Does College Football Play Halves Or Quarters?

College football is a very popular game in America, higher than high school games and one step lower than the professional football game. The first college football game was played at a college of the University of Toronto on 9th November 1861. Every college has its style of football, for example, players of Harvard play ‘Bloody Monday’, and players of Dartmouth play their version called Old division football. All these games have almost the same rules with slight differences. College football players like professional players do not get official salaries.College football has both halves and quarters in between the game. There are slight differences in the rules of football at the school level, college level, and professional level, but all these levels have the same number of quarters. Let us learn about, Does College Football Play Halves Or Quarters?

Does College Football Play Halves Or Quarters?

Does College Football Play Halves Or Quarters?

Number of halves and quarters in college football-

There are two halves which include four quarters in a college football game. Each quarter is 15 minutes long, and each half is 30 minutes long.

First half-

The first half consists of two quarters(1st quarter, and the 2nd quarter). After the end of the first quarter, there is a break of two minutes. At the end of the first half, or the end of the 2nd quarter, there is a long break called the ‘halftime’ which lasts about 12 minutes. During this time, players usually go to their locker rooms to strategize for the next two quarters and to take some rest, and coaches motivate the players if the team is on the losing side. While the players are in their locker rooms, a football halftime show is played in which different forms of entertainment like performances by a celebrity are included. Also during the halftime, analysts comment on the game played and the further predictions.

At the end of each quarter, the teams change their sides to maintain the fairness of the game. For example, if one side of the ground is too muddy then both the teams have to bear the inconvenience, so that there would be no partiality to only a single team. Also at the end of the first quarter, the team having the possession of the ball will retain its possession while going to the second quarter but the possession is not retained after the end of the second quarter.

Second half-

The second half consists of the 3rd and 4th quarters and it starts after the end of halftime. After halftime, the team which receives the ball first will retain the ball and start kicking the ball to continue the third quarter. Again at the end of the third quarter, there is a two-minute break given to players to change their side of the position on the field and the team having the possession of the ball will retain its possession for the fourth quarter.

At the end of the second half, the team with the most points wins the game. If after the end of the second half, the score is tied there will be an extra quarter played called the ‘overtime’. Overtime will decide the winner of the game and is not included in any of the four quarters.

Timeouts in the two halves-

Timeouts are used by the team to stop the game clock for any kind of substitution of players, to get rest or water. In college football, each team has three timeouts in the two halves. It is upon the team to use the timeout or not. Each timeout is for 90 seconds and is not forward to the second half if not used in the first half. For example, if one of the teams uses only two timeouts in the first half, then the third time out left will not be added in the second half’s timeouts of that team.In overtime, both the teams will get only one timeout, and like in the two halves, these timeouts will not get carried to the next overtime if played.

Reason to have four quarters in college football-

The four quarters in college football are to make the game short, simple, and not so boring. Generally, most sports once started and then continue for at least one hour or two hour-long which sometimes makes the audience tired of just sitting in one place, but in the case of football, the four short spans of fifteen minutes in the two halves make the audience completely indulge in the game without getting tired and bored. Also, the players have the chance to get rest and refreshment during the break after the second quarter and also during the timeouts.

Beginning of the college football game-

Each football game begins with the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the U.S. After then, the coin is tossed, and the winner of the toss will get the first chance to choose toss options. The game will officially get into play after kicking off the football from the kicking team to the receiving team.


College football plays two halves ( 1st half and 2nd half ) which include four-quarter ( 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, and 4th quarter ). Each quarter is 15 minutes long and each half is 30 minutes long. The first half includes the first two quarters and the second half includes the next two quarters.