How long is a soccer game?

Soccer is undoubtedly the world’s most famous sport. They have lots of people watching major tournaments like the EU or World Cup. Still, for beginners, there’s a common question about soccer games that goes “How long are soccer games?“. In this article, we will give you a complete guide to the length of an average soccer game.

How long does a soccer game last?

Soccer is a sport with two halves. The length of the half in a soccer match is 45 minutes long. The average time of a soccer game is 90 minutes, with 5-10 minutes added on for stoppages.

soccer game

What is additional time in a soccer game?

The additional time, or the stoppage time, or injury time, in a soccer game is the amount of time that the referee adds to the end of each half of a game for any stoppages in play. The stoppage can be due to a replacement, player’s injuries, fouls, VAR check, best goal celebrations, or other reasons specified by the referee. Normally the stoppage time lasts between 1 and 4 minutes, but this is ultimately a decision made by the referee.

What is extra time in a soccer game?

When it comes to tournaments, the result of a match is more obvious. However, with a cup or knockout match, sometimes there has to be a clear winner. If the game ends in a tie, then there is usually extra time to decide who wins.

Extra time, also known as overtime, is a period where you keep playing a game that has ended as a tie. When a game ends up in a tie, meaning both teams have the same number of points, during regulation time, the two teams will keep playing for two additional 15-minute periods with a 5-minute break in-between.

If the game is still tied after overtime, then it will go to penalty kicks, and whoever scores more goals wins.

Overtime has been in soccer’s rule books since as long ago as 1897. For a while, it was a little different from the way it is now. For a while, at the beginning of the last century, they played a version of overtime where the next goal would win the game. But one in a game there was no scoring by either side and the duration of overtime went on for way too long.

How do penalty shootouts work?

Penalty shootouts are without a doubt one of the most nerve-wracking moments in soccer. They can be so stressful for everyone involved, not just those taking the penalties. Viewers at home can become anxious as well.

The penalty shootout is a type of tie-breaker that’s typically used to determine the winner of a soccer match which is tied after regular time.

How does a penalty shootout work?

Penalty shootouts are only taken in knockout phases of competition, such as the World Cup’s last 16, Euros, or club competitions like the Champions League. They will decide the tally of a game if both teams are still tied at the end of regular time or any extra time. One of them has to be able to progress to the next stage of the tournament.

A penalty shootout is not something that happens during the league season. The outcome of your finishing is determined by points.

In a shootout, each team selects five players to take a penalty shot. Prior to the shootout, the captains of each team will meet with an assistant referee first to determine which goal the shootout will take place in and a second coin toss to decide which team will take lead in it.

Shootouts are dependent on the number of penalties that have been given after the first five rounds. The team with the most scores is the one that wins.

How do penalty shootouts work?

However, if one side scores more successful penalties than the other could possibly reach with all of their remaining kicks, the shoot-off ends – called ‘best of five kicks’. If scores are still level after 5 penalties, the game continues through 1 back-and-forth round at a time. The first team to gain an advantage in that round wins. This is known as sudden death.

Penalty shootouts are different from regular soccer games. If someone gets injured or there’s a substitution, special rules apply. This is especially important for goalies, at every penalty, they are key players.

If the goalkeeper gets injured or can’t continue during the penalty shootout, they might be sub­stituted for by another player on their team, if they haven’t used all of their substitution options. Once the goalkeeper leaves the field, they cannot take any further part in the match.

The goalie is the only player that can be replaced during the shootout session. If any other player gets injured during a shootout, the team must continue without them and cannot replace them with another player.

soccer referee

Why don’t they stop the clock in soccer?

The game of soccer is known for its fast-paced nature. Nearly every minute of the game is crucial, and that’s why it’s important that referees keep accurate time.

Professional soccer matches, unlike lower level or amateur games, will never stop the clock due to how stoppage time. At the pro-level matches, there are special assistants to manage the timing.

Also, To be more accurate in their timings a referee without any assistance may start and stop their timer at every stoppage, and then stop the game when their timer reaches 45 minutes.

You never see a pro-level game stop the clock because only the referee & their assistant know how much stoppage time to give. The referee’s assistant only shows the referee the minimum number of stoppage minutes.

Usually, the referees use their discretion to decide when a game ends, most wait until there’s a break in the action before signaling the end of the game. Fortunately, referees wait until teams are done with their attack before signaling the end of the game.

How long do high school and college soccer games last?

High school soccer games are shorter at around 80 minutes (two 40-minute halves), while collegiate play, according to National College Athletes Association (NCAA) Football Rules Book, last 90 minutes, because players in college need to develop their stamina, so they can be on the field longer.

How long do kids soccer games last?

How long do youth soccer games last?

It’s a common practice to play soccer games in two halves, with halftime separating them. In leagues where the players are under 8 years old and younger, it’s not uncommon to use 4 equally long quarters.

Youth soccer games may differ in length depending on the individual league, but here are the recommended lengths of soccer games according to age group, as shown in this table and listed below.

AgeSoccer game timeHalvesAdded time
Under 6 (U6)20 minutesFour quarters 5 minutes 
Under 8 (U8)40 minutesFour quarters of 10 minutes 
Under 10 (U10)50 minutesTwo 25-minute halves 
Under 11, 12 (U11, U12)60 minutesTwo 30-minute halvesTwo 10-minute halves
Under 13, 14 (U13, U14)70 minutesTwo 35-minute halvesTwo 10-minute halves
Under 15, 16 (U15, U16)80 minutesTwo 40-minute halvesTwo 15-minute halves
Under 17, 18, 19 (U17, U18, U19)90 minutesTwo 45-minute halvesTwo 15-minute halves

The majority of the expert think that overtime in youth soccer for the young kids are not needed. The close match-ups and intense play can be too much for kids to take – especially when they are young.

The longest soccer game ever

Soccer has become more intense in recent years. Players are now much stronger and faster, but the hours of playing can be exhausting.

A professional football match lasts for about 90 minutes and contains 120 minutes in total – but not more than that. While it is easy to get tired and eventually tire out after such intense physical activities, it may be difficult to imagine a time when sports games were played for longer periods of time.

The longest soccer match in recorded history is the one that took place between two English clubs, Stockport County and Doncaster Rovers, in 1946. The game lasted for three hours and 23 minutes!

After 90 minutes with a tie of 2-2, the teams went into an extra 30 minutes which also yielded no result. They didn’t want to stop the game, so the ‘Play To Win’ rule was introduced. In the 173rd minute, Les Cocker, a striker of Stockport, managed to score a goal. It looked like he had secured victory until they heard the referee’s whistle.

The referee, Mr. Baker, spotted a handball and disallowed the goal. They then told players to keep playing and that the game would be the longest soccer game ever played.

soccer game

However, the players were very tired, and the spectators were furious at the referee wanting him to finish the game. As the sun went down, Mr. Baker decided that it was too dark to continue the game. So he had them flip a coin in order to decide to earn a right to host. Four days after the first game, Doncaster played host to Stockport for the second match. The game ended with a victory for the home team with 4-0 score.

Players, fans, and commissioners voiced their complaints about the ‘Play to Win’ strategy after this game, which lead to the rule’s abolition a few months later. There are no other games with conditions like the longest soccer game ever.

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