Does Soccer Have Quarters?

Oftentimes, a lot of people mistake how soccer is played for other sports especially if it includes knocking the ball around or is played on the pitch by two teams.

This is understandable because soccer is a big and popular sport, but it’s quite unique compared to many sports that are played in quarters.

For example, It is normal for a basketball fan to assume that soccer is played in quarters especially when he or she experiences a break time in soccer where both teams go into the tunnel, but with the game still not completed according to the commentator and the infographics.

Basketball is played in quarters of 12 or 10 minutes are played depending on the tournament rules. So if other sports have Quarters, Periods, and halves then what does a soccer match have?

Does Soccer Have Quarters?

Does Soccer Have Quarters?

The short answer is No!

Soccer has been in existence for over more than 120 years at least officially and it has definitely come through different modifications and re-modification all through the years.

However, one of the things that remain constant is the fact that it is played by two teams with 11 players each trying to outscore the other. Many soccer clubs have a must and lots more other leagues and soccer competitions have come and gone and some of them remain in existence today.

The length of a soccer match has never changed from the 1800s late 1800s to 1900 and now in the 2000s, an official soccer game at the senior level is played over the duration of 1 hour 30 minutes or 1/2 hour which translates to 90 minutes.

This 90-minute is not played on the stretch, there is a break that allows the competitors of players including the match officials to take a rest and change formations both sides will also change the size of the place they’re playing in.

Spectators are also allowed to get entertained and refresh during the break this particular break is for15 minutes, this break is known as half-time.

With this halftime, a football game is segmented into 2 halves of 45 minutes each. However, these 45 minutes are recorded continuously meaning that even when the ball is out of play the time is not stopped unlike in others sports.

Soccer does not use quarters like other sports, also it is important to note that before the half-time break, a little bit of additional time is usually added at the end of each 45 minutes to make up for the time lost due to substitutions, injuries, medical attention and any other delay in-game.

Now with the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee to intervene in match situations has also impacted how many minutes are added at the end of each half.

Meanwhile, cooling breaks can also be considered, while putting up additional time at the end of a half and sometimes time-wasting antics and time wasted during goals celebrations.


What is Half Time?

Half Time is the break between the two halves of a football game, it is the time given for players, officials, and even spectators to rest before the second 45 minutes left.

A lot of things happen during this half-time, it is a fifteen minutes break where players rest, and spectators also take time out to freshen up, get refreshments, and more.

According to the laws of the game made by IFAB, Players are entitled to an interval at halftime, not exceeding 15 minutes. What this means is that depending on age grade and professional level of the competition, the duration of half-time could be lesser than 15 fifteen minutes especially if the duration of each half is short.

However, only the referee has the ability to decide how long or short the break will be.

In other sports, breaks are utilized with entertaining activities as usually seen in NBA and at the Superbowl but there are possibilities that soccer at the international level could actually take a similar line in the future.

What Happens During Half-time Breaks?

Initially, in the early days of professional soccer, half-time breaks were just to help players, officials, and coaches as well as spectators refresh but these have changed as time progressed.

Now, coaches and team rearrange their formation, and tactics, and line up at half-time breaks, substitutions are made while fans wait. The break gives teams on the back foot to work on their tactics and arrest their fortune during the first half.

The team leading can also work on keeping their lead and when the result at halftime is leveled, both coaches can work on breaking the deadlock in the second half.

Substitutes also warm up at halftime breaks and substitutions are made to introduce them into the game just before the restart or during the second half.

Similarly, the Half-time break gives teams the opportunity to assess injury problems and fitness issues among their players, to see who can continue and who won’t be able to complete the game.

When teams return to the pitch, they change sides of the pitch. This is done as a means of ensuring fairness to both teams, especially in terms of weather conditions on matchday, wind, sunshine, and rain could be disadvantageous to one team and advantageous to the other so a change at half gives a fair setting.

Just as seen in the NBA, groundsmen use halftime to tend to necessary groundwork at halftime if there is a need to do so although it’s not often.

Can There Be More Than One-Half Time During a Game?

Yes and no but really depends on how you look at it and depends on the competition and the kind of soccer matches.

