How Long Is A Soccer Game?

In this post, I will walk you through the duration of a soccer game in detail. And I promise this post won’t bore you probably because it’s my favorite sport. But let me ask you; What’s your favorite between watching or playing football?

I guess, we both love them both. Soccer commonly known as football has been one of the most loved sports in the world with over 250 million active players from over 200 countries.

During my leisure time, I play soccer to ease my body and to have some fun. I want to believe, playing or watching football is one of your activities. But how long is a soccer game? In this post, you will learn about the duration of a football game which will include;

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  • How long is a soccer game with extra time
  • How long is a soccer game in high school
  • How long is a women’s college soccer game
  • How long is each half in a professional soccer game
  • Soccer game length by age

And lots more. So, let’s get to it.

READ: What is a brace in soccer?

How Long Is A Soccer Game?

A regular soccer or football game time duration is 90 minutes with two halves of 45 minutes each ( first half and second half ). And in between the two halves, the referee usually grants 15 minutes for rest.

With 15-minute intervals, players could relax their bodies, while coaches use this time to talk about the game and re-strategies. With little of what you can do with the 15-minute break, it has proven to be a game changer in lots of games.

In addition, after 90 minutes of the free-flowing ball has been completed, it now depends on the referee to decide if to add time, and an additional Time is due to a delay in play that could have been caused by injury, and the player substitution.

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Furthermore, an additional time after 90 minutes of regulation time didn’t just come up, and according to history, in 1891 during a game between Stoke City and Aston Villa.

In the game, Stoke was behind Aston Villa with a goal, and it’s just two minutes left before the referee blew the final whistle ( 90 minutes ). Fortunately, Stoke City was awarded a penalty kick, and you know what happens?

Aston Villa’s goalkeeper kicked the ball away to waste the few minutes left. Unfortunately, before they could get the ball to the penalty spot, time had already been locked which means Stoke City was unable to play their penalty which could have probably earned them a draw.

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And after the incidents, FIFA set a law that guides a penalty kick (the duration of the first and second half should be extended until the penalty kick has been taken or attempted ).

This means that the match won’t be ended without playing the penalty kick that was awarded by the referee. However, the duration of football games varies and some factors could make the referee add additional time or stop the game even before 90 minutes.

In the next heading, you will learn more about football duration.

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READ: What is relegation in soccer?

How Long Is A Soccer Game With Extra Time

With additional extra time, a football match will last for 120 minutes. Yes, 120 minutes. This usually happens in competitions or knock-out stages where a winner is required.

In a knockout stage, any match that the score line is tied after the regulation time ( 90 minutes) is certain to go into extra time. However, extra time usually lasts for 30 minutes with two halves of 15 minutes each ( first and second half ).

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Pardon me, let’s do some simple math here:

  • Regulation football time = 90 minutes ( both halves )
  • Extra time = 30 minutes ( both halves )
  • Thus; 90 + 30 = 120 minute

So, with extra time, a football match will last for 120 minutes. Furthermore, if the match ends in a draw 1 – 1, 2 – 2, and 0 – 0 after extra time, the referee will take the game to a penalty shootout, and this will be done to know the winner.

In addition, any goal that is scored during the extra time will count towards the final score of the match, while goals during the penalty shootouts will be used to select a winner.

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How Long Is A Soccer Game In High School

Football games in high school usually last for 80 minutes of free-flowing football. During my research, I met a friend who happens to be a referee in a high school in California.

We had a short chat about the duration of soccer games in high school, and I learned that varsity football games are 80 minutes while junior varsity games are 70 minutes.

In a professional game that lasts for 90 minutes, you will see the referee’s wristwatch reading during substitutions, and injury situations even when players are celebrating their goals.

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But after 90 minutes, the referee will consider all of these reasons and present an additional time or stoppage time. Meanwhile, in high school games, it’s completely different.

The referee will stop the time for substitutions, injuries, and celebration of the goal scored, and when that is done, the time will restart. However, in high school games, additional time or stoppage time is not practiced.

How Long Is A Women’s College Soccer Game

Women’s college soccer is 90 minutes which involves the first half and the second with both halves 45 minutes each plus a 15-minute time break interval. Women’s college football games rule is similar to that of a regular soccer game rule.

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A regular women’s soccer game usually lasts for 90 minutes but in some cases like playoff matches or knockout games where a winner needs to emerge.

