Gear, Balls, Socks, Shoes

How Long Does A Soccer Game Last?

I know a lot of people haven’t watched a single soccer game in their lives so the confusion regarding how long does a soccer game actually last is inevitable.In this post, I’ll try to explain everything about the regular duration of a soccer match, added stoppage time in soccer matches, how long are the overtime/extra periods in soccer and when and why do we have them and also about the different duration of soccer matches in youth leagues, middle school and high school matches.

How long does Professional Soccer Game last?

For the Professional Soccer Games, the entity in charge of the laws, rules, and regulations of the game is known as IFAB or International Football Association Board. Taken into consideration the safety of the players and the excitement of the game, every year these rules are subject to slight changes from the International Football Association Board. One of the laws of IFAB is law number 7 or the duration of the match.

So, according to law number 7 from IFAB, Profession Soccer Match has two equal halves of 45 minutes which can be reduced under special circumstances in accordance with the competition rules and for that to happen there has to be an agreement between the referee and the two teams as well. I have to mention reducing the duration of the halves is not a common thing, actually, it’s a very rare thing.

Between the halves, there is an interval or a break for the players no longer than 15 minutes. During this break, players drink the necessary fluids for their bodies, are getting some rest so they can continue playing in the second half of the game and are also discussing the game strategy for the second half with their coach.

Soccer is a very physically and lively game so there are certain situations in which the referee will add a stoppage or extra time after the end of the first or the second half. For example, the time required for making a substitution( both teams have rights for 3 substitutions so if they use all of their substitutions it’s a serious amount of time mostly because players are slowly leaving the field), or the time needed for helping or removing injured players, the time spent on goal celebrations or any other type of stoppage to the game results in added stoppage time or extra time.

stadium full of fans waiting for the game to start

The main referee every time when there is a stoppage to the game he uses his watch for measuring/calculating the stoppage or extra time. At the end of the regular 45 minutes, he communicates with the fourth referee who’s in charge of substitutions, and he gives instructions of how many minutes more will be played, who are then presented by the fourth referee. But sometimes during the added stoppage time, the players are purposely wasting time by either delaying the corner kicks or simulating/faking injuries just so that the team who’s in the lead to keep the lead, and then the main referee has the right to increase the added stoppage time as long as he thinks it’s fair. (In most cases is just an extra minute or an extra attack allowed).

In certain competitions like UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, World Cup Competition, European Cup Competition or playoff matches there’s going to be overtime periods or extra time periods. Just to clarify why there are overtime periods in soccer? One of the situations, when the overtime rule is applied, is in playoff matches when after the game or the games(sometimes there is two games, home and away) the result is still tied and having a winner from that match is a must, so overtime periods are necessary.

Another example is in the World or European Cup Competition where after the groups there is a knockout phase which means only one team will move ahead/continue competing, so if after 90 minutes there’s no winner there’s going to be overtime periods. The final in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League is only one game and if after the 90 minutes the result is still tied, the competition will have overtime periods. Overtime periods lasts 30 minutes in total, divided into two halves by 15 minutes. Between the halves, in overtime, the break for the players will be only 5 minutes. The rule about the stoppage time also applies here, it’s all in the hands of the main referee regarding the duration of the stoppage time. If after the overtime there’s still no winner the teams will shoot penalties.

How long does women’s professional soccer game/match lasts?

With no exceptions in every competition where women’s play soccer the duration of the game will be the same as if there was men’s playing. There is no difference in the duration of a professional soccer match played by either men’s or women’s. (two halves by 45 minutes each with possibility for added stoppage time).

How long does soccer game last in the youth leagues?

soccer-players-getting-ready-for-game

The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and the US Youth Soccer Organization are the two main national organizations in youth soccer in the United States for kids aged 4 through 19. Both of these organizations have established similar rules regarding the duration of a soccer game in the youth leagues. In addition, they also established rules regarding overtime periods, the size of the ball, the size of the field, numbers of players etc.

Under 6

kid-training-with-soccer-ballsFor kids younger than 6 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is 4 quarters with the duration of each quarter between 4 and 10 minutes, strongly recommended are three players with a maximum of four, there are no goalkeepers, there are no overtime periods, the recommended size of the ball is #3 with a circumference of 23-24 in. and weight of 11-12 ozs. The field width should be between 15 and 25 yards and the field length should be between 25 and 35 yards

Under 8

For kids younger than 8 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is the same as under 6 years old, 4 quarters with the duration of each between 4 and 10 minutes, strongly recommended are four players with a maximum of five, there are no goalkeepers, there are no overtime periods, the recommended size of the ball is #3 with a circumference of 23-24 in. and weight of 11-12 ozs. The field width should be between 15 and 25 yards and the field length should be between 25 and 35 yards.

Under 10

For kids younger than 10 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is two halves with duration of 25 minutes, strongly recommended are six players with a maximum of seven, there are no overtime periods, the recommended size of the ball is #4 with a circumference of 25-26 in. and weight of 11-13 ozs. The field width should be between 35 and 45 yards and the field length should be between 55 and 65 yards.

Under 12

For kids younger than 11 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is two halves with duration of 30 minutes, strongly recommended are eight players with a maximum of eleven, there are two overtime periods that are 10 minutes long, the recommended size of the ball is #4 with a circumference of 25-26 in. and weight of 11-13 ozs. The field width should be between 45 and 55 yards and the field length should be between 70 and 80 yards.

Under 14

For kids younger than 14 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is two halves with duration of 35 minutes, strongly recommended are eleven players, there are two overtime periods that are 10 minutes long, the recommended size of the ball is #5 with a circumference of 27-28 in. and weight of 14-16 ozs. The field width should be between 50 and 100 yards and the field length should be between 100 and 130 yards.

Under 19

For kids younger than 19 years old, the recommended duration of the soccer game is two halves with duration of 45 minutes, strongly recommended are eleven players, there are two overtime periods that are 15 minutes long, the recommended size of the ball is #5 with a circumference of 27-28 in. and weight of 14-16 ozs. The field width should be between 50 and 100 yards and the field length should be between 100 and 130 yards.

How long is a middle school soccer game?

The duration of a soccer game can vary from middle school to middle school, especially in the middle school tournaments. Usually, a soccer game in middle school has two halves, each with a duration of 30 or 35 minutes with a break of between 5 and 10 minutes between the halves. However, in the tournaments, the duration of the game/match may change.

How long is a high school soccer game?

With headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the entity in charge of all the soccer rules regarding the high school soccer games.

The high school soccer games can have either two halves with a duration of 40 minutes or four 20 minutes quarters (both situations are totaling 80 minutes of playing) with 10 minutes break between the halves and 10 minutes overtime periods. The high school soccer game has two teams each with a maximum of 11 players including a goalkeeper, the ball used in the game is with NFHS authentic mark, #5 size, the field width is between 55 -80 yards and the field length between 100-120 yards, the number of substitutions is unlimited for both teams (substitutions can be made only during stoppage of the game like a goal, or corner kick) and all of the players must wear appropriate soccer equipment: soccer shoes, shin guards, socks, shorts, and jersey.