How Football Game Time Is Measured in Quarters

Quarters are one of the most important things that football players must consider when playing. Quarters are the most important time measurement in football. They tell players how long they need to rest and how long they have to play.

You can learn more about the quarters in an American Football match by reading this article. You’ll learn all you need to know!

Each football game is broken down into quarters and these quarters are broken up whenever the game clock stops . High schools have 12-minute quarters.

Halftime is the break between quarters. It gives players time to rest, allows cheerleaders and bands to perform and gives fans time for a hotdog. Halftime ceremonies are held where players, coaches and alumni are recognized.

American Football and Its Quarters

American Football is a sport that never ceases to amaze us with its amazing matches, great players, and incredible plays. It has always got more to offer and more to share with us. There are millions, if not millions, of people around the globe who will defend their favorite Team.

They may not all know the rules. We can find the length of each quarter, and the distance between them, but they aren’t all equal.

American Football matches are divided into four quarters, each lasting fifteen minutes. This means that each match takes approximately one hour. The established game’s durability is therefore one hour.

Each quarter lasts fifteen minutes. However, each quarter is a battle with many stops so it is possible for the fifteen minutes to go by faster. The clock can stop for a few seconds if the ball leaves the field during certain plays.

You can also lose minutes due to any fault or punishment. If a team scores a touchdown, celebrations after the score take time. Due to the many stoppages in the game, a quarter can’t last as long as it normally would.

We can therefore say that the chance of seeing a longer period within each quarter is high. This sport’s rules were written , and to ensure that the game lasts as long as possible. However, it is also about how much the audience enjoys or has fun. One does not need to wait for a whole season to see twenty-minute games.

What is a Quarter in Football?

The main unit of time in football is the quarter. Each quarter has a 15-minute game clock. There is a short break at the end of each quarter’s game clock before the next quarter starts. Half-time is between the second quarter and third quarter. Quarter names are the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter. The first and second quarters are known as the first half, while the final two quarters are the second half.

Are Quarters Designed Just to Play?

No. The game was created with the idea of overcoming resistance and giving players enough time to recharge their batteries before they start over.

Each quarter lasts 15 minutes. The team coach can ask for a pause during this period (which lasts two minutes). A rule is that there should be a pause between the first and third quarters. This means there are two pauses between each quarter.

The free time is between the second and third quarters. Each team has twelve minutes to prepare their strategies and rest. This time is used by coaches to make plays, provide tips or movements, and the squad can also use it to improve their performance.

These pauses or free time are essential for the development complex plays. These tips and orders from coaches create a suspenseful environment on the field as well as between the teams.

For this reason, quarters are crucial. This gives teams the chance to alter their strategies and overall game experience. This adds excitement to the game.

Halftime in Football

Halftime is the break between quarters. The teams take a short break and then go to the locker rooms to regroup and prepare for the next half. Half time is when most commercials are shown at the professional level. Halftime shows are available during the Superbowl. It’s a huge deal that many tune in to Superbowl to see the halftime show.

How Football Game Time Is Measured in Quarters

However, the game clock does not run continuously during those 15- to 12-minute quarters. (If it did, when would the TV commercials be shown?) For the following reasons, the clock is stopped:

  • Each team can call a timeout. Each team is allowed to take three timeouts each half. You can take consecutive team timeouts, but the second timeout will be reduced from one minute to forty seconds.
  • A quarter ends. This allows teams to decide which goal they want to defend. They switch sides at the end the third and fourth quarters.
  • The quarterback throws an incompleto pass.
  • The ball carrier is out of bounds.
  • One player is hurt during a play.
  • A flag is used to signal a sanction.
  • Officials will need to determine if the offense has won a first down.
  • Either team scores a touchdown or field goal.
  • The ball is transferred to the other team via a kickoff or punt.
  • The offense gets a first down (college or high school only).
  • There are still two minutes left in the period (NFL only).
  • Referees have been challenged by a coach, and they are now reviewing the call (NFL only).

Two Quarters to Score, Two Quarters to Defend

It is true that an American Football match lasts for one hour. However, it is broken into four quarters each of fifteen minutes.

Two teams are on the ground side-by-side. One team (left or right), represents the offensive, and the other the defense. Each team has two attempts to attack and two attempts to defend.

They have 30 minutes each for defense and offensive. The ball’s possession can affect the concept of two attempts to attack and two attempts to defend. If a team loses it, the ball may be changed after each play.


The game ends after the fourth quarter, unless there’s a tie that requires an extra quarter called overtime. If the game ends tied, there are special Overtime Rules.

Two Minute Warning

The two-minute warning is an interruption of play that notifies both sides of the clock of how much time remains in each quarter. This acts as a timeout and stops the clock, even though it would have been running due to a tackle.

Don’t Miss : What a Soccer Field Looks Like?

Scroll to Top