How long is a soccer game played: A game consists of two halves, each lasting a maximum of 45 minutes. The playing time can be shortened, but this decision must be made before the game and agreed upon with everyone involved. In addition, the competition regulations must allow this. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. GIGA explains how long a half, the break, and the extra time is and what the stoppage time is all about.
Football is played in over 200 countries worldwide and is the most popular sport in the world, ahead of basketball and cricket. Everything you need to know about the length of a game, the length of the half-time break, the importance of extra time, and how long is a soccer game lasts can be found in this article.
Football match duration: men and women
A normal game for men and women consists of two halves of 45 minutes each. The two halves are separated by a 15-minute half-time break. If there are repeated delays during the half-time (injuries, substitutions, fouls), the referees can set overtime. Theoretically, there is no upper limit for overtime – but normally this is between one and four minutes per half and an average of five and a half minutes per game.
If both teams have scored the same number of goals in a decider or cup game (knockout round) after the regular 90 minutes have elapsed, then extra time is required. After the regular playing time, the players have a short 5-minute break and then have to play again for 15 minutes twice. After the first quarter of an hour, only the sides are changed, there is no second “half”.
If the game is still a draw after extra time, it goes to a penalty shootout. Each team takes turns shooting at the goal five times. From start to finish, such a knockout game can be more than two and a half hours long.
Football match duration: Youth
In children’s and youth football, the games are of course correspondingly shorter. The length of each half and overtime depends on the age group. The little ones (6 and 7 years) start with a maximum of two 20-minute sessions and for each subsequent age group (two years each) the duration increases by five minutes per half-time. The extra time for juniors under the age of 17 is a maximum of two times 10 minutes or two times five minutes long.
The players are allowed a half-time break.
This lasts a maximum of fifteen minutes.
The length of the half-time break is specified in the competition regulations.
The duration of the half-time break can only be shortened with the consent of the referee and the captains.
The half-time break counts from the final whistle of the first half to the start of the second half.
In each half, the time lost for:
Transporting injured players off the pitch,
Wasting time or
No other reason.
The time to be played is at the discretion of the referee. If time is added, the referee must indicate this clearly for all involved in the last minute of each half of the game.
Time lost (e.g. interruption due to a thunderstorm) must always be replayed.
The special feature of the penalty kick
If a penalty kick is taken or retaken, play must be extended until the penalty kick is taken.
An abandoned match will be replayed unless the contest rules state otherwise.
If no decision has been made in play-offs or cup games during normal playing time, the game will be extended twice by 15 minutes if the competition regulations so provide. Overtime must be played in its entirety.
Men’s team 2 x 15 minutes
Women’s team 2 x 15 minutes