A football game will normally last at least 1 hour and forty-five minutes. However, that is assuming an even number of players on both sides. In actuality, it will tend to be more, since the referee will, in their discretion, add onto time to the end of the game for various reasons, such as late fouls by players, extra time needed for field renovations or time consuming equipment plays. So really, how long is a football match really?
In the US, the term’halftime’ is used. So, how long is a football match really? The answer depends on how you want to count the clock. In most cases, a half is played with regulation time starting and ending at the same time. Therefore, the clock does not start and stop for the entire duration of the match. This means that the clock is only off by five minutes in the US, or three minutes in Canada and Mexico.
A ninety-minute game is generally considered to be an hour and fifteen-minute game in the UK. That means that a three-hour game would play for three hours, including stoppages for commercials, extra time for warm up, and a possible promotion/relegation period. If a tournament is being played, extra time may be extended to four hours. So, really, how long is a football match actually?
First half :
To determine the true length of a match, it’s important to consider all of the factors that contribute to the running of the show. First, what are the kickoffs, side kicks and corner kicks? How long do possessions last? How long are possessions allowed? How many fouls are called during the game?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can figure out how long a football game will be. It’s also helpful to consider the teams that are participating. How long will the halftime break be? How long will the additional time on the final kick go? How many overtime goals will there be? How long will it take for the game to be completed?
An official football match is usually played for three hours and thirty-five minutes, but this can vary depending on the venue and whether or not overtime will be allowed. The official guidelines will indicate exactly how long the two halves of a football game should be. The actual length of the game will depend on a number of factors. If a goal is scored in the first half and the game is allowed to continue until the end of the half, the game is considered to be an extra period.
Second half :
A halftime cup or “extra time” must be declared before the start of the second half. Extra time only lasts for ten minutes; however, announcements may indicate that the extended overtime period will continue for five additional minutes. If the officials declare the beginning of the second half before the start of the extra time period, the match is considered to be completed as the match is being played. If, on the other hand, the match is declared to be over after five minutes has passed, the match is declared to be overtime and the teams must play one more minute added to the total amount of minutes allowed for the full two halves.
There are also circumstances in which a football match time limit may be waived. When a team is not playing regularly, when the weather is bad or any other unforeseen circumstances cause either team to lose focus and become sloppy, the match can be called to a halt and both teams are given a penalty free fifteen minutes to recover. The same applies if a team captain or coach decides to call the match off. Any other team playing during this time will not be penalized. In addition, if a player is injured on the playing field and unable to continue, the game may be continued for his benefit, but without adding any additional penalty periods.