Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans tuning in to watch games every year. One of the most common questions asked by new fans is how long a soccer game lasts. The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think, as it can vary depending on the level of play and the specific rules of the competition.
At the professional level, the standard length of a soccer game is 90 minutes. This is split into two halves of 45 minutes each, with a 15-minute break in between. However, there are also stoppages in play for things like injuries, substitutions, and time-wasting, which can add extra time to the game. In some cases, games may also go into extra time or a penalty shootout to determine a winner.
At the youth level, the length of a soccer game can vary depending on the age group. Younger children may play shorter games, such as 20 or 30 minutes per half, while older children may play full 90-minute games. It’s important to know the specific rules of the league or competition you’re watching to understand how long each game will last.
Soccer Game Length
Soccer game length is a crucial aspect of the sport that all players, coaches, and fans must understand. The length of a soccer game is regulated by the Laws of the Game, which are set by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The standard soccer game length is 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves, with a 15-minute break at halftime. However, there are variations to this depending on the level of play and competition.
Regulation time in a soccer game refers to the standard 90 minutes of play, including two 45-minute halves. The clock runs continuously during regulation play, and the referee can add stoppage time, also known as injury time or additional time, at the end of each half to compensate for any stoppages that occurred during play. Stoppage time is added to make up for time lost due to injuries, substitutions, time-wasting, or any other reason that causes the game to stop.
If a soccer game ends in a tie, extra time may be added to determine a winner. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves, with a 1-minute break in between. If the game is still tied after extra time, a penalty shootout may be used to determine the winner.
A penalty shootout is a method of determining the winner of a soccer game that has ended in a tie after extra time. Each team takes turns kicking penalty kicks from the penalty spot, which is 12 yards away from the goal. The team that scores the most goals after a predetermined number of penalty kicks wins the game. If the score is still tied after the predetermined number of penalty kicks, the shootout continues in a sudden death format until a winner is determined.
In conclusion, soccer game length is an essential aspect of the sport that all players, coaches, and fans must understand. The standard soccer game length is 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves, with a 15-minute break at halftime. However, variations such as stoppage time, extra time, and penalty shootouts may be added to determine the winner of a game.
Halves and Breaks
Soccer games are divided into two halves, each lasting 45 minutes. The referee keeps track of time and can add extra time to each half, known as stoppage time, to account for any delays in play due to injuries, substitutions, or other interruptions.
The two 45-minute halves are separated by a brief break, during which players can rest, hydrate, and receive instructions from their coaches. The length of the break is 15 minutes for most soccer games, though it may be longer or shorter for some matches depending on the rules and regulations of the league or competition.
During halftime, the teams switch sides of the field, and the home team kicks off to start the second half. This break is an opportunity for players to catch their breath, rehydrate, and discuss strategy with their coaches.
It’s worth noting that the duration of soccer games can vary depending on the level of play and the rules of the competition. For example, professional soccer games typically last 90 minutes, with two 45-minute halves and a 15-minute halftime break. In some cases, extra time may be added to the game to break a tie, and penalty shootouts may be used to determine a winner if the game remains tied after extra time.
In conclusion, soccer games consist of two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime break. The referee can add extra time to each half to account for any delays in play, and the duration of the game may vary depending on the level of play and the rules of the competition.
Substitutions and Injuries
In soccer, the game clock never stops except at the end of a half or match. Instead, referees keep track of how much time is taken up by matters such as injuries, and they use that measured time to determine how many minutes of stoppage time will be added onto each half. The amount of injury time added is at the discretion of the referee and can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the time taken to treat the injured player. In professional soccer games, the fourth official usually indicates the amount of injury time that will be added to the end of each half.
Soccer teams are allowed to make up to five substitutions during a game, except in certain circumstances where only three substitutions are allowed during – three subs used to be the rule. Substitutions can be made at any point during the game, but the player being substituted must leave the field before the substitute can enter.
