How long does a typical NFL game last

How long does a football game last?

American football, along with basketball, baseball and ice hockey, is one of the four major sports in America. If you go to a football player, you never know how long you will be in the stadium beforehand. There is a fixed playing time, but it is not decisive.

What is American football about?

The basic goal of American football is to have more points than your opponent at the end of the game.

  • This is done by gaining as much space as possible to score a touchdown or a field goal.
  • In the event of a touchdown, the football is carried into the 10 yard end zone or caught in it, which is rewarded with 6 points. These are each located at one end of the football field, which, including the end zones, is 120 yards long and approximately 53 yards wide.
  • In a field goal, the football is kicked in such a way that it flies through the opponent's goal posts. If this is achieved, the team receives 3 points.
  • Every football game begins with a kickoff called a "kickoff". The initially defending team kicks the ball to the opposing team.
  • Then the attacking team begins to get as far as possible towards the end zone by blocking and targeted passes. The first attack ends when the player carrying the ball is thrown to the ground. This is called "first-down".
  • The attacking team now has four attempts to get the ball at least 10 yards towards the end zone. If this is done, the team is allowed to continue playing and has to advance at least 10 yards again. This continues until the attacking team scores a point (touchdown or field goal), 10 yards have not been made or the opponent has captured the ball.

A football game can take a long time

Basically, the length of a football game is precisely defined so that you can actually estimate how long it will take.

  • A game in America lasts 60 minutes, while in Germany only 48 minutes are played.
  • This playing time is divided into so-called "quarters", which then last 15 minutes (USA) or 12 minutes (Germany).
  • There is a two-minute break after the 1st quarter, as well as after the 3rd quarter. The half-time break after the 2nd quarter is a maximum of 20 minutes.
  • If it is a draw after normal playing time, a fifth quarter is added, so another 15 or 12 minutes. If there is a tie, the further procedure depends on the game mode: If it is a season game, it remains a tie, if it is a playoff game, the game continues until one team wins.
  • If you add everything together, a game normally only lasts a maximum of 90 minutes. Due to the innumerable interruptions in the game, during which the time is stopped, the duration can extend to three to four hours.
  • This means that you can never tell in advance how long the game will last - one of the many reasons why there is so much to eat and drink in stadiums.

How helpful do you find this article?