How Long is a High School Football Game – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 hours

High school football began around the same time as college football sometime in the 19th century. High school football is the third level of football behind college and professional leagues.

It is the first time where athletes will accumulate statistics that will help to determine if they are good enough to play at the higher levels on college and professional teams.

How Long is a High School Football Game

How Long is a High School Football Game?

High school football games are separated into 4 twelve-minute quarters for a total of forty-eight game minutes. These are only game minutes and not real-time minutes.

Usually, when someone is attending a high school football game, they allocate at least two hours of real-time. This is because the game is interrupted by penalties and time outs.

There is also a half time where the teams separate and talk about the game. Half time also allows cheerleaders or the band to entertain the fans while they wait for the game to start again.

Half time can also be used for fans to use the bathroom, stretch, and get some food or drink. Some high schools have announcers who use that time to discuss the first half of the game as well as what they expect to see in the second half.

high school football game

Most high school games are announced on the radio but there are some that are shown on television. These media outlets are another source of exposure for the students and schools and in some cases, another form of revenue.

Revenue for schools comes from the state but sometimes it is not enough to support some of the school’s programs therefore, sports such as high school football are implemented. This leads to sponsorship, donations, and sometimes ad revenue from different businesses.

Why is a High School Football Game This Long?

High school football games are shorter than college and professional games because the students are not as physically developed at that time in their lives. Football is a demanding sport and students get their first real exposure in high school.

High school students are athletic but not as athletic as those in college or those in the professional leagues. High school football is where the students are taught proper ways to tackle and catch.

This can start a lot earlier, but high school is where they play in bigger stadiums around more fans. High school is where college scouts begin to see what potential an athlete has.

high school football game 1

High schools must be careful that their organized sports are not interfering with their students’ studies and such because they are still children. For example, a professional or college football game can easily last 3 and a half hours.

A high school game may not even hit the 3-hour mark for most games. High schools must help the children balance sports and their education so this means that the games are not as long as college and professional games.

Students are encouraged to play sports but in moderation so that they still have time for other things. Football is very demanding and keeping the games at twelve minutes per quarter still allows the student to showcase their talents.

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


    1. I respectfully disagree, as these games give students a chance to showcase their talents and gain exposure.

  1. High school football games are a great way for communities to come together and support their local teams.

  2. The focus on teaching proper techniques in high school is essential for the safety of young athletes.

  3. The structure of high school football games is essential for nurturing young talent in a controlled environment.

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