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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is among the most well-known sporting activities in the human being. It’s played in pretty a lot eexceptionally nation you deserve to think of. The National Basketball Association, which is a member of USA Basketball and recognized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States, consists of groups each worth billions of dollars. The NBA Finals alone draws 10s of millions of viewers every year.

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

Many kind of fans watch basketsphere because it’s basically nonspeak activity. But before LeBron James was gliding coast-to-coast for a dunk or before Michael Jordan was hitting clutch jump shots or also before Steph Curry was swishing three-pointers from the half-court line, basketball was boring and in decline in the 1950s.


The implementation of the shot clock fundamentally conserved the game and put fans in the seats once it was presented. Prior to it, NBA teams could organize the ball for as lengthy as they’d favor once they had a lead. The result? Final scores like 19-18 once the Ft Wayne Pislots beat the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Dean Smith made a living implementing a “four corners” stall offense in college that was unstoppable bereason tright here was no swarm clock.

The game of basketball and its rules — for which there are plenty — have actually been revised throughout the years to put the finest possible product on the court feasible.

That being shelp, one pressing question many kind of new fans ask is: How lengthy is a basketsphere game? That answer varies because different rules exist for the many type of levels of basketround that include skilled basketball, Olympic basketsphere, college basketsphere, high school and also youth basketround.

How Long Is an NBA Basketball Game?

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NBA games are separated into 4 quarters, each of which last 12 minutes lengthy. That indicates tbelow are 48 total minutes of play in a solitary game. Halftime gives played a 15-minute break to enable them to rest in in between the second and also third quarter. Each overtime duration lasts 5 minutes.


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

How Long Is a College Basketround Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball games are slightly various. NCAA men’s basketball games consist of two 20-minute halves, adding approximately 40 total minutes of game time. Each overtime duration is five minutes lengthy. NCAA women’s college games are played in four 10-minute quarters simply like WNBA games are. Both take about two hrs from start to finish.

Many high college basketball games in the USA are played in 8-minute quarters, yet that varies from state to state.

How The Swarm Clock Changed Basketball

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AP Photo/Michael Okoniewski

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Back in 1954, the Syracusage Nationals owner Danny Biasone and also basic manager Leo Farris began implementing a 24-second swarm clock throughout scrimmperiods. The outcome was a much faster, higher-scoring game that the NBA officially adopted for the 1954-55 seaboy.

The shot clock completely reinvented the game. Points soared, as did attendance. Some shelp it saved basketround, others sassist it rescued it. Either means, everyone remained in favor of it.


The NBA currently offers a 24-second shot clock. This suggests groups must shoot the round before that time expires, or else they lose possession of the round. The shot clock resets to 14 seconds in the NBA after an offensive rebound on a missed shot or totally free throw that hit the rim.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently supplies a 30-second swarm clock for both men and women’s basketsphere matches. The league presented a 45-second swarm clock in 1985 and diminished it to 35 second in 1993 prior to landing on a 30-second swarm clock in 2015.

How Many kind of Timeouts Are In a Basketround Game?

The game clock stops a whole lot in the NBA, which is why the league has actually tried to rate up games by limiting the variety of timeouts teams deserve to contact. As of the 2017-18 seakid, NBA teams are permitted salso timeouts per game. Each team is likewise only afforded two timeouts in the last three minutes, a readjust of pace from once it can speak to three timeouts in the last 2 minutes.

Each timeout in these skilled games last 75 seconds. The NBA used to enable 100-second timeouts and also “20-second” timeouts that were actually more choose 60 seconds.

The NCAA permits three 30-second timeouts per game, two of which deserve to roll over into the second fifty percent. In enhancement, groups obtain one 60-second timeout that can be dubbed at any type of time of the game. High institution games follow a similar model to college rules.


#DidYouKnow in Jan 1951,Indianapolis Olympians & Rochester Royals fought over SIX OVERTIMES to decide the winner? pic.twitter.com/aoiv9dhyZh

— NBAIndia (
NBAHistory was a regular-seachild game: Jan. 6, 1951: 6OT (78 minutes) Indianapolis Olympians 75, Rochester Royals 73. The Royals (photo) would ultimately win the
NBA championship that seaboy in a thrilling seven-game series over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA History (
NBAHistory) May 4, 2019


There’s a reason the NBA has actually stricter time constraints now. Look no additionally than a game played on January 6, 1951, for simply why that is.

The Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians squared off in a (not so epic) game that wound up lasting a full time of 78 minutes and six overtimes, great for the longest NBA basketround game in background. The bout, which took area at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, New York, was eventually won by the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that simply 18 points were scored in the timestructure of the entire 6 overtimes. Neither team scored in the second and fourth overtimes. Why? Due to the fact that the team that began through the sphere tended to wait for the clock to run out prior to throwing up the final shot.


From the Rochester Democrat: “ even more than 26 of the 30 overtime minutes, the round continued to be neatly tucked ameans under an arm of a Royal or Olympian player. One or an additional player just stood tbelow through the score tied, waiting out the clock for a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers who complained were melted up at the unchallenged freeze. For the Olympians, it certain wasn?t excellent basketround, but it passist off.”


Booooooring. That’s a far cry from the moment Tracy McGrady scored 13 points in 33 seconds, a feat that actually occurred in a professional basketround league and also is still amazing.

The Longest Video Game in NCAA History


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

— OTBS Online (

As for college basketround, the longest game in NCAA men’s basketround background was a comparable 75-minute, seven-overtime game between Bradley and Cincinnati in 1981. That came before a shot clock was implemented too.

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The sport of basketball has actually come a lengthy way considering that the pre-shot clock days. I’m not sure we’ll ever view one more six- or seven-overtime game, and also that’s more than likely for the ideal. The average points per game per team is the highest possible its been considering that the 1980s, so sit ago and also gain the fireworks.

MORE:The NBA?s Tallest Players Make Regular Folks Look Ridiculous


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About the author: Patrick Pinak, Staff Writer
Patrick extended the Florida Gators in the time of the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain ages before spfinishing 2 periods writing for Major Organization Basesphere. He"s a baseround junkie that spends his days defending Derek Jeter and also the Miami Marlins. He stays in South Florida yet his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.