How Long Does a High School Soccer Game Last? (Mystery Solved!)

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Soccer, aka football, has quickly become one of the most popular sports in the United States, especially in high schools. However, soccer played in high school is not similar to the professional soccer game. 

The young soccer game’s formation, player number, field size, and timing are pretty different. And if you are wondering how long does a high school soccer game last? Scroll down to know the answer! 

How Long Does A High School Soccer Game Last?

In the US, a high school soccer game can last for up to 80 minutes, with each half being 40 minutes plus ten minutes for a halftime break. Older players have much more stamina, so they can also choose to play a 90-minute soccer game.

Most games will include extra time to make up for the time lost during one. It’s the referee’s responsibility to award the stoppage time, and they can add either more or less period of time depending on how many stoppages happened. 

Many things can affect that stoppage duration, and I’ll explain more soon. But the stoppage time can last anywhere from 3-5 minutes. And in terms of a tied game, whether in a tournament or a knockout game, the teams get two 10 or more 15-minute halves of overtime. 

Thankfully, there is a 5-minute break in between the halves. But if the game is still tied, the winner gets to be decided by penalty shootouts. That being said, coaches and officials are sometimes influenced to replace overtime with penalties.  

So, to give you the short answer, a high school soccer game can last for an hour or two hours, depending on overtime.

Factors That Can Affect The Game Duration

In this game, the clock doesn’t stop. If it does, then it does due to a few factors. Let’s examine those factors that can affect a game’s momentum and duration.

Injury Time

Injury time, or stoppage time, is a crucial factor affecting the length of a high school soccer game. The referee can add extra time at the end of each half to make up for any stoppages during the game, like substitutions, time-wasting antics, or injuries. 

Injury time can vary from match to match, depending on what takes place during one.

Extra Time and Penalty Shootouts

While not in all high school soccer games, some schools have a rule for their playoff matches or tournaments. That rule is if the game ends in a draw, then extra time will be given to determine a winner. 

These games usually consist of two 15-minute halves, and if the score is still tied, the teams will go on to penalty shootouts. That can extend the game duration significantly. But as I said, not all schools have this rule, so most high school games end within the extra time. 


Several delays can occur during a high school soccer game, like equipment malfunction, injury-related delays, or weather problems. Interruptions like these can extend the game longer than usual because the game doesn’t resume until the problem is solved.

So, it’s important to remind yourself that a real game duration can vary significantly due to injuries or additional stoppage time given by the referee. If you plan on playing in a high school game, be ready to push yourself to the limit!

Match Duration of Other Levels

Now that you’ve gotten an idea about the factors that can affect a game’s duration, it’s time to talk about the match duration of other soccer playing levels:

Middle School Game 

Middle school games are much shorter, consisting of two 30-35 minute halves along with 10 minutes of break for halftime. 

In tournament or knockout stages, if the match ends in a draw after two main halves, then an overtime period of 10-minute overtime halves each will take place to determine the winner. 

College Game

College soccer games are a bit different from high school ones in the sense that they include two 45-minute halves and 15 minutes for halftime.  

If the games are tied, the teams go into two 15-minute overtime halves. And after, if they are still tied, they have to go to penalty shootouts to determine the winner of the match.


Like college soccer games, professional soccer games have two halves, each having 45 minutes. The halftime interval is exactly fifteen minutes, and referees can add stoppage time at the end of each half. This can be 3 minutes or sometimes 5.

When it comes to knockout games, if the score is tied, teams must partake in two 15 overtime halves. If the result is still tied, then the teams will have to decide by penalty shootouts. 

Penalties can go on indefinitely, but not to worry. They don’t usually last more than 10 to 15 minutes. So, a professional soccer game can last anywhere from an hour and 45 minutes to two hours and 45 minutes.

Extra Time Without a Tie

The referee and their assistants manage the official time. They can stop the clock for various reasons but mostly stop the time for substitutions and timeouts. 

You can only know how much extra time will be added at the end of the second half. This is determined by how many players were injured and how many subs were made, as the referee has to stop the game every time there is an injury or a substitute. 

This particular rule was added in the first place to stop players from stalling to take a kick, making subs, or faking injuries once they take the lead. 

What about Tie Games

When it comes to tied games, many things could take place depending on the rules of the soccer game or level. For younger teams, their game will be called a draw and end there. I’m sure you’ve seen this in professional matches as well, whether it be a professional tournament or a high school soccer game. 

In other cases, high school soccer matches can also go straight to the penalties or overtime. 

What about Overtime in High School Soccer

The teams decide an overtime rule if it’s a non-conference match. It’s usually decided before a match takes place where both teams agree they don’t want to play overtime, and the match is more like a friendly match than competitive.  

However, the case is different when it comes to conference games. That’s when the league decides the overtime rule, and they do it at the start of the tournament or season.

Coaches and officials get together to determine if they’ll have an OT after a tie game, how long it will be, and how much the points and winners are chosen. 

Sometimes, tied games will go straight to penalties without playing any OT. On the other hand, there might be 10-minute halves added as OT, and then the teams go into a penalty shootout.  

Penalty Kicks

The winner of a tie game can be determined by penalty shootouts if there’s no overtime. Each team will get 5 shots on goal, each taking turns alternatively. 

A coin toss is made to see which team will shoot first. The same player can’t take a shot twice. It has to be different players. More shots can be added when necessary, but if the outcome doesn’t change, it will become a sudden death shootout.


What is The Longest Soccer Game Ever?

The longest soccer match ever played was in 1922 in the finals of the German championship between Hamburger SV and Nuernberg.  

The match had to be called off after 189 minutes because the dusk made it impossible for the players to continue playing. 

Accomplishes A Soccer Player Know How Much Time Is Left?

Soccer players know how much time is left when they’re playing. There are also time stands around the stadiums, and coaches and referees are there to remind them as well. 

How Long Are Soccer Games in the Olympics?

Olympic soccer matches consist of two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute break. But, if the match ends in a tie in the knockout stages, the two teams must partake in two 15-minute overtime halves.

How Long Is One Soccer Match On TV?

On TV, a soccer match usually lasts about two or more hours. This is because of the interviews, formalities, and ads that take place. 

What Is Stoppage Time in a Soccer Match?

Stoppage time, aka injury time or added time, is when the referee adds an additional amount of time at the end of each half to make up for the time that was lost. 

Factors That Affect the Length of The  Soccer Game

The length of a soccer match can depend on many things. If a match lasts longer than 90 minutes, then it could be one of these reasons: 

  • Substitutions 
  • Fouls committed 
  • Set pieces 
  • VAR checks 
  • Drink breaks 
  • Wasted time
  • Goal celebrations
  • The ball goes out of play 
  • Disciplinary actions 
  • Removal/assessment of an injured player

How Much Does a High School Soccer Coach Make?

High school coaches get annual salaries that can range from 85,000 to 18,000.


In conclusion, I’d like to say that high school soccer games are fun and exciting. If you’ve never been to one, I’d recommend checking it out. While they might not be as good as professional soccer games, and maybe not so dramatic, the essence of soccer is there. 

Let us know how your high-school soccer game was or how your experience has been in the comments below!

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