How Many Minutes Are in a Pro Soccer Game

How Many Minutes Are in a Pro Soccer Game?

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in the world. With its fast-paced action, skillful players, and passionate fans, it captivates millions around the globe. If you’re new to the game or just curious about the duration of a professional soccer match, you may wonder, how many minutes are in a pro soccer game? In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and provide you with some commonly asked questions related to soccer game duration.

The Duration of a Pro Soccer Game

A professional soccer game typically consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes. This means that the total playing time for a match is 90 minutes. However, it is essential to note that the duration of a soccer game may vary due to various factors, such as injury time, substitutions, and time-wasting tactics employed by teams.

Injury Time

Injury time, also known as stoppage time or added time, is additional time added to the end of each half to compensate for any time lost due to injuries, substitutions, or other delays during the game. The referee determines the amount of injury time based on their discretion, and it is usually announced on a board held up by the fourth official on the sideline. Injury time can range from a few seconds to several minutes and is meant to ensure that the full 45 minutes of each half are played.


Teams are allowed to make a certain number of substitutions during a match. These substitutions involve players being replaced by their teammates on the field. Substitutions are often made to refresh tired players or to introduce tactical changes. Substitutions can take time, especially if players need to leave the field from a distant point or if there are any injuries involved. As a result, the referee may add extra injury time to account for the time taken during substitutions.

Time-Wasting Tactics

In some cases, teams may employ time-wasting tactics to preserve a lead or disrupt the flow of the game. This can include players deliberately taking their time during throw-ins, goal kicks, or free kicks. The referee may add extra injury time to compensate for the time wasted by these tactics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does injury time count towards the 45 minutes of each half?
A: No, injury time is added to the end of each half and is separate from the 45 minutes of regular play.

Q: Can the referee add more time after the announced injury time?
A: Yes, the referee has the authority to add additional time if necessary, even after the announced injury time has passed. This is at the referee’s discretion.

Q: How is injury time calculated?
A: Injury time is determined by the referee based on factors such as substitutions, injuries, and other delays that occurred during the game. The amount of injury time is typically announced on a board held up by the fourth official.

Q: Can the game end before the full 90 minutes?
A: Yes, a game can end before the full 90 minutes if the referee decides to blow the final whistle before completing the added injury time. However, this is relatively rare and usually occurs only in exceptional circumstances.

Q: Are there any breaks during a soccer game?
A: Unlike sports such as American football or basketball, there are no scheduled breaks during a soccer game. The clock keeps running throughout the 45-minute halves, except during injury time.

In conclusion, a professional soccer game consists of two halves of 45 minutes each, resulting in a total playing time of 90 minutes. However, the actual duration of a game can vary due to factors such as injury time, substitutions, and time-wasting tactics. It is important to remember that soccer is a dynamic sport, and the length of a match can be influenced by various unforeseen circumstances.

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