How Long are Kids Soccer Games? – Toddlers, Kids, and Youth Game Lengths

How long are kids soccer games? In youth soccer, game lengths can vary depending on the age group, but they’re generally shorter than adult matches. So, to put it simply:

Age GroupGame Length (Per Half)Field Dimensions (Length x Width)Goal Size
3-510-15 minutesSmaller, adapted fieldMini-goal
6-815-20 minutesReduced sizeMini-goal
U10 Soccer Game Length20-25 minutesYouth-sizedMini-goal
U12 Soccer Game Length25-30 minutesYouth-sizedYouth goal
U13 Soccer Game Length30-35 minutesYouth-sizedYouth goal
U14 Soccer Game Length35-40 minutesYouth-sizedYouth goal
U15 40-45 minutesStandard fieldFull-size
U1645-50 minutesStandard fieldFull-size
U1945-50 minutesStandard fieldFull-size

Soccer games typically consist of two halves separated by a short halftime. Some youth leagues like those for players under 8 may use four quarters instead.

Let’s talk about the length of soccer game for toddlers, kids, and youth in detail! 

Soccer Game Time – Soccer Time Periods for Different Age Groups 

Soccer game times can vary by age group and level of play. Here are the general guidelines about youth game length:

Age GroupGame LengthFormat
Toddlers (3-5)10-15 minutes per quarterQuarters or Halves
Kids (5-12)25-30 minutes per halfTwo Halves
Adults (12-16)35-45 minutes per halfTwo Halves
Adults (Above 16)45 minutes per halfTwo Halves (Varies)

Soccer Game Time for Toddlers

Soccer game time for toddlers, typically in the age range of 3 to 5 years old, is designed to introduce young children to the sport in a fun and engaging way while considering their limited attention spans and physical capabilities. Here’s a detailed explanation:

Shorter Game Length: Toddlers have limited stamina and attention spans, so soccer games for this age group are significantly shorter compared to older players. Games are often divided into quarters or halves, depending on the league or program. Each quarter or half typically lasts around 10 to 15 minutes.

Soccer Game Time for Kids (5-12 Years)

Soccer game time for kids in the age range of 5 to 12 years is a crucial stage in their development as soccer players. During these years, children start to grasp the fundamentals of the game and develop their skills further. Here’s a detailed overview:

Game Length: The length of soccer games for kids in this age group can vary depending on factors such as league rules and local preferences. However, it’s common for games to consist of two halves, each lasting around 25 to 30 minutes. Some leagues might have shorter or longer halves based on age and competition level.

Soccer Game Time for Adults (12-16)

Soccer game time for adults in the age group of 12 to 16 represents a significant step in a player’s development as they transition from youth to more competitive levels of the sport. During this stage, the focus is on refining skills, tactical understanding, and increasing competitiveness. Here’s a detailed overview:

Game Length: Games for adults in this age group typically follow the standard format of two halves, each lasting 35 to 45 minutes, depending on league rules and the level of play. This longer game time allows players to develop endurance and showcase their skills.

Soccer Game Time for Adults (Above 16)

Soccer game time for adults above the age of 16 encompasses a wide range of players, from amateur enthusiasts to professional athletes. Here’s a detailed overview of soccer game time for adults in this age group:

Game Length: The duration of soccer games for adults above 16 can vary significantly depending on the level of play and the governing rules. In most professional matches, the game consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute halftime break. However, in amateur and recreational leagues, game lengths may vary, typically ranging from 60 to 90 minutes.

Soccer Game Time by Age

Soccer game time varies significantly by age group, reflecting the developmental stages, physical abilities, and attention spans of players. Let’s delve into the details of soccer game time by age:

Age GroupGame FormatDuration
Toddlers (Ages 3-5)Simplified15-20 minutes
Kids (Ages 5-12)StructuredFour 10-15 min quarters
Adults (Ages 12-16)Teenage TransitionTwo 45-min halves
Adults (Above 16)StandardTwo 45-min halves
Seniors (Over 35)Relaxed PaceVariable
Overtime and TournamentsCompetitive Play15-min overtime periods
Youth TournamentsTournament PlayVaries

1. Soccer Game Time for Toddlers (Ages 3-5):

  • Game Format: Soccer games for toddlers are usually short and simplified to accommodate their attention spans and emerging motor skills.
  • Duration: These games typically last 15-20 minutes, with brief periods of play.
  • Activities: Emphasis is on fun activities that introduce basic concepts like kicking the ball and moving in different directions.
  • Field Size: Very small, often using small cones or markers as goals.
  • Team Size: Small-sided games with just a few players on each team, promoting social interaction.