Teams often make substitutions for tactical reasons, such as bringing on a fresh player to add energy and pace to the game, or to shore up the defense when holding onto a lead. In youth soccer games and high school soccer games, substitutions are often made to give all players on the team a chance to play.
In professional soccer games, substitutions can also be used as a time-wasting tactic. Coaches in the lead will make multiple substitutions in the later stages of the match to slow down the game and run down the clock. In the 2019-20 season, a new rule was introduced that allows the clock to be stopped when a substitute by the team in the lead is beckoned onto the field in the final five minutes of the second period only.
Injuries can also lead to substitutions. If a player is injured and unable to continue, the team can make a substitution to replace the injured player. However, if all three substitutions have already been used, the team must play with one less player for the remainder of the game.
Soccer is a game that is governed by a set of rules that are agreed upon by the participating teams and the referee. These rules are designed to ensure that the game is played fairly and safely. In this section, we will discuss some of the competition rules that are relevant to ties, extra time, and the use of VAR.
Ties and Draws
In soccer, a tie or draw occurs when both teams score an equal number of goals. Ties are common in group stage matches, knockout competitions, and elimination games. In some competitions, ties are allowed to stand, and the points are shared equally between the two teams. In other competitions, ties are not allowed, and the game may go into extra time or a shootout.
Extra Time and Shootouts
Extra time is a period of play that is added to the end of a game to determine a winner in the event of a tie. In most competitions, extra time consists of two 15-minute halves. If the game is still tied after extra time, a shootout may be used to determine the winner. Shootouts involve each team taking turns to shoot at the goal from a designated spot on the field. The team that scores the most goals wins the game.
VAR, or Video Assistant Referee, is a technology that is used to assist the on-field referees in making decisions. VAR is used to review decisions related to goals, fouls, and other incidents that occur during the game. VAR is used to ensure that the correct decisions are made, and that the game is played fairly.
In conclusion, soccer is a game that is governed by a set of rules that ensure that the game is played fairly and safely. Ties and draws are common in soccer, and extra time and shootouts are used to determine a winner in the event of a tie. VAR is used to assist the on-field referees in making decisions related to goals, fouls, and other incidents that occur during the game.
Referees and Laws
Laws of the Game
Soccer is governed by a set of rules called the Laws of the Game, which are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). These laws cover everything from the size of the field to the number of players on each team. Referees are responsible for enforcing these laws during the game to ensure fair play.
One important aspect of the Laws of the Game is the amount of time played in a soccer game. According to the laws, a standard adult soccer game lasts for 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves. However, the referee has the authority to add extra time to account for stoppages during the game, such as injuries or substitutions. This extra time is known as “stoppage time” or “injury time” and is counted up by the referee.
The referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during a soccer match. They have the final say on all decisions, including fouls, penalties, and goals. Referees must be knowledgeable about the Laws of the Game and their interpretations to ensure that the game is played fairly.
Before the game, the referee must arrive at the field at least 30 minutes prior to the game to prepare for the match. During the game, the referee must be constantly aware of what is happening on the field and be able to make quick decisions based on the Laws of the Game and the “spirit of the game.”
To become a referee, one must be registered with the appropriate soccer organization and complete a training program. Referees must also stay up-to-date with any changes to the Laws of the Game to ensure they are enforcing the rules correctly.
In conclusion, referees play a crucial role in ensuring that soccer games are played fairly and according to the Laws of the Game. They must be knowledgeable and prepared to make quick decisions during the game, while also enforcing the rules in a consistent and fair manner.
Age Groups and Associations
Soccer games vary in length depending on the age group and the association. There are different rules and regulations for youth soccer, college soccer, and professional soccer.
In the United States, the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) sets the standard for youth soccer games. The length of the game depends on the age group of the players. For instance, the Under-6 age group plays four quarters of six minutes each, while the Under-19 to Under-17 age group plays two halves of 45 minutes each. The halftime break is usually 10-15 minutes, depending on the association.
College soccer games are longer than youth soccer games. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sets the rules for college soccer games. The length of the game is two halves of 45 minutes each, with a halftime break of 15 minutes.
