How Long Are High School Football Games? (Explained)

How long does a highschool football game last? Well, it depends on the game, the players, and the football strategies. But we’ll thoroughly respond to this query.

If you’re watching or going to a football game for the first time, you might wonder how long it lasts.

A typical NFL football game lasts just over three hours. College games often run three and a half hours.

Football games in high school are more significant than most people believe. They are a time when potential athletes are evaluated by college recruiters.

The capacity of a player to continue playing at their best throughout the whole game is the quality recruiters look for.

Whether you’re a spectator or the parent of a player, you might be curious about the length of a high school football game.

How Long Does High School Football Games Last?

Basically, a high school football game lasts between two and two and a half hours.

It takes roughly 12 minutes for each quarter to be completed.

A halftime show is held in between the second and third quarters.

Depending on the high school and the particular event, the halftime show might last anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.

For instance, high schools that host performances by marching bands typically run a little longer than usual.

This is because of the possibility that the high school band is competitive and has a performance that they take to contests.

To hone their abilities and put them on display, they play in high school football games.

The length of their performance might be around 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Some might go even further.

As a result, a high school football game could occasionally last a little longer than usual.

Because of fewer pauses, high school football games are shorter than those in the NFL or at colleges.

There are no running ads that would force the teams to pause the TV.

Because high school kids are not yet professional athletes, the quarters are also shorter than in the NFL.

You should expect to spend at least two hours in the stands if you intend to see a high school game.

Are There Mercy Rules in High School Football Games?

When one team is well ahead of another by a large margin, there is a mercy rule.

Since such a wide margin separates them, the opposing side would have very little opportunity to catch up in the game’s remaining minutes.

There is a mercy rule for some high school football teams. In order to spare their players any further humiliation or fatigue, the authorities may decide to invoke the mercy rule.

There are two ways that a compassion rule can be applied.

The first and most popular method is for the game to stop right away.

If the team has a strong first half of play, this can drastically shorten the tempo of a high school football game.

The second possibility is that the team will decide to let the timer run. The moment a play is over, the game’s real-time normally stops.

The game begins over once the team has lined up.

It’s possible that applying a mercy rule would ensure that the game clock always ran.

Because it isn’t halting constantly, the game concludes much more quickly. A high school football game may end up being significantly shortened.

The time it takes to play high school football can be shortened by mercy rules.

The Reason High School Football Games are So Short

A high school game could appear fairly brief to someone who often watches NFL and college games.

The reason high school football games are shorter than NFL and college games may be summed up as follows.

1. Less Professional

NFL and college teams take their competition more seriously.

Due to the more relaxed atmosphere at high schools, football games there are usually shorter than those played in the NFL.

Because of this, much is at risk. The institution has invested money in coaches and staff, so they must utilize it properly.

It gives athletes an opportunity to show NFL organizations and coaches that they are a player worth considering.

A player’s first professional experience often begins in college football. In addition, their games provide their first exposure to NFL action.

College football is almost like an internship if you think about it.

To improve their chances of getting a major job after graduation, players work hard to establish their value and perfect their talents.

That level of formality is absent from high school football.

The game may be taken seriously by some participants, but others may also play it only for fun.

While some coaches may take it seriously, hoping to coach in the NCAA or the NFL, others may coach simply because no one else would or because they like the sport.

Football played in high schools is far less formal than that played in the NFL or colleges.

2. No Commercials

The absence of commercial breaks during high school football games may be one of the main causes.

Expect commercial breaks whether you’re watching an NFL or collegiate game.

This is because NFL clubs and collegiate teams both get sponsorships.

Games are a major source of revenue for broadcasters who run advertisements.

They put as much advertising as they can into a game to make sure they make the most money.

This implies that in order for the broadcast network to display such commercials, there must be interruptions in the game.

The game must occasionally be stopped in order for the broadcaster to show advertisements.

However, sometimes they can do it during a timeout or when the game clock stops.

The situation is different in high school. Most high school games are not televised.

The only interruptions to the game are the standard timeouts, so it may continue to play uninterrupted.

The game becomes more productive with fewer stops, which allows it to complete its twelve-minute quarters without pausing.

The effect is that the game is just two to two and a half hours long.

3. Halftime Performances

 Halftime Performances at high school football

High school football games sometimes have shorter halftime displays.

High school football is less formal than the NFL or college football, so they are less picky about the duration of the halftime performance.

This may occasionally imply that the band or other performers will put on a lengthy performance.

Typically, it denotes a brief halftime performance.

The NFL and college football have a defined length of time for the halftime performance, which makes this distinct from those leagues.

For the NFL, the show can only go on for around 13 minutes.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show, which typically lasts 30 minutes, is the sole exception.

They don’t really worry if the program doesn’t go the entire 13 minutes or goes over it since high school football is a little more casual.

Because high school halftime presentations aren’t typically 13 minutes long, high school football games are shorter.

4. Player Fitness

Player Fitness

Player health is the last factor contributing to the length of high school games.

Children are high school athletes. They are developing their physical prowess and maturing.

Yet, they are amateur athletes. Because of this; they are limited in how long they can play compared to professional players.

In order to develop their strength and endurance, college and professional athletes have years to do so.

Even after developing their strength and endurance, high school athletes are continuously developing.

The long-term physical effects of pushing them too hard may have an influence on their ability to play.

For instance, a high school student may suffer a major injury if he pushes himself too hard.

When he moves on to play in college and the NFL, that injury can influence his performance.

Because the staff is aware of how his injuries may affect his performance, he might not be able to join the team of his dreams.

The student might not have suffered the injury and would have been able to play at his peak in the future if he hadn’t been subjected to such intense pressure.

