How Long is a Youth Soccer Game?

How Long is a Youth Soccer Game?

How long is a youth soccer game? The simple answer is that it varies. In this article, you’ll learn the different game lengths of youth soccer games for your child’s age group. 

First off, let’s cover the basics. A typical soccer game is split into even halves with a short halftime (sometimes with oranges from parents). On some occasions, especially at the younger ages (under 8), games may be divided into quarters. 

In the U.S. soccer scene, there is no hard official rule about game time at the national level. The specific time is typically based on the governing rules of the league or town you are involved with.  

And, as the players get older, the time in a single game gets longer but doesn’t exceed 90-minutes for regulation time. 

Soccer Game Length by Age Group

Here is a list of typical game lengths by age group.

  • U6: 20 minute (10-minute halves) soccer game
  • U8: 40 minute (20-minute halves) soccer game
  • U10: 50 minute (25 minutes halves) soccer game
  • U12: 60 minute (30-minute halves) soccer game
  • U14: 80 minute (40-minute halves) soccer game
  • U16: 90 minute (45-minute halves) soccer game
  • U19: 90 minute (45-minute halves) soccer game

Unlike most other sports, game time does not start and stop for timeouts and stoppage in play. 

For an 80-minute game, it usually takes 1hr and 40 min from the first whistle to the end of the game. If deemed appropriate, the referee will add injury time to the end of each half. 

How Long Are Warmups in Soccer?

The length of warmups for youth soccer teams can vary depending on the age group, level of competition, and other factors.

Typically, the warmup process can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. This time frame may include a combination of exercises like jogging, stretching, and practicing specific skills and strategies.

The warm-up should be long enough to prepare the players’ bodies for the physical demands of the game, but not so long that they become fatigued before the match begins.

Coaches may adjust the length and intensity of the warm-up based on the weather conditions, the players’ fitness levels, and other factors.

For my son’s U14 team, the coach wants him to arrive 40 minutes before game time. They talk for the first 15 minutes and then start their warmups which consist of light stretching and movement, passing patterns, Rondos, and finally strategizing. 

How Long is Halftime in a Youth Soccer Game?

Halftime for a youth soccer game can vary depending on the age group, referee, and competition, but it is typically around 5-10 minutes. This is different from the traditional 90-minute game where halftime is about fifteen minutes

What About Overtime in Soccer?

In a regular season match, there most likely won’t be overtime if the game is a draw. Many soccer games end in ties, which will be reflected in the league standings. For each tie, a team is awarded one point.

Tournaments or playoffs may include a short overtime followed by penalty kicks (PKs) if the score is still tied. This is simply because a winner of the match must be determined. 

Again, we want to reiterate these times are only for reference. Your league may adhere to slightly different game lengths. But, it is important to understand official game lengths, especially at the younger levels where you’ll want to get kids playing time.

FAQ

How long are high school soccer games?

Many soccer games in high school are 80 minutes but some are 90 minutes.

Are there periods or quarters in youth soccer games?

Typically, games are split into two halves but some games may be divided into four quarters for the younger age groups.

Are games the same amount of time in tournaments?

Usually not. In most tournaments, the length of the game is shorter than the regular season.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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