For regular matches that do not really have to end with a winner like preliminary group stage matches, two-legged matches, and League matches, there won’t be more than a break.

The knockout stages may not have extra time if the rule of the competition states so. Therefore, after a stalemate of 90 minutes, if there would be extra time there would be three breaks.

Whether a league match, cup game, competition, or exhibition match, if the rules stated that if it ends in a draw, extra time will be played, the game will have three breaks.

The soccer match can have three breaks including the first one which is a half-time break, the second one where applicable will be the waiting period for an extra time where both teams take a small pause before they go into extra time.

So with the extra time pause, it makes the second break and the third break is the one within the extra time of the match. However, none of the subsequent two breaks is as long as the halftime break.

This is because the extra time pause after 90 minutes takes barely 5 minutes and during the extra time the half-time, teams just change sides of the pitch and go on with the game.

It is important to note that extra time in soccer is 30 minutes split into two halves of 15 minutes each meaning that a soccer game can go 120 minutes.

In times past when extra time rules involved the Golden goal rule, the breaks in a single soccer game can sometimes be limited to just two, the halftime break during the regulation time and the extra time pause.

So if a goal is scored in the first half of extra time in a competition that uses the golden goal rule, there will not be a need for the extra time pause. This is because the team that scores the first goal in extra time emerges as the winner of the game at that point.

Indoor & Youth Soccer Games Use Quarters

Because the duration of a soccer game is 90 minutes and the nature of the game is one that is free-flowing, using quarters instead of half was not deemed suitable for the game as it would have amounted to four Quarters of 22.5 minutes each to make 90 minutes.

However, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anywhere where quarters are used in soccer, but the most likely level of the game where quarters can be found in junior amateur and indoor soccer where four quarters of 15 minutes each are played.

This translates to 60 minutes and within three breaks, the normal break for indoor or youth games is three minutes between the first quarter and second quarter and also a break between the third quarter and fourth quarter.

However, there is a fifteen minutes break between the second quarter and the third quarter which is also known as Half-time. The reason it is so is that indoor games are faster and in an enclosed arena so players need short breaks to recover compared to mainstream soccer matches.

For youth games, it’s obvious that U10, U8, and U6 kids can’t cope with the stamina required for 90 minutes of a soccer match.


How is a soccer game divided?

A soccer game consists of two 45-minute halves, with the referee having the option to extend either at his or her discretion. The interval between the halves is no longer than 15 minutes. The additional time usually reflects how much time was lost to substitutions and injuries, as determined by the referee.

Does soccer play in halves or quarters?

Two 45-minute halves make up the expected 90 minutes of a soccer match. Professional football games last for 90 minutes plus an additional 3 to 10 minutes. Extra time is played in competitions when a winner needs to be confirmed.

How long Is halftime In soccer?

15 minutes

The half-time break for players should not be beyond fifteen minutes, and during the half-time break in extra time, players may have a brief cooling break (which should not last longer than one minute). The duration of the half-time break must be specified in the competition rules, and it can only be changed with the referee’s approval.

Why is there extra time in soccer?

In soccer, if the score is tied at the end of regulation, extra time is applied to determine the winner of the game, particularly in a competition. The additional time is divided into two periods of fifteen minutes each, with an extra 5 minutes for stoppages. The winning side is the one with the most goals at the end of extra time.

What is the maximum amount of extra time in soccer?

The amount of stoppage time a referee may add to the end of a soccer match is unlimited. There is no set limit on the amount of stoppage time that can be added on; it depends on how much game time is lost during a soccer half. Stoppage time would be one minute if the referee decides it should be.

Can a soccer game result in a tie?

If a soccer match is not a part of a knockout round, such as the World Cup knockout stage, it may end in a tie. Most group stage or league games may end in a tie, awarding each side one point toward their league tally as opposed to three points for victory or none at all for defeat.



After all said, it is obvious that a professional soccer game uses half instead of quarters, although the use of quarters can be found on some levels, it is due to the professionalism of such soccer competition or the players involved. However, the style of a soccer game does not allow quarters but rather is suitable for halves.

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