How Long are Soccer Games



Hey there, soccer enthusiasts! Ever found yourself scratching your head, wondering just How Long are Soccer Games really lasts? You’re not alone! Whether you’re a newbie to the sport or a seasoned fan, understanding the ins and outs of soccer game duration can enhance your appreciation of the beautiful game. So, let’s kick off and dive into the details of how long soccer games truly are. 

Standard Duration of a Soccer Game

A standard soccer game consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes. That’s a solid 90 minutes of non-stop action. Between these two halves, there’s a half-time break lasting 15 minutes, giving players a chance to catch their breath and strategize for the next half. So, if you’re planning to watch a match, you’re looking at roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes from start to finish, barring any additional time added on.

Additional Time in Soccer

You might have noticed that games often stretch beyond the standard 90 minutes. This is where stoppage time, also known as injury time, comes into play. Stoppage time compensates for time lost due to injuries, substitutions, and other interruptions during the halves. The referee decides how much time is added, and this can vary from game to game. It’s usually just a few extra minutes, but those minutes can be game-changers! 

Extra Time in Soccer

In knockout competitions, if the score is tied at the end of regular time, the game may go into extra time. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves, adding up to 30 more minutes of play. This is designed to give teams another shot at breaking the deadlock before resorting to penalty shootouts. So, in some high-stakes matches, you could be watching for a total of 120 minutes plus any added stoppage time. How Long are Soccer Games

Penalty Shootouts

When extra time doesn’t yield a winner, it’s time for the nail-biting penalty shootout. Each team takes turns shooting from the penalty mark, and the team with the most goals after five attempts wins. If it’s still tied, it goes to sudden death until one team prevails. This method ensures a decisive outcome but can be a real heart-stopper for fans!

Youth and Amateur Soccer Games

Youth and amateur soccer matches sometimes follow the 90-minute rule. The duration often varies depending on the age group and league rules. For instance, youth games might have shorter halves, ranging from 20 to 40 minutes each. Amateur games, depending on the level, might stick to the standard duration or have slight variations. It’s all about making the game suitable and enjoyable for the player’s age and skill level.

Soccer Tournaments

Tournament matches, especially in knockout stages, often follow the standard 90-minute rule but with the added possibility of extra time and penalty shootouts. Group stage matches typically stick to the regular duration with stoppage time. However, the excitement really ramps up in the knockout stages, where games can stretch much longer as teams battle for progression. How Long are Soccer Games

Major Soccer Leagues

Different leagues around the world follow the standard 90-minute game time, but there can be subtle differences in how stoppage time is managed. For example, the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, and Serie A in Italy all adhere to this structure. The main variations come from the referee’s discretion in adding stoppage time based on the specific events of the match.

International Soccer Matches

International competitions like the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship also stick to the 90-minute duration with potential extra time and penalty shootouts in knockout rounds. The intensity of these matches often means more stoppage time due to the higher stakes and frequent interruptions. How Long are Soccer Games

Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer matches follow the same duration rules as men’s matches. This means 90 minutes of regulation time, with extra time and penalty shootouts applied in the same way for knockout matches. The pace and excitement are just as thrilling, making it a must-watch!

Indoor Soccer

Indoor soccer, or futsal, is a different ball game when it comes to duration. Typically, an indoor soccer match lasts for two 20-minute halves, making it a total of 40 minutes. The game is faster-paced due to the smaller pitch and fewer players, and the clock stops during certain breaks in play, unlike traditional soccer. How Long are Soccer Games

Factors Influencing Game Duration

Several factors can influence the actual length of a soccer game. Weather conditions, for instance, can cause delays, especially in extreme heat or heavy rain. Referee decisions, such as lengthy VAR reviews or dealing with on-field incidents, also add to the game time. Even enthusiastic goal celebrations or disputes can extend the match beyond the expected duration.

Historical Changes in Game Duration

The length of soccer games has sometimes been flexible. In the early days, match duration could vary widely. It was in the late 19th century that the standard 90-minute format was established. Changes like the introduction of stoppage time and extra time have been implemented to make the game fairer and more exciting.

Future of Soccer Game Duration

There’s an ongoing debate about whether the duration of soccer games should be adjusted. Some suggest shortening the halves to maintain a high tempo throughout, while others argue for maintaining tradition. Technological advancements like VAR have also influenced discussions on how to manage game time more effectively.


So, there you have it! Soccer games are a dynamic blend of set durations and flexible extensions, all designed to ensure fair play and maximum excitement. From the standard 90 minutes to the intense drama of extra time and penalty shootouts, understanding the structure of game duration enhances your appreciation of every match. Read more


How long is a standard soccer game? A standard soccer game lasts 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves, plus a 15-minute half-time break.

Why does stoppage time vary? Stoppage time varies because it accounts for time lost due to injuries, substitutions, and other interruptions. The referee determines the exact amount based on these factors.

What is the longest recorded soccer game? The longest recorded soccer game lasted 169 hours, played by Heartbeat United and Haworth Colliery in 2016 to raise money for charity.

Do youth soccer games have different durations? Yes, youth soccer games often have shorter halves, ranging from 20 to 40 minutes each, depending on the age group and league rules.

How is extra time decided? Extra time is played in knockout matches if the score is tied after regular time. It consists of two 15-minute halves, and if the tie persists, the game goes to penalty shootouts.

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