How Long is Soccer Halftime? Your Answer is Here

How Long is Soccer Halftime? Your Answer is Here

Last updated on July 15th, 2023 at 11:40 am

How long is soccer halftime? Typically, 15 minutes but in many youth games, it can be shorter. In this article, we will break it down further.

Halftime in soccer

Generally, for U15 and older, soccer matches are split into two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime in between.

The game of soccer differs from many other sports whereas in other sports like American football and basketball, there are multiple timeouts and game time stops throughout.

Soccer time is continuous and there are no coach’s timeouts. The game clock continues to tick despite the ball going out of bounds or briefly stopping on the field.

At the youth level, on really hot days, a referee will stop play for water breaks. Otherwise, if there’s an injury or pause in the game, stoppage time will be added to the end of the halves.

How Long Halftime in Soccer?

As mentioned above, for a 90-minute match, halftime in soccer lasts for 15 minutes. By rule, halftime cannot exceed 15 minutes.

For games that are less than 90 minutes long, halftime is usually shorter. In fact, I’ve timed the last 5 halftimes for my son’s U14 game.

  • Game 1: 7 minutes
  • Game 2: 12 minutes
  • Game 3: 7 minutes (started late)
  • Game 4: 13 minutes
  • Game 5: 14 minutes

The duration of halftime is determined by the referee. He or she can blow the whistle earlier if they feel like doing so. Usually, they will use this time to hydrate, discuss what they are seeing with the other refs, and talk about weekend plans.

Benefits of Halftime

Halftime during soccer matches provides a small window of opportunity for rest. Players that were just on the field are able to get off their feet, stretch, replenish with nutrients, and hydrate themselves.

It also provides coaches with some time to talk to their players about what they need to focus on in the second half. Very often, soccer strategies shift from the first to the second half of the game. Coaches may decide to alter the lineup and change formations.

In summary, halftime provides players and coaches a reset before they play another 45 minutes. It also gives parents an opportunity to calm down from the first half (we’re kidding…kind of ;).

It’s important that players maximize this opportunity to take care of their bodies. Soccer matches can be very physical and this is a great time to briefly get your mind and body ready for the final push.

Structure of a Soccer Game

A typical professional soccer game last 90 minutes (plus stoppage time). Each match is structured as:

  • 1st Half: 45 minutes
  • Halftime: 15 minutes
  • 2nd Half: 45 minutes
  • Overtime: (2) 15-minute halves (if necessary)

After halftime, the teams will switch ends of the field. On some occasions, the sun or wind will play a factor so this can even out the advantage.

If the score is tied at the end of regulation then the game ends as a “draw”.

If a winner needs to be determined such as playoffs or tournaments, then an overtime period will be assessed. In a 90-minute game format, usually two 15 minute overtime halves will be played.

Note: for the younger ages, the soccer matches are less than 90 minutes. We’ve explained this in How Long is a Youth Soccer Game article. 


Hopefully this helps answer any questions you have about halftime and the benefits of it.

If you are a parent reading this, please let your player know that it is important to hydrate and eat a carbohydrate-rich snack if they are feeling sluggish. Also, tell them to listen to their bodies and stretch any aches if necessary.

I’ve seen many teams give up leads because they came out of halftime not ready to play. The teams and players that can motivate themselves typically find success in any given game.

Common Questions

Does soccer have a halftime?

It sure does! It can last upwards of 15 minutes.

Is there a halftime in World Cup soccer?

Yes, there’s a halftime in World Cup matches. They are typically 15 minutes. Enough time to grab a snack!

How long is a youth halftime in soccer?

In our research, a typical halftime in youth soccer is 10 minutes.

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 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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