The Duration of a Soccer Game: All You Need to Know

Standard Soccer Game Duration: 90 Minutes

A typical soccer game lasts for a total of 90 minutes, which is divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. This standard duration has been followed by professional soccer leagues around the world for many years. However, it is important to note that the actual playing time may vary due to additional stoppage time or injury time added by the referee. These added minutes ensure that the full 90 minutes is played, accounting for any delays that occurred during the match.

Referee controls time in soccer game

An interesting fact about the duration of a soccer game, excluding any extra time or penalties, is that despite being referred to as a 90-minute game, the actual average playtime is only around 60 minutes. This discrepancy is due to time wasted throughout the game, including injuries, substitutions, free kicks, and other stoppages. In a study conducted during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it was found that the ball was in play for an average of just 57 minutes and 43 seconds per game.

During a soccer game, the clock is continuously running, except for certain situations such as when the ball is out of play, after a goal has been scored, or in the case of a player's injury. Each half lasts for 45 minutes, with a 15-minute halftime break in between. The referee is responsible for keeping track of the time and can add stoppage time in the form of minutes to compensate for any stoppages that occurred during the game. This additional time is commonly referred to as injury time or stoppage time and is announced at the end of the regulation 90 minutes.

Fair play through stoppage time

The concept of stoppage time is an essential part of soccer as it ensures that each team has an equal opportunity to play for the full 90 minutes, regardless of any interruptions that may have occurred. The duration of stoppage time depends on the number of delays encountered during the game, such as player substitutions, injuries, time-wasting tactics, or reviewing contentious decisions using VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology. The referee has the discretion to add minutes of stoppage time deemed necessary to compensate for these delays.

Soccer games: 90 minutes + stoppage

A soccer game typically lasts for 90 minutes, but due to numerous injuries, strategies, and remarkable goal celebrations, the actual ball-in-play time averages only around 60 minutes!

In summary, a soccer game typically lasts for 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each, with a 15-minute halftime break. However, the actual playing time can be longer due to the addition of stoppage time, which accounts for any delays encountered during the match. Stoppage time ensures that both teams have an equal opportunity to play for the full duration of the game and is determined by the referee based on various factors.