How long are quarters in football? July 13, 2023 – Posted in: Featured Articles – Tags:

Millions of fans across the country have a particular place in their hearts for college football, which year after year captivates audiences with its spectacular games. Even if playing the game itself is an adrenaline rush, it’s important to understand the rules and guidelines that control how it’s played. One of these crucial elements is the length of each quarter, which has a big impact on how the game turns out.

How long are Quarters in College Football?

Each quarter in college football games lasts 15 minutes. Games are broken into four quarters. A normal college football game, excluding any overtime periods, lasts 60 minutes according to this structure. 

Consider the following breakdown to better comprehend how the length of NCAA football quarters affects the game:

Quarter Length Total Time
1 15 min 15 min
2 15 min 30 min
3 15 min 45 min
4 15 min 60 min


To offer their team the best chance of winning, coaches must be adept time managers, choosing when to call timeouts and when to substitute players.

Key Learnings:

  • Four quarters of 15 minutes each, totaling 60 minutes excluding overtime, make up a college football game.
  • With the use of running plays, fast passes, and well-timed timeouts, coaches tactically control the clock.
  • In college football, halftime lasts for 20 minutes and gives teams a chance to reorganize, make changes, and rest.
  • The capacity to adapt and effectively manage time is crucial for success in college football.

College football quarters overview

To truly comprehend the nuances of the game, one must have a thorough understanding of how college football quarters are structured. An overview of college football quarters, including their length, the number of quarters in a game, and the length of halftime, will be given in this section.

College football quarter length

In college football, a quarter lasts for 15 minutes. As soon as the ball is snapped, the clock begins to tick, and it keeps ticking until the action is over. The clock does, however, occasionally stop, for example, when a player walks out of bounds or when a pass is incomplete. As a result, each quarter’s actual playing duration is less than the allotted 15 minutes.

How many quarters are played in a college football game?

The length of a college football game is four quarters. This is similar to how professional football games are split into four halves. High school football, on the other hand, has four quarters of 12 minutes each. In college football, there is a brief interval between each of the four quarters.

Halftime in college football is how long?

In college football, halftime lasts for 20 minutes. This time period is longer than the 12-minute halftime in professional football. The athletes retire to their locker rooms for some downtime, planning, and refueling during halftime. Additionally, the lively atmosphere and spectacle of college football are enhanced by the halftime show, which frequently features compelling performances by marching bands and other performers.

In conclusion, there are four quarters in a college football game, each lasting 15 minutes. The 20 minutes of halftime give the players a chance to rest and rejuvenate before going back out onto the pitch. Except in rare situations, the game clock runs continuously, and each quarter’s real playing length is just under 15 minutes.

Comparative analysis of other Football Leagues

This section will contrast the length of college football quarters with those of the NFL and high school football, among other football leagues.

NFL football against college football

NFL football and collegiate football have equivalent game lengths. Each quarter in both leagues lasts 15 minutes, making for a 60-minute long game overall. But there are variations in how the clock is controlled. First downs, out-of-bounds plays, and changes of possession all result in the clock stopping in college football, which can lengthen the game. In the NFL, the clock stops when certain events occur, including penalties, timeouts, and incomplete throws.

College football quarter management strategies and tactics

The college football game is split into four quarters, each of which lasts 15 minutes in the fast-paced world of college football. Teams must use efficient tactics to maximize their time while it is running down, take advantage of halftime strategically, and modify their game plans for the second half.

The Art of College Football Time Management

Time management becomes crucial, especially in the final quarter when the result is on the line. To efficiently manage the clock, teams use a variety of strategies, including:

  • Running the ball reduces the amount of possessions for the opposition team by keeping the clock running.
  • Quick passes: Teams can advance down the field while keeping the clock running by making quick, effective passes.
  • Timeouts can be used strategically by teams to stop the clock, but because there are only three allowed per half, their use must be carefully considered.

Utilizing Halftime

Halftime is an important part of the game since it gives teams a chance to refocus, make changes, and recuperate.

During this period, coaches watch game film, talk with the players about strategy, and make any necessary adjustments to their game plan. During this interval, players are encouraged to relax, hydrate, and get any necessary medical attention.

Strange events affecting College Football Quarters

College football games are normally split into four quarters, with each quarter lasting 15 minutes. A game, however, might experience some unusual events that could change the course of a quarter or its outcome. 


There are four quarters in a college football game, each lasting 15 minutes. With the use of running plays, fast passes, and well-timed timeouts, coaches tactically control the clock. Teams can refocus, make adjustments, and recuperate during halftime, whereas teams frequently make tactical alterations to counter their opponent’s strengths in the second half.

Unusual situations, such as overtime, ties, or unplayable field conditions, might have an impact on the duration or result of a quarter. The team scoring the most points in overtime will win the game. Teams get four downs to score from the opponent’s 25-yard line in overtime. In college football, ties are uncommon, but if a game ends in a tie after overtime, it is formally noted as such. To preserve player safety and reduce delays, authorities may impose a running time when the pitch becomes unplayable. In the end, college football is a tactical game where winning depends on good time management and adaptability.

Quarters in Football FAQs

1) Is a football quarter three or four?

Football games all follow the same fundamental format: two halves of four quarters of play. There are four 15-minute quarters throughout the 60-minute game. The amount of time in each quarter is tracked by the game clock.

2) How many football quarters are there?

The primary unit of time measurement in football is the quarter. The length of a quarter is 15 minutes. Football games are divided into four quarters. There is a brief interval following the conclusion of a quarter’s game clock before the following quarter starts.

3) In FIFA football, how many quarters are there?

No of the level, a football game has four quarters. The third and fourth quarters are separated by one halftime, sometimes referred to as a break. The play level will determine how long each quarter is.

4) What do the eight football quarters mean?

Players that are deemed to be Eight Quarter players are only permitted to play in eight varsity football quarters during the course of the season if they are also participating in junior varsity football, hence the name of the rule.