You may think you are a soccer and football fan, but if you do not know everything about women’s soccer as well as men’s, then you cannot call yourself a huge fan!
Women’s soccer is often colloquially called WOSO, and is associated with football played by women’s teams only.
Women’s soccer is also played at a professional level, and the sport is played by multiple countries across the world, with around 176 national teams participating across the globe.
There is a lot of debate surrounding women’s soccer, with many fans of the sport arguing that it is not as good, not as skillful, not as difficult or not as exciting or important as men’s soccer.
This could not be further than the truth. Whatever your beliefs, women’s soccer players must abide by the exact same rules as men’s soccer players.
In addition, women’s soccer must abide by the regulations of the game, and the matches must be the right duration, with the correctly added time just as a men’s soccer match would.
However, women’s soccer is a little different than men’s soccer, in the sense that it is not as well known or supported.
This can leave you wondering what those differences are, how the rules vary or match, and how long the games last. So, how long is a women’s soccer game?
How Long Is A Women’s Soccer Game?
A women’s soccer game is 90 minutes long, just the same as a professional men’s soccer game.
The game is split into two halves of 45 minutes each, with a 15 minute break in between the two halves, which is called half-time.
However, in many cases the referee has the choice to add on ‘extra time’ at the end of the game.
That being said, the standard length of a women’s soccer game will always be 90 minutes, unless there are extenuating circumstances that alter the full time duration.
This is exactly the same as male soccer games, and football or soccer games have been played in this way since 1877.
Nowadays, the rules of soccer actually depict that 90 minutes is the duration that is required for a full soccer game.
Law 7 actually states in the Laws of the Game of soccer that ‘a (soccer) match lasts for two equal halves of 45 minutes’.
This can be seen in the Laws of The Game from the International Football Association Board.
However, as mentioned above, the referee is actually the one to monitor the time, and will make the final decision as to whether the game requires extra time, or when it needs to end.
In some cases, there can however be extra time added onto the duration of the game. This can either be down to stoppage time, or extra time added by the referee.
Stoppage time is calculated by the referee because of the running clock during the game. Unlike other sports such as American football, there is a running clock in soccer.
This means that the clock does not stop for any reason, and will keep running from the moment the game begins, until the moment the referee blows the whistle and brings the game or the half to an end.
This means that if a player is injured, or if there is a substitution made by a team, then the clock does not stop.
This can lead to a lot of time-wasting, as teams can take their time making substitutions, and some players can even fake injuries to slow down the game and help it move in their favor.
If this does happen, then referees can keep track of how much time is lost so that time wasting will be discouraged.
For instance, if a player is injured during the first half, it can take around 4 or 5 minutes before the player is treated properly, and escorted or carried off the pitch.
This means that 5 minutes of game time have been lost, in which case the referee will add those 5 minutes back onto the game at the end of the first half.
This means that the first half will then be 50 minutes long instead of the regular 45.
This process is actually referred to as stoppage time.
Extra Time In A Women’s Soccer Game
During all soccer games, there can be extra time added. This is different from the time added because of stoppage time, as it can also be called overtime.
This is when a winner needs to be established due to a tie. This will most often be the case in tournament or World Cup situations, where there has to be a winner.
To award a winner after a game ending in a tie, the referee will add on an extra 30 minutes of game time, which gives both teams the opportunity to score and win over the other.
This extra time of thirty minutes is also divided into two 15 minutes halves with a very small break in between.
In the circumstance that neither team scores in the extra time, or both do and it is still a tie, then the game will fall to a penalty shoot out.
A penalty shoot out is where both teams take it in turns to shoot a goal, and score. This will continue to take place until one team scores more over the other.
This means that if a women’s soccer game goes to extra time, the total length of the game will be around 30 minutes longer than the usual 90 minutes, so about 2 hours long.
If the game results in a penalty shoot out, then you can expect an extra 10 minutes on top of that!
The Length of A Women’s Soccer Game
The normal format of a women’s soccer game will go like so. The game will begin with a first half of 45 minutes, followed by a half time period of 15 minutes.
Following this, there will be the second half of 45 minutes played, which can be followed up with extra game time.
If needed, there can be two halves of extra game time, the first half being 15 minutes long, and the second half also being 15 minutes long. Then, the game may go into a penalty shoot out if need be.
The Length Of A Women’s World Cup Soccer Game
Just the same as a normal soccer game, the length of a women’s World Cup soccer game is like so:
- First half - 45 minutes
- Half time - 15 minutes
- Second half - 45 minutes
There are no differences to the length or duration of a women’s world cup soccer game as opposed to a regular game.
As mentioned, there are two sets of 45 minute playing halves, which makes a total of 90 minutes for a full game.
This is exactly the same in Women’s World Cup soccer games, and again referees have the option to add more time at the end of the halves if need be.
Additionally, the game does not last any longer than it would in the group stages, unless the referee deems it suitable at the end of each half, or adds on some extra time.
Can The Length Of A Women’s Soccer Game Be Altered?
The duration of a women’s soccer game can be changed from the usual and regulation time of 90 minutes.
Law 7 of the Laws of the Game also depicts that a soccer game running time can be reduced if this is agreed upon by the two teams, and the referee before the match begins.
However, this is a very rare occurrence and will only happen in extreme situations or circumstances, whilst being in accordance with the game’s rules.
For instance, all professional women’s soccer games are required to last for 90 minutes by the regulations and laws of the game.
In the case of the World Cup, each game would have to be 90 minutes long and cannot be reduced as it would be against the game’s regulations.
How Is A Women’s Soccer Game Different From Men’s?
Contrary to popular belief, women’s soccer games are actually the same as men’s soccer games.
Both men and women’s soccer is expected to be 90 minutes long, and games are regulated by the fact there have to be two 45 minute halves with a short break in between.
The rules and regulations of playing soccer are exactly the same for both men and women, and must be followed and adhered to the same no matter who the player is.
This means that women’s and men’s soccer games last the exact same amount of time, and the rules are no different based on which gender or sex is playing.
In conclusion, the length of a women’s soccer game is actually no different from the regular length of men’s soccer games. Both are 90 minutes long, and made up of two equal 45 minute halves.
This means that the first half takes 45 minutes, before a 15 minute half time break takes place. This is in turn followed by the second half, which is also 45 minutes long.
If the referee deems it suitable because of stoppage time situations such as team substitutions, injuries, fouls, or any other circumstances, then there can be extra time added on.
This can be up to 30 minutes long, and if both teams are tied by the end of the full 90 minutes, and the extra time added, then the game falls into a penalty shoot out.
This would take an extra 10 minutes to complete, where a winner would be declared and the game would be over, just the same as men’s soccer games.