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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is among the most famous sports in the world. It’s play in pretty much every country you have the right to think of. The National Basketball Association, i m sorry is a member of USA Basketball and recognized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body because that basketball in the united States, consists of groups each worth billions the dollars. The NBA Finals alone paint, etc tens of countless viewers every year.

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


The implementation the the shot clock essentially saved the game and put pan in the seats when it to be introduced. Prior to it, NBA teams could hold the ball for as long as they’d like as soon as they had actually a lead. The result? last scores like 19-18 when the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Dean blacksmith made a life implementing a “four corners” stall offense in college that was unstoppable because there to be no shoot clock.

The game that basketball and also its rules — because that which there room plenty — have been revised transparent the year to placed the best feasible product on the court possible.

That being said, one pressing question many brand-new fans questioning is: exactly how long is a basketball game? the answer varies because different rule exist because that the plenty of levels that basketball that incorporate professional basketball, Olympic basketball, college basketball, high school and youth basketball.

How long Is an NBA Basketball Game?

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NBA games are split into 4 quarters, every of which last 12 minutes long. That way there space 48 complete minutes of beat in a single game. Halftime gives played a 15-minute rest to allow them to remainder in between the second and third quarter. Each 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 other stoppages. Most game lengths are about two and also a half hours.

How long Is a college Basketball Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball games are contempt different. NCAA men’s basketball games consist of of 2 20-minute halves, including up come 40 complete minutes of game time. Each overtime period is 5 minutes long. NCAA women’s university games are played in four 10-minute soldier just choose WNBA games are. Both take about two hours from start to finish.

Most high school basketball gamings in the United states are played in 8-minute quarters, yet that varies from state to state.

How The shot 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 also general manager Leo Farris started implementing a 24-second shoot clock throughout scrimmages. The an outcome was a faster, higher-scoring game that the NBA officially embraced for the 1954-55 season.

The shot clock totally revolutionized the game. Clues soared, together did attendance. Some said it conserved basketball, others stated it rescued it. Either way, everyone was in favor of it.


The NBA at this time uses a 24-second shooting clock. This means teams should shoot the ball prior to that time expires, or rather they lose possession of the ball. The shooting clock resets come 14 secs in the NBA after ~ an attack rebound on a missed shot or complimentary throw the hit the rim.

The national Collegiate athletic Association (NCAA) currently uses a 30-second shot clock because that both men and also women’s basketball matches. The league presented a 45-second shooting clock in 1985 and reduced it come 35 2nd in 1993 before landing top top a 30-second shoot clock in 2015.

How many Timeouts room In a Basketball Game?

The video game clock stops a totality lot in the NBA, which is why the league has actually tried to rate up games by limiting the variety of timeouts teams can call. As of the 2017-18 season, NBA groups are allowed seven timeouts every game. Every team is likewise only afforded 2 timeouts in the final three minutes, a adjust of speed from as soon as it could contact three timeouts in the last two minutes.

Each timeout in these experienced games last 75 seconds. The NBA provided to permit 100-second timeouts and also “20-second” timeouts that were actually more like 60 seconds.

The NCAA permits 3 30-second timeouts per game, 2 of which have the right to roll over right into the 2nd half. In addition, teams acquire one 60-second timeout that deserve to be referred to as at any time of the game. High school games follow a similar model to college rules.


#DidYouKnow in jan 1951,Indianapolis Olympians & Rochester Royals dealt with over six OVERTIMES to decision the winner? pic.twitter.com/aoiv9dhyZh

— NBAIndia (
NBAHistory was 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 collection over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA history (
NBAHistory) may 4, 2019


There’s a factor the NBA has stricter time constraints now. Look no more than a video game played ~ above January 6, 1951, for just why that is.

The Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians squared turn off in a (not so epic) game that wound increase lasting a total time the 78 minutes and six overtimes, good for the longest NBA basketball game in history. The bout, which took location at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, new York, was ultimately won by the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that just 18 points were scored in the timeframe of the entire six overtimes. No team score in the second and fourth overtimes. Why? since the team who began with the sphere tended to wait because that the clock to run out before throwing up the last shot.


From the Rochester Democrat: “ much more than 26 the the 30 overtime minutes, the sphere stayed nicely tucked away under an arm of a royal or Olympian player. One or an additional player simply stood there with the score tied, waiting out the clock because that a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers that complained were burned up at the unchallenged freeze. Because that the Olympians, it sure wasn?t great basketball, however it paid off.”


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

The Longest video game in NCAA History


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

— OTBS digital (

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

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The sports of basketball has actually come a long way since the pre-shot clock days. I’m not sure we’ll ever before see an additional 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 earlier and reap the fireworks.

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About the author: Patrick Pinak, staff Writer
Patrick spanned the Florida Gators during the forgettable will certainly Muschamp and also Jim McElwain eras before spending two periods writing for significant League Baseball. He"s a baseball junkie who spends his work defending Derek Jeter and also the Miami Marlins. He resides in southern Florida yet his love belongs in Gainesville, Florida.