Soccer Game Length

soccer game clock

At its core, soccer is a fairly simple game to organize, as there are not a lot of complicated rules regarding the game structure. Let’s learn about the format and length of a soccer game for different leagues and levels of play.  


Soccer Half

A single soccer match is divided into two halves of game time. Each half has the same amount of time allotted for play. The length of each half depends on the level of competition. All collegiate and professional soccer leagues play matches with two 45-minute halves.

The Game Clock

In professional matches, the game clock will continuously count up from zero to 45:00 for the first half and from 45:00 to 90:00 in the second half. The game clock only stops at halftime.

Stoppage Time

soccer stoppage time

Stoppage time is the term used to describe the number of additional minutes added to the clock at the end of each half of a soccer game. The length of stoppage time is based on the referee's decision after he analyzes the amount of time that was lost during the half due to substitutions, injuries, and other significant delays. A referee will add stoppage time to the end of both halves. Stoppage time can range from only one minute to upwards of ten minutes.

Extra Time

Extra time in soccer is overtime added to the end of regulation if a knockout game is tied. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves with a one-minute break in between. The full 30 minutes will be played in any game that goes into extra time, regardless of how many goals are scored and when. There is a five-minute break between the end of regulation time and the start of extra time.


How long is a youth AYSO soccer game?

For youth soccer leagues like AYSO, the game’s length can vary based on the age group. A typical breakdown of game lengths is as follows:

  • 10-minute halves (20-minute games) for 4-5 year-olds
  • 20-minute halves (40-minute games) for 6-7 year-olds
  • 25-minute halves (50-minute games) for 8-9 year-olds
  • 30-minute halves (60-minute games) for 10-11 year-olds
  • 35-minute halves (70-minute games) for 12-13 year-olds
  • 40-minute halves (80-minute games) for 14-15 year-olds

How long is a FIFA soccer game?

FIFA soccer games last 90 minutes of regulation time and have two halves of 45 minutes each. Halftime separates each half and lasts 15 minutes. Additional stoppage time and extra time (if required) can make games slightly longer. Most leagues like the MLS and UEFA follow the traditional match length described in the FIFA rulebook.

How long is an MLS soccer game?

In Major League Soccer, matches last 90 minutes, divided into halves of 45 minutes, just like international leagues like FIFA. Halftime requires a break from play for 15 minutes. Finally, stoppage time is added to the game clock for each half. Extra time may be played if the score is tied at the end of regulation. This means that games can often reach two and a half hours long.

How long is a UEFA soccer game?

A UEFA soccer match is 90 minutes on the game clock, with two halves of 45 minutes. Like in the MLS and FIFA games, two halves of 45 minutes, stoppage time, and extra time are used in UEFA matches. The overall length of a game will typically be around two hours.

How long is a World Cup soccer game?

World Cup matches follow a traditional FIFA format and last 90 minutes. Stoppage time will be added to each half to account for time wasted for injuries, substitutions, and restarting play. There is a 15-minute halftime break in all World Cup games. If the score is tied at the end of the game, there will not be extra time if the game is in the group stage. Instead, the World Cup utilizes an aggregate scoring system to determine which teams advance from the group stage. Penalty kicks and extra time only happen in knockout rounds.