How long is halftime in soccer?

  • Halftime in a soccer match gives both teams a brief rest
  • The duration of halftime in soccer is always the same
  • Halftime occurs at the end of the first 45-minute half
Here's how long halftime is in soccer.
Here's how long halftime is in soccer. / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

The length of halftime in soccer is just enough time for both teams to rest, regroup, and return to the pitch for the second half.

A soccer match is 90 minutes long, separated into two 45-minute halves. As soon as the clock starts running at the start of a game, it will not stop until halftime, even if there are stoppages for fouls, goals, or injuries.

Once the referee signals for halftime at the conclusion of the first half, both teams cease playing and momentarily retire to their respective locker rooms. The benches and managers follow the starters down the tunnel while the fans in the stands (or at home) can go to the restroom or get food without missing any action.

The amount of time players get during halftime always remains the same, so spectators can easily predict when the game will continue.

Unai Emery
Halftime gives both teams a brief moment to reset in soccer. / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

How long is halftime in soccer?

Halftime in soccer is 15 minutes long. After the first half concludes, each team, along with the officials, retreat for a brief break before they must come back onto the pitch and resume play.

Halftime is about much more than just rest, though. The pause is the perfect time for managers and assistants to address the players at length and make mid-game adjustments.

If a team is particularly struggling, then the manager might even decide to replace some of the starters after just 45 minutes. The fresh players, subbed on at the start of the second half, ideally will bring some energy and new tactics to the match.

Soccer games that go beyond 90 minutes and into extra time do not contain an additional 15-minute halftime. Instead, both teams remain on the pitch where they only get a few minutes to collect themselves and rehydrate before the clock starts again.