Soccer is not an unknown sport anymore within the United States due to the instrumental increase in the popularity of Major League Soccer (MLS).
However, people who recently started watching this wholesome game are unaware of the nitty-gritty of different rules and regulations.
The clock tends to run without stopping when players are on-field, or when the ball unnaturally goes out of bounds in comparison to other sports.
So, when the clock continues to tick past the 90 minutes mark, you would start to ponder – how long does the soccer match last?
The regulation time for a professional soccer match is 45 minutes for each half.
The clock does not stop ticking till the final whistle is blown by the referee, therefore any injury time is also calculated and added to each half in order to make up for any lost time.
To explain this, allow me to take you to the year 2009.
I was only 14. I took permission from my father to let me watch the Manchester Derby on the lounge TV (as it was bigger and better).
He asked me how long it is going to take since it was movie night as well. I said two halves of 45 minutes and a 15-minute break between both.
He said, ‘All right, I hope it’s worth it.’
My family is not very much into soccer, so all they were waiting for is the clock to hit the 90th minute mark.
As a neutral, it was probably the game of the 2009-2010 Premier League season. The game ended 4-3 but in a VERY dramatic fashion.
Manchester United was on the verge of victory after Darren Fletcher scored a goal in the 80th minute. This is where my father mentioned, let’s watch a movie now that United has won and there’s no chance (or time) to score another.
*agitated me* Man City had other plans!
Craig Bellamy put the ball in the net after a defensive error to score an equalizer right at the buzzer. As a United fan, I was frustrated.
Now’s the time to watch the movie, right?
A soccer game ends when the referee wants it to end. Simple!
Manchester United scored deep into stoppage time courtesy of a Michael Owen winner in the 96th minute.
The movie night was ruined because of the ADDITIONAL SIX MINUTES, but I was ecstatic!
Before talking about how long soccer games are, let’s first discuss the factors that affect the length of a game:
NOTE: Below mentioned scenarios are specifically for a professional 11 v 11 soccer game.
- Time Duration
A professional soccer game is played between two teams across 90 minutes. However, this game duration is only applicable on the 11 v 11 professional soccer game.
In this article, we have discussed the game lengths of different formats to help you understand better.
No matter if you are taking your child to watch the Seattle Sounders play Portland Timbers or watch your kid play a youth game – we have got you covered!
Keep reading to learn more about how long soccer games are!
- Injury Time
Soccer is a game of two halves. Injury time is additional time added at the end of each half. The fourth official usually directs the time that should be added.
Injury time is calculated on the basis of stoppages throughout the game. This could be due to substitutions, injuries, or any other unplanned pauses in the game such as time wasting or other disciplinary related sanctions.
- Extra Time
The concept of taking a soccer game to Extra Time was introduced in 1897. Prior to this, it was difficult to determine the winner as both teams continued playing the game in regular intervals until a winner was found.
If a game is tied over the course of 90 minutes, Extra Time comes into play. A soccer match is further extended to 30 minutes split into two equal halves of 15 minutes.
- How long are soccer games?
- Other question
- How long do soccer games actually last?
- How long are high school soccer games?
- How long is a 12 year old soccer game?
- Why do soccer games go over 90 minutes?
- Is a soccer game 2 hours?
- How do you know when a soccer game is over?
- What does the clock stop for in soccer? Does the clock ever stop in soccer?
- Does Soccer Have halftime?
How long are soccer games?
In this section, we are going to discuss different formats of soccer games and how long they are played for.
11 v 11 Soccer Game
The most watched and common format of a game – a traditional 11 versus 11 full field soccer match!
All the major international and domestic leagues are played in this format. From start to end, an 11 v 11 soccer game lasts for 90 minutes.
The 90 minutes are split into two equal halves of 45 minutes each and there is a 15-minute break between the First and Second half.
So, if you add everything for an estimate – an 11 v 11 game is roughly 105 minutes (or one hour and 45 minutes) long.
This is only when the factors (discussed above) do not come into play. Rarely have we ever seen a match ending or referee blowing the final whistle on the 90th minute mark.
A minimum of 1 MINUTE is added due to any stoppages during the game.
Injury time is added to keep the spirit of the game alive by compensating for the time lost due to injuries, substitutions, or any other reasons for stoppages.
Same rule is applied if there are stoppages during the injury time. A referee is the decision maker of a soccer game.
He takes into consideration everything that is happening on the field and is responsible for making the right call.
If the game is not decided in the 90 minutes PLUS injury time, the extra time has to be played. In 11 v 11, a 30-minute Extra Time is added in two equal halves of 15 minutes. This is only applicable for cup tournaments and not league-based tournaments.
In case of no result in the Extra Time, the match is decided on penalties.
9 v 9 Soccer Game
Played by all age groups, a 9 v 9 soccer game is a small sided game where both teams field 8 players and a goalkeeper.
