basketball game timing

How Long Does a Basketball Game Last?

There is a variation on the time taken to play basketball, matches. Different levels of basketball results in the disparity in the time used. The time is different for college, high school, NBA, NCAA and even for professional players.

Furthermore, all the levels use the overtime period in case there is a draw after a game.

So, join me below as I take you through the different durations taken at different levels.

The average length of a college basketball game   

Higher learning institutions also play basketball.

Unlike the four quarters used in other typical matches, the college games take two 20-minute halves.

Half-time period takes 15 minutes like the National Basketball Association. The overtime period lasts for five minutes.

Televised college games last for around 2 hours 10 minutes.

Length of an NCAA basketball game   

National Collegiate Athletic Association is the body of college basketball. This game is considered to be too long.

There are many timeouts that consume almost half an hour of the game.

In case the ball hits one of the basket rims or it changes the team in possession of the ball, shot clocks come in. the ball must be shot. This time varies.

As per the NCAA, shot clock takes 35 or 30 seconds for men and women respectively.

NBA basketball game length    

An NBA game takes 48 minutes.

This game is usually divided into four quarters lasting 12 minutes each. If there happen to be a tie amongst the teams playing, then this time is bound to increase.

In basketball, a tie leads to overtime where the game is played severally until a winner is found. The overtime lasts for 5 minutes.

Also, half-time, fouls, timeouts and ball out-of-bound results to a lot of instructions that this time lasts longer than it should. Halftime takes 15 minutes.

There is a five minutes overtime. A usual NBA game takes 2-2.5 hours.

Shot clocks- 24 seconds.

High school basketball game length    

Basketball is one of the most commonly played games in high schools. The game lasts for 32 minutes.

Approximately, high school games take an hour and a half. This is the total time inclusive of the fouls, breathers and clock stoppages that may arise.

Just like the NBA, high schools use four quarters although these quarters are shorter. Each quarter lasts for 8 minutes. There is a halftime of ten minutes between the second and the third quarters.

High school overtime period is four minutes for instance if there is a tie between the teams.

How long is a basketball quarter?  

Basketball is played in phases.  They are referred to as quarters. On the contrary, there is varied time for the quarters depending on which level the game is played. Also, different sports association have different time for their games. Therefore, the game will depend on the competition level.

However, the accurate time for any quarter is 12 minutes according to NBA.

International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on the other hand has a 10 minutes quarter for its games.

NCAA is divided into two halves each taking 20 minutes. Additionally, high school game takes 8 minutes per quarter.

Professional basketball game    

A professional basketball game depends on the association presiding over the game. An NBA game lasts for 48 minutes whereas FIBA games take 40 minutes.

The total time taken to play for any specialized game is over 2 hours 15 minutes. The time includes the time disruptions like fouls, timeouts, and breaks.

NBA games have a lot of timeouts unlike the FIBA and Olympic games. There are four compulsory timeouts in NBA games.

Besides, basketball finals take longer than normal games. About 3 hours.


To conclude, you find that basketball has very different levels with different timings. It, therefore, takes a lot of professionalism for in to know how long each and every game lasts.

Again, a basketball game can never end with a tie. There must be a winner. For you to know these intervals, you must be good in the game. However, in this review, we have detailed for you the total time required for each game.

It is, therefore, your choice to take a look and see which one of them is worth your time if you want to watch.

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