How Long Is a Football Game: Average Running Time

How Long Is a Football Game: Average Running Time

We all know that NFL games are long. But just how long is a football game? That’s a question that many NFL fans have wondered about from time to time.

The answer, it turns out, is not as simple as one might think.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the average running time of a professional football game and some of the factors that affect it. Whether you’re a diehard fan or just tuning in for the Super Bowl, you’ll want to read on to learn more about one of America’s favorite pastimes.

How Long Does a Football Game Usually Last

The 2022 football season is just around the corner, which means that fans across the country are getting ready for some serious gridiron action. The season is due to start on Sept 8th and will run through to the Super Bowl on Feb 12th. This year the Super Bowl will take place in Arizona.

The season lasts 17 weeks, with each team playing 16 games. The average length of an NFL game is 3 hours and 12 minutes, including halftime.

However, the actual time that the ball is in play is only around 11 minutes. This leaves a lot of time for commercials, replays, and other stoppages of play.

A Quarter of Football Game

A football game is divided into four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes.

The clock is stopped whenever there is an incomplete pass, a player goes out of bounds, or a penalty is called. The clock also stops at the two-minute warning in each half and during timeouts.

In addition, the game clock does not start again until the ball is snapped after an incomplete pass, meaning that the play clock can run down to 0 without any action taking place.

The game clock also stops during instant replay reviews, which can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

All of these stoppages add up, and they account for a significant portion of the total game time.

Half-Time in a Football Game

Another factor that contributes to the length of a football game is halftime.

player in red uniform catching the football

Halftime lasts for 12 minutes, and it gives both teams a chance to rest and make any necessary adjustments.

It also gives the broadcast crew time to prepare for the second half of the game and show commercials.

During the Super Bowl, halftime is even longer. This year, it is scheduled to last for 28 minutes.

Overtime in Football

If the score is tied at the end of regulation, the game will go into overtime.

In overtime, each team gets one possession to score. If both teams score, the game ends in a tie. If only one team scores, that team is declared the winner.

Overtime periods are 10 minutes long. This was reduced from 15 minutes in 2017.

Again, the length of an overtime period can have a significant impact on the total game time.

What Is the Average Length of NFL Game?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the level of play, the type of game, and even the weather. 

For example, regular-season games tend to be shorter than playoff games. This is because there are more stoppages of play in the playoffs, as teams are more evenly matched and there is more at stake.

Similarly, games that go into overtime tend to be longer than those that end in regulation.

The weather can also affect the length of a game. Cold weather can cause delays as players take longer to warm up.

Why Does an NFL Game Take So Long?

At the professional level, a football game typically lasts about three hours. This includes time for commercials, halftime, and other stoppages in play. The actual time that the ball is in play, however, is much less. 

football players getting ready for the game

In fact, the average length of time that the ball is in play during an NFL game is just 11 minutes. This leaves a lot of time for commercials, replays, and other stoppages of play.

The average running time of a football game has increased steadily over the years, and it is now about 10 minutes longer than it was in the early 2000s.

This is due largely to the increasing number of commercials that are shown during games. The average NFL game now has more than 60 commercial breaks, totaling about 8 minutes.

As a result, the length of an NFL game can vary greatly depending on the level of play, and the type of game.

How Long Does a Super Bowl Last?

The Super Bowl is the biggest and most important American football game of the year. It is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL).

The game is played by the winning teams from the NFL’s two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

The winner of the Super Bowl accepts the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which is named after the famous football coach who led the Green Bay Packers to triumph in the first two Super Bowls.

A typical Super Bowl game lasts about four hours, including time for commercials, halftime, and other stoppages in play. The actual time that the ball is in play is much less.

In the 2014 game between the Broncos and Seahawks, for example, the ball was in play for a total of 11 minutes and 14 seconds out of a possible 60 minutes. That’s just over 18% of the total time.

The reason why Super Bowl games take so long is mostly due to all of the commercials that are shown during the game. A 30-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl cost $5 million in 2021, so there are a lot of them. In fact, there were 102 commercials shown during that year’s game, which equates to about one every 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

Another big reason for the lengthy run time is halftime. The halftime show is a major production, with elaborate stage sets and huge crowds. This year’s halftime show featured Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Eminem. It lasted about 12 and a half minutes.

So while the actual time that the ball is in play is relatively short, the game itself lasts a long time due to all of the other elements that are involved.

How Long Do Football Games Last on TV?

A typical NFL game lasts about three hours, but games can run longer. Television commercials and other breaks add about an hour to the game time, so the total time from start to finish can be around four hours.

player catching ball in air

The length of a football game depends on several factors, including whether there are any penalties or turnovers that stop the clock, and how long each team takes to complete its offensive drives.

The average NFL game consists of about 60 total offensive plays, so if each team averages 30 offensive plays per game, the game will last about two hours.

However, games can often run longer than two hours due to penalties, injuries, and other factors that stop the clock. In addition, television commercials and other breaks add about an hour to the game time.

FAQs

What Is the Longest NFL Game?

The longest NFL game was a playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and the Titans that lasted just over 7 hours. This game was played on December 21, 2018 and went into overtime.

How Long Is a High School Football Game?

A typical high school football game lasts about two hours. However, games can often run longer due to penalties, injuries, and other factors that stop the clock.

How Long Is a College Football Game?

A college football game is typically 60 minutes long, divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. However, the length of the game can vary depending on factors such as overtime, timeouts, and injuries. The average length of a college football game is about 3 hours.

Conclusion

A typical NFL game lasts about three hours, but games can run longer. Television commercials and other breaks add about an hour to the game time, so the total time from start to finish can be around four hours.

The length of a football game depends on several factors, including whether there are any penalties or turnovers that stop the clock, and how long each team takes to complete its offensive drives.

Similarly, games can often run longer than two hours due to penalties, injuries, and other factors that stop the clock.

What is the longest football game you have seen? Share your story in the comments below!


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