How Long is a Professional Soccer Game? All Soccer Games Length by Age

It’s not just about loving soccer; you also need to know more details about it, like how long a professional soccer game lasts. Normally, we are conversant with the 90mins benchmark for every soccer, but in most cases, it’s usually more.

In this article, I will drive you through how long a professional soccer game last, why there is extra time and factors that could influence extra time.

How Long is a Professional Soccer Game?

A professional soccer game lasts between 90 to 105mins. I.e., 45+ stoppage time in the first half and 45+ stoppage time in the second half. Certain factors greatly influence the extra time; keep reading.

What Influences the Length of Soccer Game?

Several factors can affect the duration of a soccer match, such as:

  1. Injuries: Players who sustain injuries requiring medical attention or treatment may be required to stop the game for additional time. This time can be different depending on the severity of the injury. Hence. Hence extra time will be added to cover up.
  2. Substitutions When teams make substitutes, particularly if they are multiple, this can add extra time to a match because players leave and enter the field. However, the time added might be insignificant, but it’s something.
  3. Time Wasters: Some teams may use purposely waste time to win a match, such as throwing-ins and goal kicks. Referees may add extra time for this tactical mentality.
  4. Goal Celebrations: A goal celebration can cause a delay in the restart of a game, especially if the players are celebrating excessively for a long-awaited goal.
  5. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Reviews: The time required to conduct these reviews in matches that use VAR technology can increase the duration of a match.

How long do High School Soccer Games Last?

The high school soccer game last for just 80 minutes in length, with two halves which consist of 40 minutes each and a 10-minute break. Understand that regular-season games do not have overtime in the event of a draw. Hence penalty kicks are used to determine which team advances.

List of Soccer Games length by Age

Below are soccer games’ lengths by age; understand that extra time can be applicable when needed.

Youth Soccer Game Lengths

Under 6 (U6) to Under 8 (U8):

  • Game Length: Approximately 20 to 25 minutes per half
  • Total Game Duration: 40 to 50 minutes

Under 10 (U10) to Under 12 (U12):

  • Game Length: Around 25 to 30 minutes per half
  • Total Game Duration: 50 to 60 minutes

Under 14 (U14) and Beyond:

  • Game Length: Typically 40 to 45 minutes per half
  • Total Game Duration: 80 to 90 minutes

Professional Soccer Game Length

For professional soccer matches, the standard game length is as follows:

  • Regulation Time: 90 minutes
    • Two halves of 45 minutes each
  • Halftime Break: Approximately 15 minutes
    • Players regroup, hydrate, and receive instructions from their respective coaches.
  • Stoppage Time (Added Time): Variable
    • Accounts for delays due to injuries, substitutions, and other interruptions.
    • Typically 1 to 5 minutes per half, determined by the referee and regulators.

Extra Time and Penalty Shootouts

Extra Time:

  • Two halves worth 15 minutes each.
  • Used in knockout-stage matches to determine a winner after regulation time if the score is tied.

Penalty Shootouts:

  • Follows extra time if the match remains winnerless.
  • Players take penalty kicks to determine the winner.

Futsal Game Length

Futsal, an indoor variant of soccer, has its own unique game lengths:

  • Halves: 20 minutes each.
  • Clock Stops: During dead-ball situations (free kicks, corners, kick-ins)

Beach Soccer Game Length

Beach soccer, played on sandy shores, features the following game lengths:

  • Periods: Three periods of 12 minutes each
  • Total Game Duration: 36 minutes


In conclusion, a typical professional soccer game consists of 90 minutes of regulation time, which is divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. However, various factors can lead to a longer overall duration. Stoppage time is crucial for ensuring that the actual gameplay aligns with the intended 90 minutes of regulation time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1: Why does soccer have two halves instead of four quarters?

It is a tradition that has evolved over time. The continuous play in two halves allows for a more natural flow of the game, reducing frequent stoppages and maintaining the excitement, fun, and increased fatigue.

2: Why is there additional time added at the end of each half?

Additional time, also known as stoppage time, is added to compensate for delays in gameplay due to factors like substitutions, injuries, and time-wasting. This ensures that the intended 45 minutes for each half is maintained, even if the clock is paused during these interruptions.

3: How is stoppage time determined?

The referee determines stoppage time based on the amount of time lost due to interruptions during the half. This can vary from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the nature of the delays.

4: Can a soccer match end in a tie?

Yes, a soccer match can end in a tie if the score remains level after regulation time. In some competitions, knockout-stage matches go into extra time and possibly a penalty shootout to determine a winner.

5: Why are youth soccer games shorter than professional matches?

Youth soccer games have shorter durations to match young players’ physical capabilities and attention spans. Most young players tend to get tired in the long run hence the shorter time for youth soccer.

6: How long is extra time in soccer?

Extra time is typically played in two halves of 15 minutes each, with a brief break in between. If the match remains winnerless after the extra time, a penalty shootout is used to get a winner.

7: Are penalty shootouts fair?

For me, penalty shootouts are a controversial part of soccer, as they determine winners through individual kicks rather than the team’s overall performance. However, they provide a decisive outcome when matches can’t be resolved within regulation time or extra time. So yes, it’s fair.

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