How Long Is A Soccer Game?
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and is played at all age levels in most countries. The length of a soccer game can vary based on the age level, league, and specific competition. Differing aspects such as stoppage time and overtime periods can also add to the duration of a soccer match.
A professional soccer game, such as one played in the FIFA World Cup, is split into two halves. Each half lasts 45 minutes for a total of 90 minutes of regulation game time. There is also a halftime period that lasts for 15 minutes. While there are no timeouts during a match, time is added (known as stoppage time) at the end of each half to make up for time lost to injuries, substitutions, and other factors that may waste game time. The stoppage time added to each half is decided by the game referees and often falls between two to five minutes per half. After adding in stoppage time, a professional soccer game will typically take around two hours to finish.
In most leagues, when a match is tied at the end of regulation, a tie will be awarded. However, if a winner needs to be decided and the match is tied when the second-half stoppage time concludes, it will enter an overtime period. The overtime period consists of two 15-minute halves for a total of 30 extra minutes. A tied score at the end of overtime leads to a shootout between the two teams. Each team is awarded five shots, and the team that scores the most goals wins the match. More shots can be added if the score is still tied after each team shoots five times. The shootout period typically adds an additional three to six minutes to the match.
The length of a collegiate soccer game closely resembles the duration of a professional match. The games are also split into two halves that each last for 45 minutes, accompanied by a 15-minute halftime break. Referees will also add stoppage time to the end of each half to account for wasted time.
The overtime format for a collegiate match slightly differs from the professional level. Like professional soccer, when the score is even at the end of a regular-season college game, it will end in a tie. For NCAA postseason games and conference tournaments, a tie game will transition into two overtime periods that each last for ten minutes. A game that is still tied after both periods are over will move into a penalty-kick shootout to determine the winner.
High school soccer games are shorter in duration compared to those played at the collegiate and professional levels. The matches are broken up into two halves that each last 40 minutes. There is also a ten-minute halftime interval that adds to the 80 minutes of regulation game time.
The overtime rules for a high school soccer game are dependent on what state the game is being played in and whether the match is during the regular season or postseason. An overtime period will typically be broken up into two periods that each last up to ten minutes. Depending on the competition, the winner may be determined by sudden victory (first to score) or the team that has the most goals at the end of both overtime periods. A tie score at the end of overtime may result in a penalty kick shootout.
Middle school soccer games vary in length based on the school and grade level. For lower grades, the games are often split into two 30-minute halves with a ten-minute halftime intermission. Later grades will typically compete in games with two 35-minute halves and a ten-minute halftime break.
Depending on the competition and league, an overtime period may take place if the score is tied at the end of regulation. This usually consists of two ten-minute periods to determine the winner of the match.
Youth soccer games are the shortest in duration but vary based on the age level. Below is a breakdown of the game and overtime lengths of each age bracket:
|Age Level||Game Length||Overtime|
|6U, 7U, 8U||Four 12-minute quarters||None|
|9U, 10U||Two 25-minute halves||None|
|11U, 12U||Two 30-minute halves||Two 10-minute halves|
|13U, 14U||Two 35-minute halves||Two 10-minute halves|
|15U, 16U||Two 40-minute halves||Two 15-minute halves|
|17U, 18U, 19U||Two 45-minute halves||Two 15-minute halves|