NBA Game Length

How Long Is a NBA Game? – The Full Time of Basketball Games

One of the most popular, most anticipated, and most loved sports on the planet is Basketball. However, there are still a lot of people, mostly newbies, that don’t know just yet how long an NBA game actually is. So what is the actual length of a basketball game?

The average NBA game should last anywhere between two hours and two hours and a half. You should keep in mind, though, that there is no exact number and this usually differs between different associations and leagues.

This article will give you a clearer understanding of the specific duration of basketball matches played in the NFHS, NCAA, FIBA, and, of course, the NBA.

So How Long Is An NBA Game?

The usual NBA game is expected to last between two hours and two hours and a half.

As we also mentioned above, basketball game time will vary from league to league. The rules of the NBA (National Basketball Association) state that each period has to be 12 minutes. This means that a four-quarter game will have a total playing time of around 48 minutes. AN NBA game will also have an overtime period that should last 5 minutes.

There is also a half time period between the second and the third periods and it is 15 minutes long. The time of a match won’t be fixed, as there are a lot of deciding factors for the time of an NBA match, which can easily reach 2 hours. This makes these games slightly longer than the soccer games from FIFA.

How Long Are Basketball Games in FIBA?

A basketball game will have four quarters, based on the rules set by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). But how many minutes should a quarter be in basketball according to FIBA? Individual quarters last 10 minutes each, making the total playable time of a basketball match 40 minutes long. This means that FIBA games will have shorter quarters than games played by the NBA rules.

Additionally, there are other times you should take into account based on the rules and regulations, like the rest time between quarters. So how long will the actual basketball game be?

  • Before the game can begin, the Basketball teams will have around 20 minutes of preparation time.
  • The first quarter and the second quarter are split by a two-minute halftime break.
  • The second quarter and the third quarter are split by a 15 minutes halftime break. This is when the teams will have to switch pitches and then get ready for the next two quarters.
  • The third and the fourth quarter are split by a two-minute halftime break.
  • Extra quarters will be split by another two-minute break.

If the teams have played all of the four quarters but they are still at a tie, they will get into the overtime periods. The team that gets more points in the first extra time will be the winner and the game will end without the need for a second extra time.

As you’d expect, if the first overtime ends also with a tie, the teams will continue to play for a second overtime. Each half will end with a sound that would point to the beginning of the halftime in the FIBA games.

How Long Should a Basketball Game Last Based on the NCAA Rules?

NCAA stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A college basketball game will be played in two halves, each of them around 20 minutes long. This means that the main playable game will be around 40 minutes long. The halves are split by a 15 minutes half time break and the overtime of a college basketball game is only 5 minutes long.

What About High School Basketball Games?

The organization that is behind and regulates all of the important high school basketball games is the NFHS. This means that high school basketball games are made of four quarters and each of them will last 8 minutes. The halftime will be of 10 minutes.

What Was the Longest NBA Game Ever Played?

The longest game ever played in the NBA took place in the year 1951. It was an unforgettable game played at the Edgerton Park Arena, between the Indianapolis Olympians and the Rochester Royals.

It was so hard for one of the teams to win this encounter that the overtime periods amounted to 78 minutes of additional playable time. The winner was, in the end, the Indianapolis Olympians with a small 2-point advantage. The final score was 75 to 73. The match needed six overtime quarters aside from the usual four. It is one of the most known Guinness World Records for basketball enthusiasts.

NBA Game Details

NBA Shot ClockThe full list of players will be registered for both teams by their coaches at least twenty minutes before the game will start. This list should comprise the names of the players, their jersey numbers, leading coaches, captains, and assistants.

This is when the coach of each team will have to appoint the main five players on the official list and then confirm the score sheet. The team that will pick the bench and the basket will be the home team. This team will have to notify the main referee about its decision.

The game will start as soon as the referee will blow the whistle. The two teams will then get on the field and get in their starting position. Next comes the popular starting game ball throw in the center of the arena. The game will be considered in progress as soon as the first player touches that ball.

When Does Clock Stop?

The referee will blow the whistle every time a quarter will end. If there is a score difference at the end of the fourth quarter, the referee will stop the clock and assign a winner.

How would the referee handle the game when there is an infraction during one of the quarters, but the clock already signaled the end of that period? The free throw will be made by the player right afterwards, before the halftime will start.

When teams need to take a break to make substitutions, the clock will stop. This will also happen every time the ball goes out of the playing area and when a player commits a foul.

When a free throw occurs, it can be made of one, two, or three free throws.

A timeout called by one of the teams will also make the clock stop. Both NBA clubs will have 60 seconds each for a first timeout, but the second timeout will be shorter. This second timeout will depend on whether the NBA match is televised nationally or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will basketball games last for youth leagues?

Most youth basketball games won’t last more than one hour. These youth league games are usually only made of two halves. Each of the halves for these kinds of games will be 20 minutes in length.

2. What is the length of a women’s game in college basketball?

Most of the women’s basketball games will last about two hours. These games are usually made of four quarters, with each of the quarters lasting 10 minutes.

3. Why would playoff games last longer than the usual season games?

We went through some of the most common questions people have about the length of basketball games and you can find the answers below.
A playoff game will usually have longer commercial breaks, which is the main reason why it will usually be longer than a regular-season one.

Final Thoughts

The information provided above should be enough for you to understand how long will NBA games last. We will try to update this information whenever something new pops up. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section below.

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