How Many Quarter Are There in a Football Game and for How Long?

Among the many things football players need to take into account when playing, we find quarters. These are the most important measure of time we have on this sport, and the one that tells players how much time they have to rest and how much time they have to play.

If you want to know more about quarters within an American Football match, then you need to come further and find out! You will learn everything you want and more!

American Football and Its Quarters

American Football is a Sport that never stops surprising us with spectacular matches, great players and fantastic plays. It always has more to give, more to show us. If you did not know it, there are lots, millions of fans around the world prepared to defend their favorite Team.

However, not all them know all the rules, among them we find the length of each quarter and between them.

American Football matches have four Quarters that last fifteen minutes each of. It means, one hour per match approximately. Thus, the established game durability is one hour.

The duration of each quarter is fifteen minutes but as every quarter is a battle and comes with several stops, those fifteen minutes can take a few more minutes. For example, during some plays, the ball can leave the field, which causes the clock to stop for a few seconds.

Any fault or punishment can also take minutes of clock stoppage, and if any team gets a touchdown that celebration after score takes time too. This makes a quarter last even the double as it would usually do, due to all of these stoppages within the game.

Therefore, we can say that within every quarter, the possibility to see a more extended period is very high. The rules of this sport had this intention, and it is about not only the time it last, but also the time the audience enjoy or have fun. No one waits an entire season to watch just twenty-minute games.

Are Quarters Designed Just to Play?

The answer is no. This game was designed thinking on the players’ resistance, and how to provide them with enough time to fill up their energy to start again.

Each quarter lasts fifteen minutes and within this time the team coach may ask for a pause (this pause lasts two minutes.) There is also a rule: between the first and second, and between third and fourth quarters. This means that there are two pauses, each between every two quarters.

Between the second and third quarter is the free time (the only one), this is twelve minutes for each team to prepare strategies and rest. This one is also used for coaches to create plays, give movements or tips, and more the squad can use to improve performance.

These free times or pauses are crucial for the development of complex plays. The addition of these tips or orders from the coaches creates an environment of suspense into the field and between both teams.

Quarters are essential, precisely for that. It gives teams the opportunity to change their strategy and the overall sense of the game. This, eventually, adds much more thrill into the game.

Two Quarters to Score, Two Quarters to Defend!

As it says above, an American Football match is technically one-hour lasting, and it is divided into four quarters of fifteen minutes each.

There are two teams on the ground, side by side. One group (left or right) represents the offensive and the opposite, the defense. Both teams have two tries to attack and two to defense.

Therefore, they have two quarters on the defense and two on the offensive line; 30 minutes to each approximately. This concept of two tries to attack and two to defense can change due to the ball’s possession, which might change after every play if a team loses the ball to the other side.

Has There Always Been the Same Match Time?

Well, the American Football beginning was a bit “violent.” It was a game crafted from two more sports, rugby and soccer. In the beginning, the overall time per match was ninety minutes, composed of two halves. Similar to soccer, of course.

After some time, finishing the nineteenth century, the time is reduced from ninety minutes to seventy minutes divided into two parts, with two extra times of fifteen minutes each to switch fields. Ten minutes from those seventy were assigned to the bands and their shows.

In 1910, the Committee established the division of the times in what we know as quarters. Since that moment, the game time has been divided into two periods of thirty minutes each, dividing them into halves giving four quarters and the free time between the second and third.

Interesting Tips

  • If the time ends and the board is on dead heat, fifteen extra minutes start again, and the first team that scores is the one that wins.
  • When the second and fourth quarter reaches their last two minutes, the clock stops and give a pause of two minutes called Two-minute Warning; this rule applies only in NFL.
  • Within the second and fourth quarter, one free time (pause) can last the same time that the two first quarters.
  • The time-out period lasts just thirty-seconds.
  • The quarterback has thirty to forty-five seconds to shoot the ball.

Are you Now Aware of the Time in American Football?

Understanding these basic rules will make it easier to get involved with the game. If you are a beginner, it could be a bit confusing due to its difficulty. Yet, with a complete understanding of its technicals, anyone can play it without any problem.

If you are someone interested in this game and want to learn more – there’s no better way to do it than to jump on the field. Grab your friends or colleagues, plan a weekend match and start playing such a fun & healthy game.

You won’t be disappointed if you start pursuing your interests, especially if American Football is one of them. We assure you, this sport is one of the few that will give you great experiences so don’t hesitate and start playing it now!

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