How Many Minutes In A Rugby Match? Uncovering The Answers & Rules

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Understanding Rugby Match Durations

If you’re new to rugby, it can be difficult to understand the duration of a match. How long does each game last? Is there an overtime period or extra time if the score is tied? What other factors might affect how much time the game takes up? To help clear up any confusion about rugby match durations, here’s what you need to know.

Regulation Matches

Generally, a regulation “full” rugby match will last 80 minutes. This includes two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute halftime break in between them. However, games may also have shorter durations depending on players’ age and skill level. For example, junior matches may only last 60 minutes, while professional matches can sometimes extend beyond 80 minutes with added stoppage time (injury breaks).

Extra Time

In certain cases where teams are unable to decide a winner within their allotted 80-minute timespan (due to being tied at full-time), they may enter into an additional period of extra time known as ‘overtime’. This typically lasts for 20 minutes, split across two 10-minute periods where play continues until one team scores and wins the game. Alternatively, teams might agree upon another form of tiebreaker, such as penalty kicks or sudden death rules, which allow for quicker resolution without having to continue playing after regular time has ended.


As you can see from this article, there is no set duration for every single rugby match – different levels and competitions often dictate their own rules regarding the length and structure of playtime accordingly. A standard full game usually lasts anywhere from 60 minutes up to 90 plus when taking extended halftimes or overtime into consideration. Still, ultimately, it all depends on specific conditions determined by league officials beforehand.