HomeMore Sports


American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballHistoryHow ToKick TypesLeaguesLingoNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesPlayersPlaysPositionsQuestionsCan A Girl Play Football?Can Quarterbacks Run With The Ball?Does A Touchdown Count As A First Down In Football?Football QuestionsHow Are Field Goals Measured In Football?How Long Does An American Football Game Last?How Long Is An NFL Football Field?How Many Chances Does The Offense Get To Reach A First Down In Football?How Many Downs Are There In Football?How Many Players Are There In An American Football Team?How Many Points Is A Blocked Field Goal Return In Football?How Many Points Is A Field Goal Worth In Football?How Many Points Is A Kick In Football?How Many Points Is A Safety Worth In Football?How Many Points Is A Touchdown Worth In Football?How Many Quarterbacks Are On A Football Team?How Many Steps Are In A Field Goal In Football?How Many Yards Are In A First Down In Football?How Many Yards Is The End Zone In Football?How Many Yards Wide Is A Football Field?Is The Quarterback The Captain Of The Team In Football?What Are Skilled Positions In Football?What Are Some Of The Lesser Known Rules Of Football?What Are The Dimensions Of An American Football Field?What Are The Most Common Penalties In NFL Football?What Are The Positions On A Football Team?What Are The Various Defensive Positions In American Football?What Counts As A Tackle In Football?What Does A Cornerback Do In Football?What Does A Field Goal Mean In Football?What Does A Guard Do In Football?What Does A Linebacker Do In Football?What Does A Tight End Do In Football?What Does A Wide Receiver Do In Football?What Does Punt Mean In A Football Game?What Happens After A Touchdown In Football?What Happens If A Wide Receiver Misses The Catch In Football?What Is A Touchdown In Football?What Is An Incomplete Pass Versus A Complete Pass In Football?What Is Justin Tucker's Longest Field Goal?What Is The Blue Line In Football?What Is The Easiest And Hardest Position To Play In Football?What Is The Longest Field Goal Kicked In College Football?What Is The Longest Field Goal Kicked In High School Football?What Is The Most Obscure Rule In Ncaa College Football?What Is The Yellow Line In Football?What It Means To Be A Quarterback In Football?What Makes A Good Wide Receiver In Football?What Position Hikes The Ball In Football?When A Defensive Player Catches A Pass In Football?When Is An Onside Kick No Longer Recoverable By The Kicking Team In Football?When Was The First Touchdown Scored In NFL Football?Where Is Football Most Popular?Who Catches The Ball In Football?Who Created Football In America?Who Is The Best QB In The NFL Football?Who Is The Best Running Back In NFL Football?Who Is The Best Team In American Football?Who Is The First NFL Quarterback To Win 5 Super Bowl Rings In Football?Who Kicks The Ball In Football?Who Protects The Quarterback In Football?Who Was The Heaviest NFL Football Player Ever?RulesScrimmage DownsSkillsStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. How Long Does An American Football Game Last?

How Long Does An American Football Game Last?

How long is a game of American football?

A game of American football is 60 minutes long, with additional 15 minute quarters if overtime is required. This only applies to the NFL; in college football, there is no time limit for overtime. The game always lasts longer than 60 minutes due to breaks in the action from penalties, reviews, and the allotted time in between quarters. The hour is divided into four 15 minute quarters, making up the first half and the second half of the game.

Football games take much longer than an hour. Games can typically run two or even three hours in length, depending on if the game goes into overtime. Injuries and media timeouts can also account for large amounts of time that increase the overall length of the football game.

Recent studies have shown that the average NFL game lasts around three hours in total.

Quarters And Halves

football halftime

Football games consist of two 30 minute halves broken down into four 15 minute quarters for NFL and college football. The time in between quarters, as well as the halftime break, will also account for additional time added to a football game.

The Game Clock

football game clock

The game clock is used to keep track of time in each of the quarters.

However, the game clock is not continuous and will stop for the following reasons:

The Play Clock

football play clock

The play clock keeps track of time in between downs and is used throughout regulation time.

The play clock does not take time off the game clock, but it does increase the length of the game.

Football Overtime

Football Overtime

Overtime is an extra quarter used to decide the winner of the game when the game is tied at the end of regulation. Overtime lasts 10 minutes in the NFL, but in NCAA football there is no game clock running during the overtime period. In the NFL, there is only one sudden death overtime, meaning the first team to score wins or the game will result in a tie.

In the NCAA, both teams will have a chance to score in each overtime, and overtime will continue until a winner is decided.

Key Terms

Here are the key terms to know when it comes to how long an American football game lasts:


Do American football games last an hour?

While the clock runs for an hour during every game, American football games last much longer. Games are typically about three hours long due to multiple stoppages.

Can an American football game end in a tie?

Yes, an NFL game can end in a tie if neither team has scored in the allotted overtime period. It is uncommon, but it has happened before.

Is NFL overtime 15 minutes long?

The NFL overtime period is 10 minutes long. The period used to be 15 minutes long, but was changed for the 2017 season.