2. Soccer Game Time for Kids (Ages 5-12):

  • Game Format: As children grow and develop, soccer games become more structured.
  • Duration: Games generally consist of four 10-15 minute quarters with short breaks in between.
  • Activities: Focus is on skill development, teamwork, and introducing more advanced rules.
  • Field Size: Fields are still small, but dimensions expand as kids get older.
  • Team Size: Typically played with small-sided teams to maximize participation and involvement.

3. Soccer Game Time for Adults (Ages 12-16):

  • Game Format: Teenagers enter a phase where soccer games start resembling adult play more closely.
  • Duration: Games usually consist of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute halftime.
  • Activities: More emphasis on refining skills, tactics, and strategy.
  • Field Size: Played on regulation-size fields to prepare players for adult soccer.
  • Team Size: Standard 11-a-side format with a goalkeeper.

4. Soccer Game Time for Adults (Above 16):

  • Game Format: Adult soccer closely follows the standard rules and format of the sport.
  • Duration: Typically, two halves of 45 minutes each with a 15-minute halftime.
  • Activities: Focus on high-level skills, tactics, and competitive play.
  • Field Size: Played on regulation-size fields.
  • Team Size: Standard 11-a-side format with a goalkeeper.

5. Soccer Game Time for Seniors (Over 35):

  • Game Format: Seniors’ soccer often features a more relaxed pace.
  • Duration: Game durations may be reduced, with shorter halves or fewer quarters.
  • Activities: Encourages social interaction, fitness, and enjoyment of the game.
  • Field Size: Fields are typically standard size but may vary.
  • Team Size: Team sizes can vary, but the emphasis is on participation and camaraderie.

6. Overtime and Tournament Play (All Ages):

For competitive matches, overtime periods may be played, typically 15 minutes each, to determine a winner. In tournament play, extra time and penalty shootouts may be used to break ties.

7. Youth Tournaments (All Ages):

Tournament formats can vary, with games ranging from shorter durations in group stages to full-length games in knockout rounds.

How Long are Soccer Halves?

Soccer halves are typically 45 minutes each for a total game time of 90 minutes. However, in some cases, such as youth soccer or friendly matches, the game duration can be shorter, with halves lasting 30 minutes each or even less. 

Additionally, in professional soccer, there may be added time at the end of each half for stoppages and injuries, commonly referred to as “injury time” or “stoppage time,” which is determined by the referee. This added time can vary and is meant to compensate for delays that occur during the half.

How Many Quarters are in Soccer?

In traditional soccer, there are no quarters. A standard soccer game consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes for a total game time of 90 minutes. However, in some youth leagues and certain variations of the game, especially for very young children, soccer matches may be divided into quarters instead of halves. 

These quarters can be shorter in duration and are used to make the game more manageable and engaging for young players. Typically, you might find soccer matches for kids under the age of 8 divided into four quarters.

How Long is a Middle School Soccer Game?

Middle school soccer games usually follow a standard format with two halves, each lasting 30 minutes. Therefore, the total duration of a middle school soccer game is typically 60 minutes, with a short halftime break between the two halves. It’s important to note that game durations can vary depending on regional rules and specific leagues.

So it’s a good idea to check with the middle school’s athletic department or the governing body for middle school soccer in your area for any variations or additional time, such as overtime periods, if applicable.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, soccer game length varies widely based on age groups, with toddlers enjoying short, fun matches lasting around 15-20 minutes. For kids aged 5-12, games typically run for two halves of 25-30 minutes each. As players progress to adulthood (12-16), game times extend to two halves of 40-45 minutes, and for adults above 16, standard soccer games last for two halves of 45 minutes each. High school soccer games typically maintain this duration, providing a glimpse into the longer matches of the adult game.

FAQs

How Long is a High School Soccer Game?

High school soccer games typically follow the standard format of two halves, each lasting 40 minutes. Therefore, the total duration of a high school soccer game is 80 minutes, with a 10-minute halftime break between the two halves. It’s worth noting that game durations can vary depending on the level of play and regional rules, so it’s a good idea to check with the specific high school league or organization for any variations or additional time, such as overtime periods, if applicable.

How do you count time in soccer?

In soccer, time is counted through two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime break, making a total of 90 minutes of playing time.

How long is a boy soccer game?

The duration of a boys’ soccer game can vary depending on the age group and league rules, but it typically consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, for a total of 90 minutes of play.

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