Professional soccer games are longer than college and youth soccer games. The length of the game is two halves of 45 minutes each, with a halftime break of 15 minutes. However, the clock does not stop during the game, which means that the actual playing time is longer than 90 minutes.
Professional soccer matches in Qatar, for instance, have an additional water break in each half due to the hot weather conditions. The water break lasts for one to two minutes and is taken at the 30-minute mark of each half.
It is worth noting that the length of soccer games has a historical background. Sheffield FC and a Football Association (FA) team agreed on a 90-minute limit for their match on March 31, 1866. Sheffield FC, the world’s first football club that pioneered the creation of soccer rules, adopted the 90-minute limit, which was later included in the IFAB rule book in 1897.
In summary, the length of soccer games varies depending on the age group and the association. Youth soccer games are shorter than college and professional soccer games. The clock does not stop during professional soccer games, which means that the actual playing time is longer than 90 minutes.
Goal Celebrations and Time Wasting
Goal celebrations are an exciting part of soccer, but they can also add to the overall time of the game. The duration of a goal celebration can vary depending on the players and the situation. According to the BBC Sport, celebrations typically take around 30 seconds as a rule of thumb. However, if a team spends five minutes celebrating, the referee will add extra time to cover it.
Time wasting is an intentional tactic used by teams to run down the clock and preserve their lead. This tactic can take many forms, such as players taking longer to take a throw-in or a goal kick, or players faking injuries to stop the game. Time wasting can also occur during goal celebrations, especially if players take too long to celebrate or if they run to the sidelines to celebrate with their coach or fans.
To combat time wasting, referees use a stopwatch to count the time lost during stoppages in play, such as injuries, substitutions, or goal celebrations. The referee will then add this time back onto the end of each half, known as stoppage time or injury time. Stoppage time can range from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the amount of time lost during the game.
In some cases, smaller pitches can also contribute to time wasting. When playing on a smaller pitch, teams may be more likely to keep possession of the ball and pass it around to run down the clock. This can be particularly effective if a team is winning and wants to hold onto their lead.
In conclusion, while goal celebrations and time wasting can add to the overall time of a soccer game, referees are trained to manage these situations and ensure that the game runs smoothly. By using stoppage time and monitoring players for time wasting tactics, referees can help ensure a fair and exciting game for all.
World Cup and International Soccer
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most prestigious tournament in international soccer. It is held every four years and features teams from all over the world. The tournament consists of 32 teams that are divided into eight groups of four teams each. The group stage is followed by the knockout stage, which culminates in the final.
Each World Cup soccer game is 90 minutes long, consisting of two 45-minute halves with a running clock. After each half, the referee adds stoppage time to compensate for time lost due to injuries, substitutions, and other stoppages. For the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, referees were instructed to be more rigorous, making stoppage time longer than usual.
International soccer refers to soccer games that are played between national teams. These games can be friendly matches or part of a tournament such as the World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. International soccer is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which is the international governing body for soccer.
International soccer games are played under the same rules as domestic soccer games, with each game lasting 90 minutes. However, international soccer games can be subject to different regulations depending on the tournament or competition. For example, the World Cup has different rules for extra time and penalties than regular international soccer games.
In the early days of soccer, international soccer games were played between teams from different countries without any formal organization. However, in 1904, the FIFA was founded in Paris, France, and became the governing body for international soccer. Today, FIFA has 211 member associations from around the world.
International soccer has a rich history, with many famous games and players. Some of the most famous international soccer games include the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany, the 1970 World Cup final between Brazil and Italy, and the 1998 World Cup final between France and Brazil. Some of the most famous international soccer players include Pelé, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In conclusion, World Cup and international soccer games are played under the same rules as domestic soccer games, with each game lasting 90 minutes. However, international soccer games can be subject to different regulations depending on the tournament or competition. FIFA is the international governing body for soccer and has a rich history of organizing and regulating international soccer games.