How Long Is Half Time in Football UK (Full Explanation)

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Half time in football: Some people may think that the half-time of a football game is 20 minutes, but they would be wrong.

The half-time of a football game is between 10 and 12 minutes long. If you’re wondering how such a minute amount of time can make the difference between winning and losing, you should know that it makes a lot of difference. There are many factors that affect the length of a football game. One factor is the number of time-outs that each team gets in each half. Here’s a look at halftime in football.

How Long Is the Half-Time in Football?

As sports go, football is one of the few games that require players to be consistently moving around the pitch. This comes from a forward trying to stay on the shoulder of the last man or a midfielder looking to drop in to pick up the ball in space. Footballers are not given much time across the 90 minutes to simply stand around. In the modern game, even goalkeepers must constantly be on their toes. The men between the sticks are now required to sweep up behind their defense.

The non-stop action across the match means that players are usually in desperate need of a break at half-time. This provides a footballer with a chance to catch their breath and evaluate how the first 45 minutes have gone. This break in the game will usually give the footballers 15 minutes. And it is signaled by the referee blowing his whistle once 45 minutes and the allotted injury time has been played.


The most common way to determine the length of the halftime in football is with a stop-watch or timed omelet. You can use either method. However, if you’re going to be timing your own half-time, you may want to use a stopwatch. That way you won’t have to worry about making mistakes either on the stopwatch or on how long it takes your team to prepare for the second half.

In football, it is very important to know when the first half ends. This is because at the beginning of the second half, whichever team has possession of the ball has a huge advantage.

What Are the Factors That Affect the Length of a Football Game?

There are three factors that can have a significant impact on the length of a football game. The first factor is the number of time-outs that are taken. The second factor is the length of quarters. And the third factor is player substitutions.

  • The Number of Time-outs

A team gets three time-outs in each half which extend to either one or two minutes in length. The time-outs can be used to stop the clock and try to reverse the flow of the game. Or they can be used to make strategic changes in your team’s formation and plays

If you have a team that likes to run up the score on their opponent, it may be advisable to get your players in quickly and take as many time-outs as possible. Because you’ll want them at their best when it’s time for the second half.

  • The Length of Quarters

Each quarter lasts 15 minutes. When a quarter ends, the team that is ahead by three points, seven points, or 11 points gets to start with the ball. In college football games, there are only two 15-minute quarters. And in high school football games, there are only two 15-minute quarters.

  • Player Substitutions

A player substitution occurs when a coach can replace one player with another for the remainder of the game. If you’re playing at home, you might want to declare at halftime that your team will be substituting players on every play.

Does the Length of Football Half-Time Change?

Half-time will change in duration if extra time is required to settle a match. Extra time is usually needed in cup competitions to separate two sides that end the 90 minutes level. It is either in the game itself or on aggregate if the tie is being played over two legs.

Half-time during extra-time will usually only last for around one minute, with the turnaround between the first and second half in extra-time far quicker than half-time during the standard 90-minute match. This short break only allows players to very quickly drink something and receive final words of wisdom from their manager.

While not strictly seen as half-time, certain leagues and countries have introduced breaks in play to allow players to take on fluids. This will usually only occur in matches where temperatures make playing 45 minutes without drinking something very difficult or dangerous. And it happens halfway through each 45-minute period.

Why Do Teams Change Ends at Half-Time?

The reason teams change ends at half-time is to ensure that both sides are subjected to the effects of the weather. For example, one side may be playing with the wind at their backs in the first half which would give an advantage. However, they will then have to play into the wind in the second half.


Similarly, the effect the sun can have on a goalkeeper if it is shining straight into their eyes could prove to be game-changing. Especially if they lose the ball in the sun at a vital moment. In games where there is a big fan following, it can also be a major boost to a home team to play toward their fans. Besides, a goalkeeper will not usually enjoy playing between the sticks with a large group of opposition fans at their back.

Will Football Half-Time Change?

This is a question that few fans would ever really have wondered. However, the prospect of the duration of half-time change is something that has become more likely in recent years. It has been reported that the CONMEBOL wants the traditional 15-minute half-time break to be extended to 25 minutes.

This break is seen by many as an attempt to swell the amount of ad revenue that can be generated during halftime. It is much like the Super Bowl in American Football. Companies will pay a huge amount to feature before or after the halftime show. It is also likely that the CONMEBOL wants to provide fans with similarly entertaining half-time shows too. The current 15-minute break in a football match is not nearly long enough to stage anything of note.

Has Half-Time Always Been 15 Minutes Long?

Half-time dates back to before the laws of the game become standardized. Public schools would play one another with the first half seeing the game played by the rules laid out by one team, while the second half would see the rules changed to how the other team wanted to play.


The half-time period has actually changed from a 10-minute break to the 15-minute gap we currently have. While most games today will be subject to a 15-minute interval, there are still some matches and leagues that use a 10-minute break, with junior games and some lower-division schools utilizing a shorter gap to ensure that the game keeps moving quickly.

What Do Players Do During Half-Time in Football?

Behind the closed doors of the changing room, any number of events could happen to the team and players. Usually, players will utilize this time to take on fluids or use the bathroom to ensure that they are ready to go for the second half. Some players will use this opportunity to fix their hair and appearance. Especially if they are playing to a televised audience.

Alongside this, the manager will usually sit his team down and critique the half. They give the players vital information on where they have been strong, where they have been weak and where they can expose weaknesses in the opposition.

Tactical Changes

It is also a chance for the manager to convey tactical changes that they want to see from the team. The classic whiteboard may make an appearance to show certain tactical tweaks to the side before they then head out to the field for the second half. The half-time interval is also an ideal chance for the physio and team doctor. They can evaluate any players that seemed to be nursing injuries in the game itself.

Medical Evaluations

You will often see players limping and wincing but refusing to come off if the half-time break is approaching. You may also hear commentators citing that a player is close to half-time and so will try to soldier on. This happens because it is far easier for a doctor to evaluate a player properly in the comfort of the changing room.

More importantly though, if a player asks to be substituted only for the pain from the knock they have taken to subside over the course of half-time, then they will not be allowed to come back onto the pitch. Therefore, it can be vital for a player to see out the remaining minutes of the first half. So they don’t sacrifice their place in the game unnecessarily.

Mental Preparation

Key players may also take it upon themselves to give some words of wisdom or start throwing the hairdryer around. Therefore, they can get the team mentally ready for the battle in the second half.

Final Thought

The half-time in football is 10-15 minutes long. This time period is crucial to the outcome of the game because it can make a big difference between winning and losing.

The length of a half-time is determined by the coach or manager. However, there are some rules that can be used to keep this time brief and safe for both teams.

Hope that with this article, you had more information about the length of halftime in football. Visit and follow our website – Footballterms to learn more about soccer rules, terms, and skills.

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