How Long Is Halftime in Soccer

How Long Is Halftime in Soccer?

Published date: May 28, 2019

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Many popular sports involve some form of a break during a game. There can be a single break or there can be several breaks.

A halftime break is taken halfway through the game in soccer, which is one of those sports that is split into two halves. 

Here is a brief overview of the competition rules and how a soccer game looks and how the half-time interval fits in.

An overview of soccer’s structure

It takes 90 minutes for a soccer game to be completed. Referees stop the game at halftime, after 45 minutes, or halfway through a 90-minute match. Halftime will be followed by the restart of the game by the referee. The second half of the game lasts for 45 minutes, just like the first half.

Each team will switch ends of the field after the halftime break. In place of left to right play, right to left will apply on the pitch.

When there are weather conditions such as wind or low sun that favor a team, changing ends of the field can add an aspect of balance.

If the game’s score is tied at the end, and a winner must be determined, a soccer game can last longer than 90 minutes.

In this case, the time-keeper will add extra time to the end of the game.

Coaches discuss tactics at halftime

One reason why the game has halftime concerns strategy and tactics. At halftime, players and coaches are able to discuss game strategy. Coaches can communicate with players during a game, but they will have a more effective dialogue when they pay close attention.

During halftime, the coach might want to reinforce the tactics that had been discussed prior to the game or change the tactics in an area of the game. Both of these will provide the team an opportunity to regroup and refocus on what they must do.

In most games, by the time halftime comes around, it is usually clear which team will win.

During this time, the opponents can pause the game and assess what they are doing well and what they should change. By evaluating their performance, they will be better prepared for the second half of the season.

A chance to hydrate and eat

Timeouts are not used in soccer games. Unfortunately, the result is that during the halftime break, the players have minimal opportunity to take in any needed fluids or nutrition.

The body is put under a great deal of stress during a soccer match. A player can use up to 5700 kJ (1360 kcal) of energy during a game. When this energy is replenished at some point, it will be possible for the player to perform at their peak levels for longer.

It is common for soccer players to eat carbohydrate snacks at halftime. Halftime nutrition recommendations include chopped fruit, granola bars, or specialized sports nutrition items such as energy bars.

Assessing any possible injuries

During halftime, players can also assess any injuries they may have. Players can speak to the coaching staff during this time to let them know how things are going and tell them about any concerns that may be pertinent.

Coaches can spot injuries or strains early and determine if a player can continue playing or if they need to be replaced.


Why does halftime exist in soccer?

In the beginning, people played soccer according to a variety of rules.

As a measure of fairness in a game, when a team played against another team that used a different set of rules, they were required to follow one of their rules for the first half only. A halftime break would then be called, and the teams would now play the game according to the other team’s rules.

Playing games with two different sets of rules did not last. In the end, a list of official regulations was established, and teams were required to follow these rules.

In a FIFA match, how long is halftime?

Halftime is a period of time during a soccer match when teams are allowed to break for a specific amount of time. Halftime is signaled by the referee blowing his whistle when the game clock has reached the halfway point. 

FIFA-sanctioned matches end after 45 minutes. You can have a 15-minute break during halftime. Added time periods last about a minute, and between them, there is a much shorter rest period.

How long is halftime in the Soccer World Cup?

During the World Cup group stage, halftime can last up to 15 minutes. It is customary in the knockout stages of the World Cup for there to be additional breaks from play in between periods of extra time that last five minutes each.

Minutes: Where Do They Come From?

In order to get a general understanding of how timing works in football, it is essential to first look at the match length itself. It would be easier to understand why 45 minutes was chosen as the halfway point if we knew what led to 90 minutes being selected as a match length.

To explain how a football game’s length developed, we must go back to the north of England as the game first began. At that time, there were no standardized rules in place for football in each part of the country, with each association creating its own set of rules.

The Sheffield Rules were among the most prominent ones widely used, spreading beyond Yorkshire into the north of England and the Midlands. Both London and Sheffield had different match lengths at the time, so in 1866 they decided how long the match should last when they faced off in a match.

It was not until 1862 that the concept of changing ends at halftime was introduced to the Sheffield Rules, and that still depended upon there being no goals scored in the opening period. Officials reportedly agreed that the match should last 90 minutes, thinking that the players would be tired by the end of it, so 90 minutes seemed to be an appropriate length.