Half-Time (also written ‘half time’ or ‘halftime’) refers to the short break or interval that is present when a sport is played in two parts.

It is common in basketball and American football.

The purpose of Half-Time is to create a break for the players so they can rest. Sports broadcasters also use it as a time to showcase game highlights and spectators may use it to take bathroom breaks or to purchase refreshments.


The origins of halftime can be traced back to early English public school football games where a fixed halftime was in place to allow teams to switch between rules of play that they were familiar with.

It wasn’t until the standardization of the football rules in 1863 that it became unnecessary. Halftime is also used to have teams change ends or goals.

Super Bowl Halftime Show

In the case of American football, Half Time is utilized as a platform for a show, like in the Super Bowl. The National Football League’s Super Bowl Halftime Show originally featured matching bands from various universities.

It started in 1967. It wasn’t until the late 1980s and the early 1990s that musical acts like the New Kids of the Block and Gloria Estefan started to feature in the halftime event. Since then, it showcased a number of top musicians.

List of Team Sports With Halftimes

  • American Football
  • Association Football
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Bandy
  • Basketball
  • Canoe Polo
  • Canadian Football
  • Limited Overs Cricket
  • Field Hockey
  • Gaelic Football Handball
  • Hurling
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Korfball