How Many Minutes Are In A Football Quarter

Understanding the Duration of a Football Game

Football season is a time of excitement for many fans, but for some, it can lead to questions about the length of a football game. Officially, a football game is a 60-minute event, consisting of four 15-minute quarters. Let’s delve into the specifics of how long a football game lasts, the duration of halftime, the actual time the ball is in play, and the number of commercials aired during a broadcast.

How Long Is a Football Game?

Reports may vary, but on average, an NFL game takes approximately 3 hours and 12 minutes to complete. In comparison, a college football game typically lasts around 3 hours and 24 minutes.

Halftime Duration

How Long, on Average, Is Halftime of a Football Game?

The length of halftime differs between professional and college football. In the NFL, halftime lasts an average of 12 minutes, while in college football, it extends to about 20 minutes. The Super Bowl halftime, however, is notably longer, lasting around 20-30 minutes.

Amount of Live Action in an NFL Game

During an NFL game, the actual live action time ranges between 15 and 20 minutes, with an average of 18 minutes. Despite the game officially lasting 60 minutes, less than 20 minutes involve active play due to various clock rules in the NFL.

Commercial Breaks

Approximately 25% of an NFL broadcast consists of commercials. This translates to around 15-25 commercials per quarter, totaling over 100 commercials during a football game.

Exploring the Quarters in a Football Game

Football games are divided into halves and quarters at every level of play. In the NFL and college football, each game consists of four 15-minute quarters with a halftime break. High school games have shorter 12-minute quarters, while youth games feature even briefer 8-minute quarters to prioritize player safety.

Duration of Halftime in a Football Game

Halftime in a football game occurs after the first two quarters. In the NFL, halftime typically lasts for 20 minutes, but this duration can vary based on halftime shows or TV commercials. The Super Bowl halftime show often extends beyond the usual timeframe to accommodate elaborate performances.


1. How many minutes are in a football quarter?

In both the NFL and college football, each quarter lasts for 15 minutes, totaling 60 minutes for the entire game.

2. What is the average duration of an NFL game?

The average length of an NFL game is approximately 3 hours and 12 minutes, including commercial breaks and halftime.

3. Why does an NFL game with 60 minutes of play have less than 20 minutes of action?

The limited active playtime in an NFL game is due to various clock rules that result in the clock running continuously in certain situations.

4. How many commercials are aired during a football game?

On average, an NFL broadcast includes around 15-25 commercials per quarter, totaling over 100 commercials throughout the game.

5. What is the duration of halftime in a college football game?

In college football, halftime typically lasts for 20 minutes, which is longer than the halftime duration in the NFL.

6. Why do high school and youth football games have shorter quarters?

High school and youth football games feature shorter quarters of 12 minutes and 8 minutes, respectively, to prioritize player safety and prevent injuries among younger athletes.

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