How Long Do American Football Games Last

How Long Do American Football Games Last?

As every excellent history, or every good moment, there should be an end. The American Football game has to finish too.

No fanaticwill want to see one of these battles hoping to reach the end soon. The end of the match is the worst nightmare for anyone who enjoys this game.

Why do Football fans want more extended games? It is because the adrenaline takes their bodies, it starts to move every part of senses. All these components paint longer matches for those active fans.

No one wants to go for a play that lasts just few minutes, right?

If you are a true American Football enthusiast, you have to consider first to know the game length, and second, if you already know it, you should remember that every second counts and any play won't be the same. So, keep on the game.

How Long an American Football Match Lasts?

This is an excellent question, but gives a sad answer to us. If you’re new into the American football world, you may or may not know how many time is per match, but sadly this exciting sport doesn’t last time enough (we always want more).

But, there’s an excellent news; through every part of the game, it can be longer and longer depending on faults or interruptions, for example.

So, a football match lasts four quarters (fifteen minutes each), which is the same as one hour, but usually matches take much more due to the gameplay.

It means if the referees stop the play, or if any player through a move causes the stop or any other penalization happens; the quarters last more.

Regularly any battle can take between three and a half, or three hours.

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Additionally, the Game time has more sections that stop it: between the first and second quarter is placed a free time or rest time of two minutes. Then between third and fourth quarter is set the second and last free time.

These rests take a total of four minutes. But also, between the second and third quarter is a half-time that lasts twelve minutes.

Some rules stop the time during a move, and there are others that don’t. This kind of exceptions create an extremely addictive play environment for the entire audience. This is not weird,as millions of people watch and practice this great Sport around the world.

We can find plays where players go out of the match field with the ball, and this causes the clock to stop. But, if the ball stays in the area; the clock doesn’t stop. Coaches can also ask for a stop if it is needed.

So, remember; the game is composed by four quarters which take fifteen minutes each, and which at the same time could get longer, even going to three hours long.

What Happens Within Each Quarter?

Every quarter has its meaning for each team. In the first quarter, the Team A (example) is in the position of Offensive, which means they will try to score this time, the quarterback plays. On the other hand, Team B represents the Defensive line.

So, they are like “attackers” because they have to stop Team A plays or tries to score, or advance through four tries they have.

Each Quarter (four of them) lasts legally fifteen minutes without any play pause which causes an increase (considerable one) to every quarter, and that’s why the entire game, may last, easily, three hours to even more. In each quarter, the teams use this time to rest or lose Yards to reach the famous “End Zone.”

Through the game, we can also find a half-time which takes twelve minutes too from the clock; This is set just right between the second and the third quarter. In this half-time, the teams leverage to fix any play misunderstanding or mistake, review movements and place some new guidelines to score.

It is an essential part of the game since the time represents how much we will see of the game, how many time the teams will fight; and of course the useful information to all those watchers to recognize which quarter is being played.

But, Why Four Quarters?

Well, this could be a question that most of us have, and it is not weird because you all may ask: why four quarters and nor just two times. The point here is to clear or to give sense to these divisions. Why four quarters?

At this point, you have to understand how the game is, how it is played; if you look carefully through every quarter, two teams one against the other.

So, there, one team first quarter is to defend, while the against is the offensive; which making it simple, is the team who has the chance to score or take yards to do that. This mechanism is repeated quarter by quarter giving so, two attempts to attack and two to defend for both teams.

This could turn confusing because we can or could see teams which are defending, scoring and attackers defending. But this can be just the result of a wrong move from any of these teams.

Here, we should be able to understand what is happening to have fun, and of course, to get it.


All these rules could be confusing, but understanding side by side, point by point, what is used for what; we can get a complex vision of this discipline.

For example; “Quarter”, a term which, from now, will remain into your mind and appear every time you watch a game.

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