When it comes to soccer, many fans and players often wonder, “How long is a soccer game?” The answer may seem simple at first, but there are some more things to consider. So, let’s dive in and explore the match lengths and extra time in soccer.
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How Long Is A Soccer Game?
A typical soccer game lasts for a total of 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves. However, unlike other sports, the game doesn’t end exactly at the 45 or 90-minute mark. This is because stoppage time, also known as added time, is added at the end of each half to account for pauses in play.
Stoppage time can vary and is decided by the referee. It is typically between 2-5 minutes, but during special events like the 2022 and 2023 World Cups, there has been a trend of longer added time to add more excitement to the matches.
In the knockout stage of the World Cup, if a game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, an additional 30 minutes of extra time is played. This extra time is divided into two 15-minute halves, giving both teams a chance to break.
If the game remains tied after extra time, a penalty shootout is used to determine the winner. Each team takes five penalties, and if the score is still tied, it goes into sudden death format until a winner is determined.
So, the next time you watch a soccer game, keep in mind that the action may extend beyond the standard 90 minutes. With added time, extra time, and penalty shootouts, anything can happen in the beautiful game.
Length of Youth Soccer Games
|Age Group||Game Duration|
|Under 6||4 quarters of 6 minutes each|
|Under 8||2 halves of 10 minutes each|
|Under 10||2 halves of 25 minutes each|
|Under 12||2 halves of 30 minutes each|
|Under 14||2 halves of 35 minutes each|
|Under 16||2 halves of 40 minutes each|
|Under 19||2 halves of 45 minutes each|
When it comes to youth soccer games, the length of the match can vary based on the age group of the players. Different age groups have different game durations to cater to the developmental needs of young players.
For the under-6 age group, games typically consist of 4 quarters of 6 minutes each, with no overtime. This shorter game time allows young players to participate and enjoy the game without getting too fatigued.
As the age group increases, the game time also increases. For example, the under-10 age group plays two 25-minute halves, under 12 plays two 30-minute halves, under 14 plays two 35-minute halves, under 16 plays two 40-minute halves, and under 19 plays two 45-minute halves. These longer game durations gradually prepare players for the full-length matches they will encounter in their soccer journey.
Overtime periods can be added in some age groups, typically two 10-minute halves. These additional periods give players a chance to break a tie and determine a winner in case the game ends in a draw.
Length of Professional Soccer Games and Extra Time
|Standard Game||90 minutes (two 45-minute halves)|
|Halftime Break||15 minutes|
|Stoppage Time||Varies (added at the referee’s discretion)|
|Extra Time||30 minutes (two 15-minute halves)|
In professional soccer, the duration of a standard game is 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves. This consistent format allows for fair competition and strategic gameplay. There is a 15-minute halftime break between the two halves, providing players with an opportunity to rest and regroup.
During a soccer match, the referee may add stoppage time at the end of each half to compensate for any delays that occurred during the game.
These delays can include injuries, substitutions, or other interruptions. The amount of added time is determined solely by the referee and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the match.
In the knockout stage of competitions, if a game ends in a draw after the initial 90 minutes, an extra time period is played. This additional time consists of two 15-minute halves, resulting in a total of 30 minutes.
The purpose of extra time is to provide teams with another opportunity to score and determine a winner. However, if the game remains tied after extra time, a penalty shootout is used to decide the outcome.
Other Timing Rules in Soccer
When it comes to soccer, there are a few timing rules that you should be aware of. One of these is halftime, which provides players and fans a much-needed break between the two 45-minute halves of the game. Halftime typically lasts for 15 minutes, giving teams an opportunity to regroup and strategize for the second half.
Unlike some sports where the clock counts down, soccer follows a different approach. The clock in soccer counts up, which means that it starts at 0:00 and continues to run until the end of the game. This makes it easier for players, referees, and fans to keep track of stoppage time, which is added at the end of each half to account for delays during the game.
It’s important to note that the length of a soccer game can vary. Factors such as added time, extra time, and penalty shootouts can extend the duration of the match beyond the standard 90 minutes.
In some cases, the added time at the end of each half can range from 2-5 minutes or even longer. In the knockout stage of competitions, if the game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, an extra time period of 30 minutes is played, divided into two 15-minute halves.
Knowing the timing rules in soccer is essential for both players and fans. Whether it’s the halftime break, the counting up of the clock, or the potential for extra time, these rules shape the duration and flow of the game.