The 9 v 9 is not a popular format in the sport. However, it is also played in two halves of 30 minutes each. There is a 15 minute break between the first and second half for the players and coaches to regroup and reevaluate their strategies.
The rules, however, are a little bit different than a traditional soccer game. In 11 v 11 matches, the clock keeps on ticking no matter if the ball has gone out of play or a player is receiving medical treatment.
This is not the case with 9 v 9 soccer. Solely at the referee’s discretion, the running clock is paused when the ball goes out of play, or a player is injured.
The game is decided on penalties if there is no winner in the 60 minute game duration as there is no Extra Time policy.
Therefore, a 9 v 9 game lasts for roughly 75 minutes (or one hour and 15 minutes).
7 v 7 Soccer Game
A 7 v 7 game is very different and has its own set of rules. The game is played between two teams having seven players each including a goalkeeper.
The match is of two halves divided into two equal time periods of 25 minutes. There is a maximum of 10 minutes’ break at the end of the first half.
With two referees officiating the game (due to the smaller playing field), a 7 v 7 game is fast paced. Referees are in control of the game responsible to make all necessary calls and take necessary actions.
So, a 7 v 7 soccer game lasts for 60 minutes. However, depending on the tournament and Its rules and regulations, the game time could be extended due to the Extra Time policy.
Some tournaments prefer two halves of 7.5 minutes each as Extra Time if the game is not decided in regular time. On the contrary, some tournaments proceed to penalties directly.
5 v 5 Soccer Game
After traditional full field soccer games, 5 v 5 games gained the most popularity as this soccer format is short and sweet.
Also widely known as Futsal, there are five players from each team including the goalkeeper on the playing field. No matter if it’s a cup decider or a friendly, the game must be decided in the regular time.
A 5 v 5 soccer game is played over the course of 20 minutes per half (2 halves) with a five minute break for both teams between the two halves.
The match is decided on penalties if the scores are level throughout the game.
Youth Soccer Game
There are different game time durations for different age groups when we talk about youth soccer games. Such matches, leagues, and tournaments have their own set of rules.
The length of youth soccer games depends on age groups.
4 x 6-minute quarters
4 x 12-minute quarters
2 x 25-minute halves
Under 11 and 12
2 x 30-minute halves
2 x 10-minute halves
Under 13 and 14
2 x 35-minute halves
2 x 10-minute halves
Under 15 and 16
2 x 40-minute halves
2 x 15-minute halves
Under 17, 18, and 19
2 x 45-minute halves
2 x 15-minute halves
How long do soccer games actually last?
Depending on the format, a soccer game lasts for as short as 30 minutes (youth soccer games) and can be as long as two hours (professional soccer games).
Whether you are planning to play or watch, these are just the basic game time durations you should keep in your mind. We have classified all categories in our article above to help you understand the length of a match better.
How long are high school soccer games?
Although the length of a soccer game in high school can vary as per tournament rules and regulations, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHA) stated a game of two halves of 40 minutes each.
Along with a halftime break of 10 minutes, a high school soccer game is roughly 90 minutes (one hour 30 minutes) long.
There is also extra time if the scores are level at the end of the regular 80 minutes. Both teams take the field again for two 10-minute halves with the aim to get the winning goal.
The game is decided on penalties if teams fail to register a goal in regular and extra time.
How long is a 12 year old soccer game?
The length of a soccer game for a team of 12 year old kids lasts for around 60 to 70 minutes.
Why do soccer games go over 90 minutes?
Soccer games ‘almost every time’ go over the 90th minute mark. This is due to the injury time added at the end of both halves.
An injury time is additional time added to make up for the time lost due to any pauses or stoppages throughout both halves. For instance, making a substitute costs another team nearly 15-25 seconds.
Similarly, many teams turn to time wasting strategies to ‘dig’ results in their favor.
Referees notice these tactical changes and/or exploitations and award reasonable injury time to make up for the delays.
Is a soccer game 2 hours?
If we are talking about a professional 11 v 11 soccer game – then, yes!
Two halves of 45 minutes with a couple of minutes’ injury time and 15 minute halftime break make it almost 2 hours.
How do you know when a soccer game is over?
By now, you have figured out how long soccer games last. A simple definition is a soccer game ends when both teams have completed the allocated time duration of the game.
What does the clock stop for in soccer? Does the clock ever stop in soccer?
The majority of the soccer formats have a running clock which means it keeps on ticking no matter the situation.
However, in some formats such as 9 v 9 and 5 v 5 soccer games along with Futsal – the clock stops if the ball goes out of play, or a player is injured.
Does Soccer Have halftime?
Yes, every soccer game has halftime!
In this article, we have tried our best to learn and educate ourselves on how long are soccer games.
From discussing professional 11 a side soccer to youth soccer games, we have talked in detail to help you understand different formats better.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!