Hey, soccer fans and curious minds!
If you’re getting ready to make plans to watch the 2023 FIFA World Cup, a very important question may be on your mind: how long are soccer games?
Ready to unravel the mystery behind one of the most frequently asked questions in soccer? This article has everything you need to know to answer this popular question!
How Long Are Soccer Games? There are different classifications and criteria.
According to the rules set by the International Federation of Association Football (IFAB) Council, a standard soccer match is played in 90 minutes. It takes 45 minutes to play each half of the game. The break at halfway must not last longer than 15 minutes.
If the game goes into extra time (more on this later), a one-minute “beverage break” is allowed at the “halftime” of the extra time. The schedule is the same for men’s and women’s soccer, and the rules for the Olympics, the World Cup, and “regular” matches outside these major tournaments remain the same.
However, the game does not end abruptly at 45 or 90 minutes like other sports.
The clock runs throughout the game, even when the ball leaves the pitch. It can lead to extra time or time, which caused quite a stir at the 2022 World Cup, and will do the same at the 2023 World Cup.
For 19U players, US Youth Soccer rules refer to two 45-minute halves and an extra period of two 15-minute halves.AYSO rules are the same.
For 16U players, both soccer organizations recommend two 40-minute halves. US Youth Soccer rules refer to two 15-minute halves of overtime during these games.
The recommended playing time for this age group is two 35-minute halves. The US Youth Soccer Rules also mention two halves of 10 minutes each for overtime.
For this age group, US Youth Soccer rules recommend two 30-minute halves. Overtime may be divided into two halves of 10 minutes each.AYSO rules refer to the same playing time but do not mention extra time or overtime.
US Youth Soccer and AYSO rules recommend two 25-minute halves for players ten and under. Either organization recommends no overtime.
For this age group, US Youth Soccer guidelines refer to 4 periods of 12 minutes each. There is no overtime.AYSO rules mention that 8U players are divided into two halves of 20 minutes each.
For this age group, US Youth Soccer recommends four sessions of 6 minutes each. No overtime is allowed. AYSO says to split the time into two 10-minute halves.
For all age groups, halftime can be five to ten minutes. However, the AYSO guidelines do not make recommendations on the duration of overtime.
Injury time is any time added to the allotted 90 minutes due to an unscheduled stoppage in play. In soccer, the clock runs even during stoppages for free kicks, fouls, injuries, yellow cards, and substitutions.
At the end of each half, the Referee and Match Officials will determine the appropriate amount of extra time to be added to the normal 45 minutes to compensate for lost time.
If the game is flowing and clean, with few injuries or substitutions, this may only be 1 or 2 minutes. However, if there are a lot of short breaks in the game or a long break because of a major injury, like a broken leg, the field officials will add longer breaks.
It can vary considerably and, in some extreme cases, can be carried out for up to 10 or 12 minutes of additional time. In general, soccer games average 2-5 minutes of extra time at the end of every 45 minutes of regulation.
The main reasons for interruptions in play are listed below:
‚óŹ Player substitutions
‚óŹ Injuries that may require treatment on or off the field and may replace the injured player on the field.
‚óŹ Wasting time, which often happens when teams try to protect a lead. Players may pause for long periods before taking a goal kick, free kick, or lineout, or they may feign or exaggerate an injury and spend time lying on the grass.
‚óŹ There were delays because of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) checks, like for offside.
‚óŹ Disciplinary measures such as fouls and resulting yellow cards or sending-offs
‚óŹ Goal celebrations
Other more unusual circumstances may lead to a stoppage of play, such as player violence or fans running onto the field, but these are rare. That is why extra time is added at the end of a 45-minute half.
Near the end of cup games, when the stakes are high and extra time and penalties are possible, some of the most exciting moments in soccer happen.
But what exactly is extra time? How does extra time work in soccer?
In “regular” soccer matches, except for tournaments such as the Olympics or the World Cup, soccer does not usually go into “extra time.” If a match is tied at the end of 90 minutes of regular play, it will only end in a draw. Unlike many other sports, soccer does allow matches to end in a draw, and the ranking system has a way of reflecting this.
But a draw won’t work in cup events like the Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and World Cup. There has to be a winner.
Therefore, if the score is tied after 90 minutes, the match will take extra time to determine the winner. It will be another 30 minutes divided into two halves of 15 minutes each.
Summarize:To summarize, overtime is the extra 30 minutes that must be played if two teams score the same points in the regular 90 minutes (or combined if it is a multi-game match). The match is played in a knockout format, where a team must win one of the matches to progress.
If, at the end of extra time, the teams are still tied, a penalty shootout will be played to determine who wins the match and advances to the next round or wins the trophy. A penalty shootout is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in soccer. So, how exactly does it work?
If the game is tied after 120 minutes, teams must prepare for a penalty shootout.
Penalty shootouts are fairly simple. Each team will have five chances to shoot at the opposing goalkeeper from a penalty spot 12 yards from the goal – the team with the most points wins.
Here’s how it works:
‚óŹ To see which team gets the first penalty shot, a coin is thrown.
‚óŹ Each team takes five penalties
A different player must take each penalty kick
‚óŹ Once the ten penalties have been taken and whichever team has scored more goals or either team has built up an insurmountable lead, the winner will be determined
‚óŹ If both teams have scored the same number of goals, the penalty shootout continues by sudden death
‚óŹ If there are enough penalties that every player on each team (including the goalkeeper) takes a penalty kick, the penalty takers will take penalties again in the same order or a new order until a winner is determined
Soccer matches rarely exceed the usual 90 minutes plus injury time, and even then, it is possible to win in extra time before a penalty shootout
A penalty shootout, or sometimes a 90-minute match, is considered one of the most stressful situations in any soccer player’s career.
Television broadcasts do not affect the actual length of a soccer match. The rules dictate how long the game lasts and halftime lasts, so broadcasters can’t change those things. Most soccer games are broadcast straight through with no commercial interruptions – very different from how other sports (like American football or baseball) are broadcast.
An entire soccer game takes 1 minute and 52 hours (112 minutes) to complete the extra time (including halftime). It’s the time needed to watch a professional soccer game for men or women on TV or in a field.
Soccer matches are 90 minutes long because that was the agreed time limit for matches played on March 31, 1866, between Sheffield FC and the Football Association of England (FA) teams. Adopted by the former (the first soccer club in the world to pioneer the rules of soccer), the IFAB incorporated it into its rulebook in 1897.
One of the reasons soccer clocks count up is to keep the game format simple. A simple timer or traditional watch can play the game anywhere.
Also, a game can have multiple delays or interruptions. As a result, extra time is added at the end of the game. It is easier for a referee or soccer coach to keep track of extra time using an incremental rather than a decremental clock.
In fact, in professional soccer, the clock never stops ticking. It is up to the assistant referee or fourth official to keep track of the extra time.
In soccer, the break between full-time and extra time is 5 minutes.
In the FIFA World Cup, in both men's and women's matches, the halftime break is 15 minutes. This break allows players to rest, receive instructions from the coach, and make any necessary adjustments for the second half of the match. Halftime breaks need to be consistent for all World Cup matches. It may vary only in exceptional circumstances.
In this article, we learned about “how long are soccer games?” Most of the time, the answer is 90 minutes, split into two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute break in between. There is also time for injuries.
We also saw the length of matches between different age groups. The youngest soccer players have the shortest games.
Understanding the length of soccer matches can enhance your fan experience and help you understand the game better. When you support your favorite team, remember that 90 minutes (plus extra time) is an exciting journey. It’s a journey in a sport that brings together fans from all over the world.