Soccer is a beautiful game that entails tactical play, athletic prowess, and team spirit. An average soccer game lasts for 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes. However, what about the halftime break? How long does it last?

In this post, we take a closer look at the halftime break and explore its duration and variations in different leagues and tournaments. If you're a soccer beginner, reading on will help you to understand the game better.

The Standard Halftime Duration for Soccer Games

Halftime breaks in soccer usually last for 15 minutes. This time is a mandatory break, providing the players with an opportunity to rest, rehydrate, and re-strategize their game tactics.

Coaches often use this time to have team talks, assess the players' performance, and make necessary substitutions.

In the majority of soccer leagues, such as FIFA and UEFA championships, the rules state that the teams must take a short break at halftime. The length of this interval is usually 15 minutes but could be slightly longer or shorter depending on the tournament regulations.

What Happens During Halftime in a Soccer Game?

During halftime, players take a break, relax, and refresh themselves both mentally and physically. Most of the players go to the locker room for privacy and further instruction, while others remain on the field, practicing set pieces or taking shots at goal.

The coaching staff may use this break to make tactical adjustments, substitute players, or deliver motivational speeches to boost their team's morale for the second half. Fans at the stadium can use this time to grab food or drinks, visit the restroom, or simply stretch their legs.

Additionally, the halftime break also allows referees to assess the field conditions and replace any worn-out or damaged equipment. This includes replacing the soccer ball, filling any holes in the ground caused by significant wear and tear, and performing any other necessary repairs.

Does halftime automatically begin at the 45-minute mark?

No, not exactly. The referee determines when halftime begins based on various factors, including the number of stoppages, injury time, or delays from a player's injury or damage to the playing surface.

For instance, if a player sustains an injury during the first half, the referee is mandated to add injury or stoppage time to the official game clock. Therefore, the halftime break may happen after the 45th minute.

Variations in Halftime Length Across Leagues and Tournaments

Though a halftime break in soccer usually lasts for 15 minutes, the duration may vary across different leagues and tournaments. Here's a breakdown of some prominent soccer leagues and tournaments and their halftime durations:

How long is halftime in the soccer World Cup?

FIFA, the organization that governs soccer worldwide, mandates that halftime duration in the World Cup games is 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in FIFA matches?

For FIFA matches, the halftime break also lasts for 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in the Champions League?

UEFA Champions League has a 15-minute halftime break, the same as most domestic leagues and FIFA matches.

How long is halftime in the soccer Premier League?

The English Premier League also has a halftime break that lasts for 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in soccer MLS?

In Major League Soccer (MLS), one of the most prominent soccer leagues in the United States, halftime breaks usually last for 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in women's soccer?

Halftime in women's soccer games is usually the same as in men's soccer, which is 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in college soccer?

The halftime duration in college soccer often varies between 10 and 15 minutes.

How long is halftime in high school soccer?

High school soccer matches have a halftime break that lasts for 10-15 minutes depending on the rules set by regional and state organizations.

How long is halftime in youth soccer?

For youth soccer, halftime breaks may last for anywhere between 5-15 minutes based on the age group and the rules set by the organizers. The halftime length is usually the same in both girls' and boys' age groups in youth soccer.

The young players need shorter breaks and may not require team talks and activities like professional soccer players.

Youth soccer organizations such as the U.S. Soccer Federation and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) usually set a standard halftime break of 10 minutes for all age groups.

During this time, players can take a breather, get instructions from their coaches, and strategize for the second half of the game. Some youth leagues may have slightly longer (15 minutes) or shorter (5 minutes) halftime breaks.


In conclusion, understanding the duration of halftime in soccer games is essential to better enjoy and interact with the game.

Halftime breaks provide players and coaches with a critical opportunity to re-strategize and adjust the game plan, rehydrate, and rest. Although halftime breaks usually last for 15 minutes, the duration may differ across various leagues and tournaments.

As you watch soccer games, pay attention to the halftime durations and how they affect the players' performance in the second half. Knowing this will help you to become a better soccer fan and have a deeper appreciation of the beautiful game.

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