Because the athletes are still young, high school football games are shorter.

Why Do Football Games Last So Long?

Why Do Football Games Last So Long?

The length of college and NFL games is much longer than high school games, which may be on the shorter side.

They occasionally persist far longer than they should.

Here are a few explanations of why football games go on so long.

1. Weather

weather for high school football game

The weather might cause football games to last longer than they should.

While many NFL teams play in indoor stadiums, several still play in outdoor ones.

The weather might affect these venues. The NFL will continue to play in snow or rain, and they must halt if there is lightning.

This is because of the stadium’s function as a giant lightning rod.

To contain all the attendees, NFL stadiums are typically quite large and tall.

In addition, they frequently build with steel or other metals.

The goalposts are another area where lightning might hit and cause significant injuries or even fatalities.

They are attracted to lightning and stand rather tall in the air.

Players who are anywhere near a goalpost when lightning strikes risk suffering major injuries as well.

When there are water puddles on the ground, this issue becomes considerably riskier.

The wonderful thing about weather delays is that they rarely last very long.

Everyone ducks for shelter if lightning strikes within a particular distance of the stadium.

A weather delay might last anything from five minutes to thirty minutes.

The game can continue when the lightning has passed.

When there are delays due to weather, games go longer.

2. Injuries


Player injury is a regrettable factor that contributes to football games lasting a long time.

Both the NFL and collegiate sports have significant injuries.

Because they are experienced and professional athletes, they seldom get injured severely.

When a player is down wounded, the game will stop.

A medical team will hasten to their aid to assess their condition.

It’s crucial for them to figure out whether the player can move independently or whether they require help.

For instance, it could be risky for the athlete to move independently if they have a severe back injury.

In this situation, the medical team will need to send out a stretcher and extra personnel.

The athlete can then be carried to the locker room in safety, where they can get healthcare.

If an injury is severe, it may sometimes last a very long time.

The wait time could just last a few minutes for less serious injuries.

It only persists for the time it takes the player to leave the playing area.

But given how physically demanding the sport is, a few injuries occur frequently. This may cause an even longer duration.

3. Halftime Performances

halftime show

Although football games have a predetermined 13-minute interval, which lengthens the entire game.

The issue with halftime performances is that most TV viewers rarely get to see them.

They are forced to listen to pundits and watch commercials while other games are being played simultaneously.

Halftime may seem to go on forever to those watching at home.

This is because they are losing out on more than just the program.

Sometimes the stadium would also present prizes or acknowledge veteran players by calling their names.

The length of performance may occasionally exceed 13 minutes.

If the event involves a show, the performers will also need extra time to set up before they leave the field.

The halftime performance ends up lasting longer than it should have because of all these little details.

While people there at the game can see all that is happening, individuals at home might not be aware of it.

They are only observing advertisements and discussions.

Halftime performances and all other activities that take place make football games drag on for a long period of time.

4. Timeouts

high school football timeout

Timeouts are predetermined for each coach and may be used at any moment throughout the contest.

Most coaches choose to save them until either halftime or the fourth quarter.

This is so because these two situations are vital to the game.

A bad call can leave the team in a serious hole by the third quarter, but a good call might spur the squad to fight back and pull out a victory in the fourth.

The drawback of timeouts is that they lengthen games.

This is true, although a timeout pauses the game clock as well.

This is so that broadcasters may use the pause as an advertisement break.

Because the network then plays several advertisements, the game will pause even longer.

The game can resume when the advertisements are finished.

Timeouts aren’t bad on their own, but coaches’ propensity to stockpile them is what causes games to drag on for so long.

A timeout could be called at any moment, but a few minutes later, the opposite coach might declare the game over.

The length of the game is also increased, giving the network additional opportunities to air advertisements. Football takes a long time because of timeouts.

5. Replay Reviews

To decide on the outcome of their call, the referees assemble and examine the action.

Referees can take a long time to make a judgment on difficult calls.

Replay evaluations can range in length from one minute to ten minutes.

There will be even more time added to the game if there are several reviews.

The game is extended by replay reviews.

Does an NFL Game Last Longer Than a High School Football Game?

Does an NFL Game Last Longer than a High School Football Game?

No, an NFL game does not last longer than a high school football game.

Typically, a high school football game lasts two hours. A typical NFL game lasts longer than three hours.

How Many Minutes Can a High School Football Game Last?

A high school football game lasts 48 minutes and is split up into four quarters that each last 12 minutes.

However, if you consider the full game, it often lasts around two hours.

Similar to a college football game, there are clock stops to end the game, as well as a 10- to 20-minute break.

High schools must make sure that organized sports don’t obstruct their students’ studies or other activities.

A high school game rarely runs for more than three hours.

Games at the high school level are shorter than those played at the college or professional levels because high schools must help pupils balance athletics and their academics.

What is the Duration of the High School Football Season?

There are typically eight to 10 games in a high school football season. A strong club will reach the single-round elimination playoffs.

The regular season comprises 10 games in most states. Typically, the first game of the season is played in late August or early September.

Depending on the state and environment, the last regular-season game is typically played in mid-late October.

August often marks the start of high school football seasons in areas like Alaska, Alabama, Hawaii, California, Indiana, New Jersey, Utah, and Minnesota, among others.

For instance, high school football matches are played in September in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Vermont, Delaware, and other states.

The first week of September is traditionally when Texas and Oregon’s high school football seasons get underway.

Final Thoughts

High school football games or youth football typically average two hours, although a variety of circumstances might lengthen or shorten the game.

High school games are shorter than NFL or college games for a variety of reasons.

Even though NFL and college games are already lengthy affairs, some circumstances may lengthen them even more.

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CSN Team.

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