How long do Football Games Last?
Football games last between sixty and ninety minutes – but this time won’t include any pre-game warm-ups or half-time breaks. The actual period of play will last for one hour and twenty-five minutes, divided into two halves of forty-five minutes; with a fifteen-minute interval in between.
Factors effecting game length
The exact length of a football game depends on several factors. These are:
- The level of the game – Professional games tend to be the longest, while youth or amateur games tend to be the shortest.
- The competition rules – Although the minimum length is one hour and twenty-five minutes, some leagues may set their own rules to increase the length of the game.
- Injuries and preventable stoppages – A game will likely be longer if one or both of the teams are carrying injuries or stoppages are required due to accidental or unacceptable player behaviour.
- Match stoppages – Referees will stop the game for free kicks, penalties, substitutions and to issue cautions or dismissals.
Referees can add on minutes of extra time at the end of each half to compensate for any of the delays listed above. This additional period of playing time is commonly referred to as ‘Added Time’ or ‘Injury Time’ and can be two to five minutes long.
The key takeaway: Football games are one hour and twenty-five minutes in length, but may be longer if any of the factors described above come into play.