How Long Is Halftime in a Football Game?


While the four quarters that make up a football game are 15 minutes long, the standard halftime is 12 minutes long. However, this refers to a professional standard, National Football League (NFL) game. There are other factors that can affect this 12-minute time, such as a big game like the Super Bowl and college football games. Additionally, soccer is also referred to as football in many parts of the world, and it also has a halftime period.

How Long Is a Standard NFL Game?

A standard, regular-season NFL game has four quarters, which are 15 minutes apiece. The standard halftime period for this type of game is 12 minutes, although some games may be upward of 15 minutes like a regular quarter. However, these games are much longer than 72 minutes in length. Sometimes, a football game can take upward of three to four hours, if there is overtime. A football game starts and stops frequently because of penalties, team time outs, injuries, and commercial time outs. 

What Happens During the Halftime Period?

Viewers at home often get to hear the football analysts and commentators speak during halftime about the impact and outcomes of the game. Those in the stadium and in the stands often see short halftime performances, either by the cheerleaders, youth football leagues, or other forms of entertainment. The players go to their locker rooms and discuss the first half with their coaches. 

How Long Is Halftime at the Super Bowl?

A Super Bowl halftime is much longer and is well-known for its big musical acts and entertainment factor. The Super Bowl halftime does not have a set time period but typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. This is enough time for the musical acts to perform and commentators to give their opinion on the game thus far.

How Long Is a College Football Halftime?

While the quarters are the same in college football at 15 minutes, halftime is a little bit longer and usually lasts about 20 minutes. In the stadium, the home team’s marching band usually performs, which requires more time than the standard 12 to 15 minutes. Just like NFL football, viewers at home can watch the football analysts talk about the game. 

How Long Is a Soccer Halftime?

Soccer is known as football in many parts of the world, and many Americans often call it “English football” or refer to it as football with its country of origin, such as Spanish football if La Liga is playing. A soccer halftime is also 15 minutes. Similarly to American football, the athletes take a break and discuss the game with their managers, and viewers listen to soccer commentary.

How Does Football Compare to Other Sports?

Unless it’s the Super Bowl, halftime is generally 12 to 15 minutes, even for soccer. So, how does this compare to other sports and their rest periods or halftimes? In the National Basketball Association (NBA), halftime is the same period of time — 15 minutes. However, National Hockey League (NHL) games are slightly different, because they have no halftime period. An NHL game has three 20-minute periods, and there is a 17-minute break immediately following the first and second periods. Like other sports, viewers listen to hockey commentary while the players take a break.