Soccer, a globally cherished sport, has seen a surge in popularity among young players throughout 2023. As kids get involved, understanding the game duration becomes crucial for planning and participation. When diving into the world of kids’ soccer, one of the most common questions parents and new soccer coaches have is, “How long are kids soccer games?” Youth soccer game length depends on the age group of the players, as shown here:
Kids Soccer Game Lengths by Age Group
- Age Under-19: Two 45-minute halves
- Age Under-18: Two 45-minute halves
- Age Under-17: Two 45-minute halves
- Age Under-16: Two 40-minute halves
- Age Under-15: Two 40-minute halves
- Age Under-14: Two 35-minute halves
- Age Under-13: Two 35-minute halves
- Age Under-12: Two 30-minute halves
- Age Under-11: Two 30-minute halves
- Age Under-10: Two 25-minute halves
- Age Under-8: 4 – 12-minute quarters
- Age Under-6: 4 – 6-minute quarters
This information is courtesy of the United Soccer Association.
For the uninitiated, how long is a kids soccer game might seem like a straightforward question. But as evident from the data, game duration varies significantly with the age group. Now, let’s delve deeper into understanding the rationale behind these times.
Why Soccer Games Last Certain Times for Different Age Groups
Physical Endurance and Development
As children grow, their stamina and physical endurance also develop. Older kids have the ability to play longer matches compared to their younger counterparts. That’s why Under-19 games can last for 90 minutes, similar to adult matches, while the youngest age group, Under-6, plays in shorter 6-minute quarters.
Younger children generally have a shorter attention span. Longer games can be overwhelming and might reduce their interest in the sport. By having shorter quarters or halves, it ensures that the kids remain engaged and enjoy the game.
Longer durations could mean increased fatigue, which raises the chances of injuries. Especially for younger age groups, where motor skills are still developing, it’s essential to ensure that game lengths are appropriate to prevent avoidable injuries.
Skill Development and Learning
Shorter games for younger children mean more frequent breaks. These breaks are crucial as they provide coaches with opportunities to give feedback, allowing kids to understand and implement changes quickly.
Overtime Length in Kids Soccer
In some instances, especially during tournaments, games might end in a tie, requiring overtime to determine a winner. How long does overtime last in kids soccer games?
- Ages Under-14 to Under-11: Two 10-minute halves
- Ages Under-15 to Under-19: Two 15-minute halves
- Ages Under-6 to Under-10: Do not play overtime
Overtime is not just an extension of the game but a test of the team’s endurance, strategy, and willpower. But, considering the age and safety, not all age groups participate in overtime sessions.
Final Thoughts on Kids Soccer Match Durations
Soccer, at its core, is more than just a game. For kids, it’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop essential life skills like teamwork, dedication, and perseverance. By understanding “how long are kids soccer games”, we can ensure that children get the most out of this beautiful sport without compromising their well-being. Always remember, whether it’s a 6-minute quarter or a 45-minute half, the primary goal is to have fun and enjoy the spirit of the game.