A football game consists of four quarters. NFL and college football quarters are 15 minutes long while high school football quarters are 12 minutes long.
It is important to remember that football does not use a running clock. This means the game clock will be stopped many times throughout the game.
A fifteen-minute quarter will not take fifteen minutes in real-time.
Additionally NFL teams have a 12 minute halftime break, NCAA has a 20 minute halftime break and high school football has a 10-20 minute break at halftime.
On top of the halftime breaks, there are also two, two-minute breaks during the end of the first and third quarters. At the end of these quarters, teams will switch ends of the field.
How long is a football game?
If you are wondering how many quarters are in a football game it is likely you are wondering how long a football game is.
Each level of football is going to have different lengths in terms of game time.
The average NFL game is three hours and twelve minutes.
The average college football is game is three hours and twenty-four minutes.
Finally, the average high school game length is two hours to two and half hours.
The reason there is not a consistent number for game length with high school football is that it varies from state to state. Both the NFL and the NCAA are in full control of all football games in their league.
This results in each game being roughly the same length. In high school football, different states use different rules. This makes the lengths of these games inconsistent.
How do quarters work in football?
Quarters in football break the game down into four separate sections of play. Different quarters in football are going to have slightly different rules.
Additionally, quarters are used to give teams a break between periods of play as well as switch the direction they are playing.
At the conclusion of the first quarter and the third quarter teams will change the direction they are playing. This makes sure both teams have an equal opportunity in the game.
For example, one direction may be playing directly into the wind making it hard to move the ball. Swapping sides of the field means both teams will have to take on this wind.
With two minutes remaining in the second quarter and fourth quarter, there will be a two-minute warning. This rule is used in these quarters because they mark the end of a half.
The two-minute warning will stop the clock in both the second and fourth quarters. Additionally, rules such as an automatic video review will be used in the final two minutes of each half at the professional level.
At the end of the first and, third-quarter teams will remain in possession of the ball. Once the next quarter starts they will resume play at the location of the ball.
When a half comes to an end teams will get possession based on the coin toss. One team will elect to receive the ball via kickoff in the first or second half.
The other team will receive the ball via kickoff in whichever half the coin toss winner did not receive the ball.
Can there be more than four quarters in a football game?
In the game of football, there are going to be four quarters unless the game goes to overtime.
In the regular season, there can only be five quarters of football. If two teams remain tied after one-quarter of overtime a tie game will be called.
Though in the playoffs two teams cannot tie a game. This means that tied football games in the playoffs can go on for several more quarters.
In playoff football, the game is generally ended by a single touchdown. This makes the likelihood of a game going more than five quarters very unlikely.
That being said if two defensive teams cannot move the ball on offense the game could last a very long time.
How long is a quarter in football?
So we know quarters in football are fifteen minutes on the game clock but how long are they in real-time?
To determine how long a quarter is in football you need to break down how long a football game takes.
As we stated earlier an NFL game is three hours and twelve minutes. We also know that the NFL halftime is twelve minutes. There are also two-minute breaks after the first and third quarters.
Take these stoppages away and the average NFL game is two hours fifty six minutes. Now divide this time into four quarters and you get 44 minutes
The average quarter in the NFL is fourty four minutes long. Though keep in mind the second quarter and the fourth quarter are likely to be the longest due to stoppages and timeouts.