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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is one of the most well-known sports in the world. It’s play in pretty lot every country you can think of. The National Basketball Association, i beg your pardon is a member that USA Basketball and recognized through FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the nationwide governing body because that basketball in the united States, consists of teams each precious billions that dollars. The NBA Finals alone color etc tens of countless viewers every year.

You are watching: How many quarters are in a college basketball game

Many pan watch basketball because it’s usually nonstop action. But before LeBron James was gliding coast-to-coast for a dunk or prior to Michael Jordan to be hitting clutch jump shots or even before Steph Curry was swishing three-pointers from the half-court line, basketball to be boring and also in decline in the 1950s.


The implementation the the shot clock essentially saved the game and also put fans in the seats as soon as it to be introduced. Before it, NBA teams can hold the sphere for as lengthy as they’d like once they had actually a lead. The result? final scores choose 19-18 as soon as the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Dean smith made a life implementing a “four corners” stall offense in college the was unstoppable because there to be no shoot clock.

The game the basketball and also its rules — because that which there room plenty — have actually been revised throughout the years to placed the best feasible product top top the court possible.

That gift said, one pushing question many brand-new fans ask is: how long is a basketball game? that answer varies because different rule exist because that the countless levels the basketball that incorporate professional basketball, Olympic basketball, college basketball, high school and also youth basketball.

How long Is one NBA Basketball Game?

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NBA gamings are divided into 4 quarters, each of which last 12 minute long. That means there room 48 total minutes of play in a single game. Halftime gives played a 15-minute break to permit them to remainder in between the second and 3rd quarter. Every overtime period lasts 5 minutes.


The average length of a basketball game in the NBA lasts almost everywhere from 2-3 hrs after factoring in team timeouts, replay reviews, shooting fouls, TV timeouts, halftime breaks, breathers and also other stoppages. Most game lengths are around two and a half hours.

How long Is a university Basketball Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball gamings are contempt different. NCAA men’s basketball games consist of of 2 20-minute halves, including up to 40 full minutes of game time. Every overtime period is 5 minutes long. NCAA women’s college games are played in 4 10-minute quarters just choose WNBA games are. Both take around two hrs from start to finish.

Most high institution basketball gamings in the United says are played in 8-minute quarters, but that varies from state to state.

How The shooting Clock readjusted Basketball

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AP Photo/Michael Okoniewski

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Back in 1954, the Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone and general manager Leo Farris began implementing a 24-second shot clock during scrimmages. The an outcome was a faster, higher-scoring video game that the NBA officially adopted for the 1954-55 season.

The shoot clock completely revolutionized the game. Point out soared, together did attendance. Some stated it conserved basketball, others stated it rescued it. One of two people way, everyone remained in favor that it.


The NBA right now uses a 24-second shoot clock. This means teams should shoot the ball before that time expires, or else they lose possession that the ball. The shoot clock resets come 14 seconds in the NBA ~ an attack rebound on a missed shot or complimentary throw the hit the rim.

The national Collegiate strong Association (NCAA) currently provides a 30-second shooting clock for both men and also women’s basketball matches. The league introduced a 45-second shoot clock in 1985 and reduced it to 35 second in 1993 before landing on a 30-second shoot clock in 2015.

How many Timeouts are In a Basketball Game?

The game clock stop a whole lot in the NBA, i m sorry is why the league has actually tried to speed up gamings by limiting the number of timeouts teams can call. As of the 2017-18 season, NBA teams are enabled seven timeouts every game. Every team is also only afforded two timeouts in the final three minutes, a change of pace from when it could contact three timeouts in the last two minutes.

Each timeout in these skilled games last 75 seconds. The NBA offered to enable 100-second timeouts and also “20-second” timeouts that were actually an ext like 60 seconds.

The NCAA permits three 30-second timeouts every game, two of which deserve to roll over into the 2nd half. In addition, teams gain one 60-second timeout that can be referred to as at any type of time of the game. High school gamings follow a comparable model to college rules.


#DidYouKnow in january 1951,Indianapolis Olympians & Rochester Royals battled over 6 OVERTIMES to decision the winner? pic.twitter.com/aoiv9dhyZh

— NBAIndia (
NBAHistory to be a regular-season game: Jan. 6, 1951: 6OT (78 minutes) Indianapolis Olympians 75, Rochester Royals 73. The Royals (photo) would at some point win the
NBA championship the season in a thrilling seven-game series over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA background (
NBAHistory) might 4, 2019


There’s a factor the NBA has actually stricter time border now. Look no additional than a video game played top top January 6, 1951, for simply why the is.

The Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians squared turn off in a (not for this reason epic) video game that wound up lasting a full time of 78 minutes and six overtimes, an excellent for the longest NBA basketball game in history. The bout, i beg your pardon took ar at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, brand-new York, was ultimately won through the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that simply 18 points were scored in the timeframe the the entire six overtimes. Neither team scored in the second and fourth overtimes. Why? because the team who began with the round tended come wait for the clock to operation out prior to throwing increase the final shot.


From the Rochester Democrat: “ much more than 26 the the 30 overtime minutes, the round stayed neatly tucked far under an eight of a imperial or Olympian player. One or an additional player simply stood there with the score tied, waiting out the clock for a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers that complained were melted up at the unchallenged freeze. For the Olympians, it certain wasn?t good basketball, however it payment off.”


Booooooring. That’s a far cry from the time Tracy McGrady scored 13 point out in 33 seconds, a feat the actually happened in a experienced basketball league and is still remarkable.

The Longest game in NCAA History


Today in #sportshistory in 1981 Cincinnati beat Bradley 75-73 in 7 OTs in the longest video game in NCAA competition. Pic.twitter.com/Cfq9Vasua8

— OTBS virtual (

As for college basketball, the longest video game in NCAA men’s basketball history was a comparable 75-minute, seven-overtime game between Bradley and also Cincinnati in 1981. That came before a shooting clock was imposed as well.

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The sports of basketball has come a long way since the pre-shot clock days. I’m not sure we’ll ever see another six- or seven-overtime game, and also that’s most likely for the best. The median points per game per team is the highest its been because the 1980s, for this reason sit back and reap the fireworks.

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About the author: Patrick Pinak, employee Writer
Patrick extended the Florida Gators throughout the forgettable will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras prior to spending two seasons writing for major League Baseball. He"s a baseball junkie that spends his job defending Derek Jeter and also the Miami Marlins. He resides in southern Florida yet his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.