May 2024

Understanding the Duration: How Long is a Soccer Game?

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Soccer, known as football in many parts of the world, is a beloved sport celebrated for its fast-paced action, strategic gameplay, and electrifying moments.

For fans and newcomers alike, understanding the duration of a soccer game is fundamental to fully appreciating the sport's dynamics and excitement. There are various factors that influence the length of a soccer game, here we provide clarity on its overall duration.

Regulation Time:

The standard duration of a soccer game, also known as regulation time, consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes. This means that the total playing time of a match is 90 minutes.

However, it's essential to note that the clock in soccer matches runs continuously, with the referee responsible for adding stoppage time, also known as injury time or extra time, to compensate for interruptions in play.

Stoppage Time:

Stoppage time is added to the end of each half to account for delays caused by injuries, substitutions, time-wasting tactics, and other interruptions. The referee determines the amount of stoppage time to be added based on their discretion and the duration of stoppages throughout the half. Typically, stoppage time ranges from one to five minutes per half, but it can vary depending on the circumstances of the match.

see also: What is the Most Popular Sport in the World?

Halftime Break:

At the conclusion of the first half, players and officials take a halftime break, typically lasting around 15 minutes. During this intermission, teams have the opportunity to regroup, hydrate, receive tactical instructions from coaches, and make any necessary substitutions. The halftime break provides a brief respite from the intensity of the game and allows players to recharge for the second half.

Extra Time and Penalty Shootouts:

In knockout competitions or playoff matches where a winner must be determined, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, extra time may be played. Extra time consists of two additional periods, each lasting 15 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes of extra time. If the score remains tied after extra time, the match may proceed to a penalty shootout to determine the winner.

read: Why do so many Footballers go by One Name? (Especially in Brazil?)

In summary, the duration of a soccer game is typically 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. However, stoppage time may be added to compensate for interruptions in play, and the halftime break provides a brief intermission between halves. In knockout competitions, extra time and penalty shootouts may be used to determine a winner if the score is tied at the end of regulation time.

Understanding the duration of a soccer game enhances the viewing experience and allows fans to fully immerse themselves in the excitement of the world's most popular sport.


JRZY FC is your ultimate destination for soccer enthusiasts, shaping a vibrant community and a new era of Football dedicated to inspiring a new generation of footballers with a mission to introduce the game to underutilized people and to make this global game accessible to all.

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