How Long is a Soccer Game? Halftime, Stoppage and Penalties – The Ultimate Guide

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A soccer game lasts for 90 minutes. A soccer game consists of 2 halves with each being 45 minutes long

After hours of researching how long a soccer match is in competitions around the world. I then researched how different factors can affect the length of a soccer game.

Keep reading if you want to learn:

  • How Long is Stoppage Time
  • How Long are Extra Time Periods in Soccer?
  • How Does a Penalty Shootout Work?
  • Why Does the Soccer Clock Count Up Instead of Down?
  • How Many Quarters Are There in Soccer?
  • How Long is Halftime in Soccer?
  • How Long Does it Take to Watch a Soccer Game?
  • Is Stoppage Time Longer in the World Cup?
  • Are There any Timeouts During a Soccer Match?
  • How Long is a College Soccer Game?
  • How Long is a High School Soccer Game?

How Long is Stoppage Time?

Most of the time, a maximum of 5 minutes each half. How long stoppage time can be is completely dependent on injuries, fouls, flopping etc. Injuries are the most imperative factor when more stoppage time is added at the end of a half.

It really comes down to the referee as it’s the referees final decision how many minutes are added to the end of the half. The referee controls the flow of the game and they can have only 1 minute added at the end of each half or more, but it depends on the referee’s judgment.

Certain soccer games like cup competitions or champions league have much longer stoppage times. 6-7 minutes on average are added to each half to add more excitement and tension to the games.

How Long are Extra Time Periods in Soccer?

30 minutes. There are 2 halves with 15 minute periods. After the normal 90 minute game, there is extra time for special games but the game doesn’t end if a team scores a goal.

If the game is still tied after extra time, then it goes to a penalty shootout. There is added stoppage time even in extra time periods. The extra time minutes are on average 1 minute to each extra time half.

How Does a Penalty Shootout Work?

A penalty shootout only occurs when the game is still tied after the normal 90 minutes & extra time, playing a total of over 120 minutes. These also only take place for specific games, like Olympic or World Cup games.

The teams are given 5 penalty shots, and the team that successfully scores 5 goals without missing or the keeper saving them wins.

A team could, however, win with just 3 goals if the goalkeeper managed to save 3 of the shots or if the players missed the shots completely.

The composure of the goalkeeper and the players taking the penalties are the most important things in a penalty shootout. The players and goalkeepers make it a winning game.

Penalty shootouts can exceed the normal 5 penalty shots if both teams score 5 goals, and then the next winning target would be 10 goals, and this would go on and on until a team was to miss, where a team would then be the winners. The game ends at the penalty shootouts.

Why Does the Soccer Clock Count Up Instead of Down?

So the referee has all of the control. Due to all the possible things that can stop gameplay the clock has to count up and not down which popular sports like basketball & football do. 

Players are known to waste time which is a big reason why the soccer clock counts up and things like injuries, free kicks & penalty kicks take time from the game so this is added on at the end of halves by the referees.

How Many Quarters Are There in Soccer?

None. Unlike the NBA or NFL, soccer only has halves, not quarters.

Quarters suck time out of gameplay, especially in soccer, where counterattacks are important, and if you were to split it into 25 minute quarters, then it would be a very interruptive game that doesn’t really hold any drama.

The biggest advantage of halves is that there are fewer commercials and more game time, which helps if it’s pizza night and we have a six packs of beers for the game.

How Long is Halftime in Soccer?

15 minutes. Players are only given a 15 minute break to have a drink break, recuperate, and gain enough energy for the second half.

How Long Does it Take to Watch a Soccer Game?

1 hour 50 minutes. Taking into account that a game is 90 minutes and there is a 15 minute break, that equates to 105 minutes. Also, adding 2 minutes of stoppage time per half would be close to 110 minutes. Knockout stage games would, of course, have more stoppage time, which would mean a longer game, which is often longer than 2 hours.

Is Stoppage Time Longer in the World Cup?

Yes. Stoppage time is a lot longer for the most watched sports competition in the world. The reason for this is to give a fair chance to each team. In a high-level sports competition like this, if a team is attacking, it would be unfair to put the normal 3 minutes at the end of a half. 

Statista reports that there was an average of 11.61 minutes added to games across both halves. This set the record for most stoppage time minutes added in any World Cup held before.

Counterattacks and the intensity of the matches are a lot higher compared to a normal season game like Manchester United vs. Liverpool. 

Are There any Timeouts During a Soccer Match?

No. There are no timeouts in soccer. Soccer relies on discipline and constant action, so there aren’t timeouts in the sport.

The only breaks that players and spectators have are the 15 minute breaks that players have during halftime.

How Long is a College Soccer Game?

90 minutes with 45 minute halves. Although the organization is the NCAA, the format remains the same as FIFA, as this would most likely be a means of suggesting to players what is required by playing at a high level and to understand the difficulties playing such long periods through college as opposed to arriving professionally and not being suited to it.

How Long is a High School Soccer Game?

80 minutes with 40 minute halves. The rules are administered by the National Federation of State High School Associations. As such, they think it’s more safe to have 40 minute halves for players who have to play a physical sport like soccer.

This depends on the state, as some states stick to the traditional 90 minute games, but most states prefer the 80 minute matches.

Closing Thoughts

So, how long is a soccer game? In summary, a football game is 90 minutes of guaranteed nonstop action with no timeouts. It consists of 45 minute halves with a 15 minute brief intermission during halftime.

Watching a sport for 90 minutes can be tedious but when you consider there are no coach interferences and you have 100,000 crazy sports fans cheering or booing a team it definitely creates a magical game and those minutes will fly by.

Has it crossed your mind how long a basketball game is? Be sure to check out our guide on how long a basketball game really is.

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Hi, This is Daniel's Sports Blog. I have been a Sports Fan for as long as I can remember and have grown up watching all types of sports including Basketball, Soccer, Football, Wrestling (WWE specifically), amongst many more! I have not only been watching sports but I have also been competing in a range of sports and I bring my skills and experiences to writing this blog so I can help other sports fanatics understand and appreciate the art of sports.

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