How Long is Halftime in College Football?

College football season is always an exciting time of the year. The hype is no less than a professional match for the participating teams. But different games seem to have different halftime durations. Maybe you noticed this and wanted to know, how long is halftime in college football.

Duration of the Halftime In College Football

College football games last for 60-minutes, just like the professional league. The entire game gets divided into two halves of 30-minutes, which gets further divided into 15-minute quarters. They add a rest period between the two 30-minute halves to let the players catch a breath.

Halftime has a limit of 20 minutes. It can be shorter than 20 minutes but never longer. There is no lower limit for the halftime, so the organizers can make it less than 10 minutes if they feel like it. 

However, they would generally never do that. Half-time is a special time not just because of the rest for the athletes. There are additional musical performances that take place during this short Interval. 

Note; that an agreement must be made between the participating teams if either party wants to alter time halftime duration. The halftime duration is set at 20 minutes by default until both parties agree to change it.

When Was the Halftime Limit Established?

You may be surprised but the halftime limit of college football did not exist until 2017. Generally, college football halftime used to be somewhere around 30 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, college footballs have musical events during that time. 

The halftime interval, or as NCAA likes to call it, Intermission has a history of being inconsistent. The sweet spot of the intermission duration is around 15 minutes. 10 minutes is enough to include marching bands and any other special event. 

There have been many precedents of short speeches or announcements during the halftime duration in the past. Around 2017, the NCAA deemed 20 minutes the standard duration of halftime for college football. Since then, most college games have had halftime of 10-20 minutes.

You can expect to see shorter halftimes in games between junior varsity or school level. They do not have marching bands, so the extra time isn’t necessary. They typically follow the standard of 12 minutes.

What Do College Footballers Do During Halftime?

How Long is Halftime in College Football?

Football is a team sport, and cohesive coordination is the most crucial aspect of the game. The halftime is not a mere resting period for catching a breather. It needs to be utilized perfectly by discussing tactics for the latter half.

First and foremost, players analyze the strength and weaknesses of the enemy team during halftime. It is a crucial period that often dictates the flow of the game. The team that can strategize better at this time generally ends up winning the game.

It also serves as a time for reflecting on the mistakes of the first half. Players and managers use this time to change the team’s formation for maximum performance. Players need the halftime to readjust their mindset after a fast-paced game.

The manager can also use this time to sub out players who are too tired after the first half. Fresh players generally tend to have a more positive impact on the game. Most substitutes of a college football game happen during halftime or after the second half starts.


An official half-time limit has just been declared not many years ago. So, many people have a little confusion on this topic. And I hope I was able to put an end to it.