How Long do High School Football Games Last?
High school football games are typically between two and three hours in length, with the occasional 4-hour game happening every so often. The difference in length has to do with how many quarters a game lasts (4 for most, 6 for a tie-breaker), if there is a running clock or not (possession changes every time the ball goes out of bounds or at certain times in close games), and what kind of weather conditions exist during the game.
Most games will last from three to four quarters, with a possible running clock in the second half.
In most cases, the strongest teams and coaches will go for the win in the fourth quarter (or overtime) to extend the game time.
If a game is decided by a field goal or less, there are ways for the loser to keep the game going. The first is to go for a two-point conversion (which goes for three points in most cases). Another option is that the teams can play another quarter.
Quarter Length: A quarter will last from 10-15 minutes depending on when the clock starts and how many minutes are remaining in the quarter.
Possession Changes: Usually, a team has to go for the ball after a score or when it goes out of bounds. However, for the running clock to end and for the game to continue, teams will have to go for the ball repeatedly.
Running Clock: Only in case of a tie. When play stops because of a score, possession changes, pass interference, or illegal touching on a player other than the passer (dive), possession will end and the clock will start ticking down again.
Tips for Playing High School Football
1. Get a Great Workout
This means getting a good workout every day, both pre-practice and post-practice. Get as many reps as possible, especially starting the season with conditioning work. Ensure that your conditioning remains at a high level as the season progresses.
Have your fundamentals down pat, and make sure you do not forget to develop any new muscle groups during the off-season. Practice and perfect your fundamentals, then work on more advanced techniques during the offseason. This will help to make you a better player during practice and in games.
2. Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep
Your body needs to rest and be refreshed whenever it can so that you are at your best when you step out onto the field during the games. A good night’s sleep will help your body make physiologic changes to help you be a better player on game day as well.
3. Eat Right
Eat right to help your body be as strong and healthy as possible. You get the best results from eating when you are rested and eat the right foods that make you feel full. Eating healthy foods will also help to give your muscles the nutrition they need to become bigger, stronger, and faster during the off-season or at the start of preseason camp.
4. Get a Good Pre-game Warm-up
It is also important to warm up your body before every single game and practice. This will help to prevent injuries on the field when you get tackled or fall and will help you be prepared physically for the game ahead of time.
5. Dress for Performance
Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in during the game. Dress so that the pads do not cause chafing or pain during play, and so that you can move about freely with ease.
6. Protect Your Body
It is important to wear helmets and pads for games, as well as a mouth guard to protect your teeth and head from injury. It is also a good idea to wear gloves, or at least fingerless gloves so that you do not hurt your hands when you are tackled by other players.
7. Learn From Mistakes
Mistakes will happen on the field, so learn from them and try not to make the same mistake twice. If you make a mistake, it is best to correct it as soon as possible so that you will not repeat that mistake during the game.
8. Tackle Safely
When tackling, be sure to wrap up your opponent and try not to let them break your tackle. Keep your head up when tackling and try to protect yourself with the proper use of pads and helmets. Always keep your eye on the ball so you can learn how to protect yourself at all times while playing on the field.
9. Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
Once you tackle a player, it is important to keep your eyes on the ball for as long as possible. Always be aware of what is going on around you and try to learn how you can protect yourself at all times. If you have a chance to catch the ball, do not let it go, because that will make it more difficult for your team to win the game.
10. Follow Directions
Know your responsibilities and follow all of the plays that are being called during the game. It is important to know your responsibilities and how to play the game during each quarter. If you follow instructions, you will be able to learn how to play the game better and get more involved in the action around you.
11. Play For the Team
Do not let individual goals come ahead of team goals when playing on high school football teams. The most important thing is that you are playing for your teammates. If you are playing for yourself, then you will be putting yourself ahead of the team. It is very important to play for your team and to help them win.
12. Don’t Give Up
Keep on working hard, even if all the other players seem to stop working as hard as you do. This will allow your team to keep pushing forward, keeping their heads high and their morale high so that they can succeed at the end of the game.
The game of high school football can be fun, but it can also be hard and even dangerous. The best way to play football is to have fun and enjoy it, but also take caution when playing so that you do not get hurt or get someone else hurt. You must follow all of the tips provided so that you can have a successful season on the field, as well as a safe, injury-free time during practice.