Soccer is the most popular and most followed sport in the world. One question most followers of the sport often ask is, how long does a soccer game last?
How long a soccer game last depends on whether the game is a professional soccer match, amateur match, or a match involving children. It also depends on whether the soccer game is a league match, knock-out match, or group game.
In a league match, there is room for a draw, a loss, or a win. If it is a knock-out match, a team is expected to win. In this case, the soccer game might last longer because the teams could play regular time, injury time or stoppage time, an extra time or additional time, and there could be a penalty shootout.
However, generally, a soccer game is expected to last for 90 minutes for both professionals and amateurs. Yet, the game could go as long as 120 minutes if it is a knockout game in which a team must eliminate the other and the team involved failed to win during regular time.
How long does a professional soccer game last?
A professional soccer game is often between two professional teams. Such teams could be clubs or countries. For example, a soccer game between Spain and Germany’s national teams is a professional game; a game between Chelsea and Real Madrid is also an example of a professional soccer game.
In a professional game, two opposing teams are expected to play against each other for 90 minutes which is regarded as regular time. The 90 minutes are divided into two halves. In each half, the two teams will play against each other for 45 minutes.
After the first 45 minutes which is known as the first half, the two teams will return to the dressing room for a 15-minute break. During the break, the two teams are expected to refresh themselves and listen to advise, and/or encouragement from their separate coaches in their separate dressing rooms.
After the 15 minutes break, the two teams are expected to return to the pitch to play the remaining 45 minutes which will make it 90 minutes altogether.
Note that before the referee ends the first half or the second half of the match, the match officials might decide to add a couple of minutes to the regular time. The added minute is referred to as injury time or stoppage time.
The match officials can decide to add one or more minutes to the regular time if there were any form of delays due to injuries, fouls, substitutions, or any other form of disturbances to the smooth flow of the game. How long the delay lasted will determine the number of minutes that will be added.
How long does a Major League Soccer game (MLS) last?
Matches in Major League Soccer last for 90 minutes. The 90 minutes are divided into two halves which contain 45-minute each, the same as in FIFA World Cup and other international competitions. There is a 15-minute halftime break between the two halves. Note that in each half, injury time might be added to the regular time to make up for any delay during the game.
How long does an English Premier League game last?
Just like the MLS and any other professional league across the world, the Premier League lasts for 90 minutes. It is also divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. There is also a 15-minute halftime break between the two halves. The game officials are permitted to add injury time to the regular time to make up for any lost time during the game.
What if it is a knock-out soccer game?
If it is a knock-out soccer game in which a team must be eliminated, the match could last longer than the regular time. For instance, if the two opposing teams fail to score during regular time (90 minutes and injury time if necessary), the game will go into what is known as extra time or additional time.
Extra time in soccer is usually 30 minutes long. It is always introduced in a soccer game in which a winner must emerge or a team must be eliminated.
The 30 minutes is divided into two halves, each half last for 15 minutes and the match officials are free to add injury time or additional time if there was any form of delays during the game.
After the two halves, if no winner emerges, the game will go into a penalty shootout. Any team that outscores the other team, will emerge the winner of the soccer game.
Amateur soccer: How Long Do College And High School soccer games last?
College Soccer game:
College soccer games and high school soccer games can be categorized as amateur soccer games because they are mostly not played by professionals or players placed on regular wages. Hence, the rules are usually different.
For instance, rule 7 of the National College Athletes Association (NCAA) soccer rules book states that soccer games for colleges must consist of two 45-minute periods (regular time).
The two halves are divided by a 15-minute halftime break which is used majorly for refreshment and team talk in the separate dressing rooms of the two opposing teams.
If a winner must emerge and the regular time ends in a tie, the opposing team must play extra time of two 10 minutes periods.
During the extra time, any team that takes the lead will be declared the winner even if the extra time has not been exhausted. If the extra time has been exhausted and no team takes the lead, the two teams will play a penalty shootout.
High school soccer game:
In a high school soccer game, the opposing teams are expected to play for a regular time of 80 minutes. Just like in other forms, the 80 minutes are divided into two halves, 40 minutes for each half.
After the first half, the two teams will take a break for 10 minutes to refresh, receive instructions from their coaches, and other necessities. However, the 10-minute break might be reduced if the two teams agreed with the match officials before kick-off.
If a winner must emerge in the soccer game and the two teams failed to take the lead during regular time, the two teams will play an extra time. In high school soccer, the extra time last for 10 minutes of two halves.
If any team takes the lead during the extra time, such a team will emerge the winner even if the extra time has not been exhausted. If no team wins, the teams will go into a penalty shootout.
How long do Children and youth soccer games last?
There is no general time limit for youth and children’s soccer games. The time is determined by the age group playing the soccer game.
Below is the prescribed time limit for age groups soccer games in the United States based on the United States Youth Soccer Association rules:
Under 6: Four quarters 6 minutes.
Under 8: Four rounds of 12 minutes.
Under 10: Two 25-minute halves.
Under 11 & Under 12: Two 30-minute halves. (Added Time: Two 10-minute halves.)
Under 13 & Under 14: Two 35-minute halves. (Extra Time: Two 10-minute halves.)
Under 15 & Under 16: Two 40-minute halves. (Additional Time: Two 15-minute halves.)
Under 17, Under 18, and Under 19: Two 45-minute halves. (Extra Time: Two 15-minute halves.)