Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

How Long Do Soccer Games Last? (Pro, Youth & College Level)

Lionel Messi playing in a soccer game for Barcelona

Hey there, fellow soccer lovers and curious minds! 🥅⚽ Ready to unravel the mystery behind one of the most asked questions in the world of soccer? This article will provide a comprehensive guide on this frequently asked question, “How long is a soccer game?”.

How Long Does a Soccer Game Last?

Have you ever found yourself on the edge of your seat, wondering how long those intense moments on the pitch last? Fret not because we’re here to break it down for you. The length of a soccer game can vary depending on the level of play and the competition format.

Almost every regulation soccer match will last a total of about two hours from the first to the final whistle. A match consists of two 45-minute halves, stoppage time, and halftime. In a tournament or knockout situation, soccer games can last longer with extra time and potentially penalty kicks to determine a winner.

Substitution sign in a soccer game

How Long Is A Professional Soccer Game?

A Professional Soccer Game is approximately 90 minutes of regulation playtime. This duration is split into two halves, each lasting 45 minutes. However, the total game time often exceeds these 90 minutes due to the addition of stoppage time at the end of each half.

What is Stoppage Time in Soccer?

Here’s where it gets intriguing. Stoppage time, often called injury time, is added to each half to compensate for interruptions during play – substitutions, injuries, and other delays. The referee decides the amount of stoppage time, which can vary, making those final moments all the more suspenseful.

Whether it is high school, college, or professional soccer, the format is pretty much the same. How long does a soccer game go for in these settings? The match starts with the first half, which is 45 minutes long. Once the clock starts, it does not stop for the entire half. It is up to the head referee to decide how much stoppage time is added at the end of each half.

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Generally speaking, it usually is anywhere from one minute long to five minutes long. This number is based on the time lost during the half to injuries, penalties, goal celebrations, and other delays.

The referee will signal the amount of stoppage time added at the end of each half, and there is no break. The amount of time extends the 45 minutes already played. This means that there could be a total of 50 minutes of playtime.

Tie Games: Exploring Overtime or Extra Time

Teams almost always play regular-season soccer matches without overtime. How long do soccer games go for without extra sessions? If the two teams are tied, it goes down as a tie. They do not add additional time to the game.

However, this approach fails if a tournament or knockout stage requires a winner to advance. When that is necessary, overtime comes into play.

Unlike hockey and football overtime, there is no ‘golden goal’ or ‘sudden death’. The two teams will play 30 minutes, split into two 15-minute halves. There is a slight break in between the two halves of extra time, but it is usually only a minute or two.

If the score is still tied, a penalty shootout is the final way to determine a winner. Some people view this as controversial, as penalties are much different than playing the game. In this scenario, each team picks five players to take a penalty kick in an attempt to outscore the opponent. If the two teams are tied after five penalty kicks, it continues until there is a winner.

You can read more about overtime here.

Youth soccer team cheering for their team from the sidelines

From Youth Games to the World Cup

While the standard game length holds for most professional matches, it’s important to note that youth games and lower divisions might have shorter durations. Whether you support a pro team or watch your kids play, knowing these details makes you enjoy the game more.

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So, how long is a professional soccer game compared to these? We cover many of these other age groups in the frequently asked question section at the end of the article. We cover questions about pro, college, high school, and youth soccer game lengths.

Unlocking the Strategy Behind Game Length:

Did you know that understanding game length isn’t just about when to grab your popcorn during halftime? It plays a crucial role in the strategy of both teams.

Are you leading in the final moments?

The team might attempt to run down the clock.


Expect to see them pushing for every precious second to make a comeback.

Final Whistle: Your Ultimate Soccer Timekeeper

Knowing the length of a soccer game enhances your fan experience and helps you understand the game better. When you support your favorite teams, remember that the 90 minutes (plus extra time) is an exciting journey. This journey takes place in a sport that brings fans together worldwide.

And there you have it, the ultimate guide to game time in the world’s most beloved sport. We’ve covered everything from regulation play to the captivating realm of extra time and penalty shootouts.

Put on your virtual boots. Remember the referee’s whistle. Explore the exciting world of soccer. Gain a new appreciation for its thrilling rhythm. ⚽


Curious minds have a lot of questions when it comes to the intricate world of soccer game lengths. Let’s tackle your burning questions and set the record straight while keeping those SEO best practices in play!

Q: How long is a professional soccer game?

A: Professional soccer games, including those in renowned leagues like the English Premier League or La Liga, follow the same pattern as standard games – 90 minutes in total, with two halves and a halftime break.

Q: How long are MLS soccer games?

A: Major League Soccer (MLS) games mirror the standard duration of soccer games – 90 minutes, consisting of two halves and a halftime pause.

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Q: How long are soccer games in the World Cup?

A: The intensity of the FIFA World Cup doesn’t change the duration of soccer games. They also adhere to the 90-minute format, with potential extra time and penalty shootouts if needed.

Q: How long do soccer games last on TV?

A: The soccer game length on TV remains consistent with the standard game length of 90 minutes (plus any additional stoppage time), including halves and a short halftime break.

Q: How long are indoor soccer games?

A: Indoor soccer games usually have shorter game times. The duration can vary, but typically it lasts for about 36 to 40 minutes. The session is divided into two parts, with a shorter break in between.

Q: How long do college soccer games last?

A: College soccer games follow the same duration as professional and high school games – 90 minutes, split into two halves, with a 15-minute halftime interval.

Q: How long are high school soccer games?

A: High school soccer games typically mirror the standard game length of 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each, with a 15-minute halftime break.

Q: How long are kids’ soccer games?

A: Kids’ soccer game lengths vary based on age and the level of play. Younger kids might have shorter games, around 20 to 25 minutes per half, while older kids play longer matches.

Q: How long are U10 soccer games?

U10 soccer games have two halves, each about 25-30 minutes long, with a short halftime break.

Q: How long are U12 soccer games?

A: U12 (under 12) soccer games often shorten the game length to suit the age group. They might play two halves of 30 to 35 minutes each, with a brief halftime break.

Q: How long are U14 soccer games?

A: U14 soccer games are like U12 games. They have two halves, each about 35 to 40 minutes long, with a short halftime break.