American Football Halftime Length

How long is half time in football?

When thinking about how long half time is in football, you might be thinking that the answer should be a clear, specific number. This is not really the case. The interesting fact is that depending on the tournament, the halftime length will differ. So let’s go through the different lengths of half time in football.

How long is half time in football?

Usually, the halftime length for a football match will be of 12 minutes. However, you should only take this number as a certainty in the National Football League (NFL) games.

As you’ve surely noticed, depending on the event, halftime can be longer. For example during the Superbowl, the halftime will last close to 30 minutes.

But let’s get into even more details. Why would halftime last longer during the Superbowl?

You might also like my articles on the salaries of referees and cheerleaders in the NFL, and the size of a football field.

What is the expected length of the half time period at Standard NFL Games?

Regular-season games in the NFL will always consist of four quarters, and each quarter will last 15 minutes. After the first two quarters, players will be able to rest for about 12 minutes.

Considering that the official time won’t be counted when the ball is out of play, the usual NFL game will be a football match with a duration time of 60 minutes, split into 4 quarters.

Therefore, a certain time for a full game to unfold isn’t at all a set number. It can sometimes take 180 minutes, while on rarer occasions it can even last for 240 minutes. This is because each quarter can last more than the expected 15 minutes. Some last for 20 minutes, others for 30, while others for even more than that.

What happens during the halftime show?

If you’re at home watching the game, then halftime will be when you will head the analysis of the game from the commentators.

If you’re lucky enough to be live in the stadium, you will be able to enjoy the halftime show. For the usual games, a halftime show will be no more than a short, but fun performance by cheerleaders. It can also be a short show by a guest singer, dancer, or entertainer.

For the players participating in the game, this will be the time to get a few minutes of rest in the dressing room. Furthermore, this will be a great time to talk to the coaches about the way the game unfolded up until that point and figure out the best strategy for the rest of the game.

How long will the halftime period be in a Super Bowl game?

As you’d expect, the halftime period in a Super Bowl game will be considerably longer than that of an NFL game. This is because the Superbowl halftime will be time for an amazing music performance featuring some of the best singers in the world.

This is why, during the Super Bowl, the halftime won’t have a fixed length. It can last for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or even more, depending on the prepared show.

How long would halftime be in a College Football?

The halftime in a College Football game won’t be unpredictable as those from NFL games, and will usually have a set duration of 15 minutes. On some rare occasions, it can be prolonged to 20 minutes, but that doesn’t happen a lot. As for the quarters, they will each last 15 minutes, just like in the NFL games.

Halftime shows shouldn’t be more than a short performance by the home team’s cheerleading squad or marching band. If you’re watching this game on your TV, you will be able to hear the game analysis from commentators and experts, just like in the case of Super Bowl and NFL games.

What about halftime in a soccer game?

Marching Band of Home TeamIn most countries, especially those in Europe, “football” means “soccer”. Americans are the ones to call it soccer to differentiate it from American football. You will also hear some Americans call soccer “English Football”.

In soccer, players are expected to play for about 45 minutes in each half of the game. The halftime length in soccer will be 15 minutes long. Players will use this time to rest in the changing room or talk to the coach about the first half game and the second half strategy.

About halftime in some other sports

OK, so we now know that halftime during the Super Bowl can last for 20 to 30 minutes or more and in NFL games should last for 12 minutes. We also know that in soccer, halftime is expected to last 15 minutes. But what about other popular sports.

In basketball, for example, halftime will also be 15 minutes long. According to the rules set by the NBA.

As for the NHL (National Hockey League), it will have different rules for halftime. Hockey games don’t really have halftime periods. Instead, these games will usually have three periods of 20 minutes each. Players will be able to enjoy two breaks, one after the first period and one after the second one, with each break lasting 17 minutes.


This article should be enough to give you an idea of how long is halftime in football. Most of the popular sports will have a halftime break, although the length of this break can differ by game. This pause will be the perfect time for the players to discuss tactics, rest, and prepare for the rest of the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of halftime?

In most sports, halftime will be used for the two teams to switch positions, ensuring the fairness of the game.
This time will also be used by the players to rest and regain their strength. They will also talk about changes in strategy with their coach.

Spectators, on the other hand, will use the halftime break to buy food or drinks or go to the restroom.

This is also the perfect time for TV stations to advertise. This is, in fact, the only way of getting revenue from games for the TV companies, that have to broadcast the game in full.

2. Can teams request an extension of this period?

No. Teams can never extend the halftime duration. In fact, no one can interfere with this break to shorten or prolong it.

3. Can fans approach players during the halftime period?

This is usually close to impossible. Most of the time, during the halftime period, players will go to the dressing room to rest and talk strategy. You won’t have access to the dressing room as a fan, so you won’t be able to get close to the players. Some lucky fans, with seats close to the dressing room entrance, will be able to see the players as they go to and come out of the dressing room, but that’s about it.

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