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