In a playoff match, if the score is tied to a draw after 90 minutes, the referee will add the extra time of 20 minutes for both halves ( 10 minutes for the first half and 10 minutes for the second half ). Then, if the score is still tied after the extra time, both teams will engage in a penalty shootout.

READ: What is a fullback in Soccer?

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However, the differences between women’s college soccer games’ timing and professional football games are that, in women’s college football games, the referee usually stops the time when an injury occurs, during substitution, or when the referee is giving out the card.

While in a professional soccer game, the referee doesn’t stop the time, instead, he will add additional time after the regulation time ( 90 minutes ).

How Long Is Each Half In A Professional Soccer Game

A professional soccer game consists of two halves named the first half and the second half each half is 45 minutes. According to The FA, the time for both halves could be reduced if the referee and the two teams agree before the start of the match.

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Soccer Game Length By Age

In this chapter, I will share with you how long a soccer game can last by age. Football game length varies, and the duration of the game will depend on the age of the children.

Older children will more than likely have two halves while younger children often play four quarters. However, your league will determine whether quarters or halves are played and how long each game will last. In this chapter, you will learn;

  • How long is a U17 soccer game
  • How long is a U15 soccer game
  • How long is a U14 soccer game
  • How long is a U13 soccer game
  • How long is a U9 soccer game
  • How long is a U6 soccer game

Let’s get to it.

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How Long Is A U17 Soccer Game

In tournament matches, the U17 football game lasts for 90 minutes with two halves of 45 minutes each. Also, players are entitled to a 15-minute interval at half time for break and pep talks.

Nevertheless, if the score is tied after 90 minutes, the referee will add extra time ( 30 minutes ) and if the score is still a draw then, the match will head to a penalty shoot-out.

However, the extra time has been scrapped from U17 tournaments since 2011 to avoid prolonged stress which could lead to emotional and physical exhaustion due to their age.

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So, if the knockout game is tied after 90 minutes, then the referee will call for a penalty shootout.

READ: What Is A Winger In Soccer?

How Long Is A U15 Soccer Game

U15 regular football matches are 80 minutes with the first half and second, being 40 minutes each. After the first 45 minutes have been completed, the referee will call for a 15-minute break.

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If it is a knockout game or playoff, the match won’t exceed 80 minutes and if the match is a draw after the 80 minutes, then the referee will call for a penalty shootout. 

How Long Is A U14 Soccer Game

A regular U14 football game length is 70 minutes of two halves of 35 minutes each ( first half and second half ). After the first 35 minutes ( first half ), the referee will call for a 5-minute break.

And after 70 minutes have been completed, the referee may decide to add stoppage time and the added time will depend on how the time was wasted in each half coupled with injuries and substitution.

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How Long Is A U13 Soccer Game

A regular U13 soccer match length is 70 minutes with two halves of 35 minutes each. In a competition or tournament where a winner will emerge in a particular stage, if at the end of 70 minutes, and the score is level, the referee will add an extra time of which two equals 10 minutes each.

After that, if the score line is tied, then a penalty shootout will take place.

How Long Is A U9 Soccer Game

A regular U9 soccer game length is 50 minutes with two halves of 25 minutes each. During the game and at the end of the first 25 minutes ( first half ), players will be granted a 5-minute halftime break.

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READ: What Is The Meaning Of Clean Sheet In Soccer?

And at the end of 50 minutes, the referee could decide to add a stoppage time or additional time.

YES! With me, you’ve made it this far, sharing and discussing the length of a soccer game which includes the length of football matches by age.

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A professional football match’s length is usually 90 minutes excluding additional time or a stoppage time. And in a tournament where teams are grouped in stages, in the knockout stage, if the score is level at the end of the regular minutes ( 90 minutes ), the referee will add an extra time which the first half and second half will be 15 minutes each.

If the score is tied at the end of the extra time, then a penalty will take place because a winner has to emerge in the game. In addition, the length of a football match depends on the age group.

For instance; Football matches in the U4 – 8 age group follow a quarter format with a 2-minute break between quarters 1, 3, and 3, 4. While soccer matches from U9 follow the half-time format with 5 minutes halftime break.

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Final Words

We have thrown more light on the duration of a soccer game and we have provided you with answers to the length of a soccer game at various levels. Do well to leverage the information here.

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