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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is among the most renowned sports in the world. It’s play in pretty lot every nation you can think of. The National Basketball Association, i m sorry is a member that USA Basketball and recognized through FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the joined States, is composed of teams each precious billions that dollars. The NBA Finals alone draws tens of numerous viewers every year.

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Many fans 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 run shots or even prior to Steph Curry was swishing three-pointers indigenous the half-court line, basketball to be boring and also in decrease in the 1950s.


The implementation of the shot clock basically saved the game and put fans in the seats as soon as it to be introduced. Before it, NBA teams might hold the round for as long as they’d like as soon as they had a lead. The result? last scores favor 19-18 as soon as the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Dean blacksmith made a living implementing a “four corners” stall offense in college the was unstoppable because there was no shooting clock.

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

That being said, one pressing question many new fans ask is: exactly how long is a basketball game? the answer varies since different rule exist because that the countless levels of basketball that incorporate professional basketball, Olympic basketball, university basketball, high school and 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 critical 12 minute long. That way there are 48 total minutes of beat in a solitary game. Halftime gives played a 15-minute rest to allow them to remainder in between the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Every overtime period lasts five minutes.


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

How lengthy Is a university Basketball Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball gamings are contempt different. NCAA men’s basketball games consist of of two 20-minute halves, including up come 40 total minutes of video game time. Each overtime duration is 5 minutes long. NCAA women’s university games room played in 4 10-minute quarters just favor WNBA games are. Both take about two hrs 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 shoot Clock changed 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 shoot clock throughout scrimmages. The an outcome was a faster, higher-scoring video game that the NBA officially embraced for the 1954-55 season.

The shot clock completely revolutionized the game. Point out soared, as did attendance. Some claimed it conserved basketball, others said it rescued it. Either way, everyone was in favor the it.


The NBA at this time uses a 24-second shooting clock. This way teams must shoot the ball prior to that time expires, or rather they shed possession of the ball. The shot clock resets to 14 secs in the NBA after an offensive rebound top top a missed shot or cost-free throw the hit the rim.

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

How plenty of Timeouts space In a Basketball Game?

The video game clock stops a totality lot in the NBA, i beg your pardon is why the league has actually tried to rate up games by limiting the variety of timeouts teams have the right to call. As of the 2017-18 season, NBA groups are allowed seven timeouts every game. Every team is additionally only afforded two timeouts in the final three minutes, a adjust of pace from once it could call three timeouts in the last two minutes.

Each timeout in these professional games last 75 seconds. The NBA provided to allow 100-second timeouts and “20-second” timeouts the were actually an ext like 60 seconds.

The NCAA permits three 30-second timeouts every game, two of which can roll over into the 2nd half. In addition, teams obtain one 60-second timeout that deserve to be called at any kind of time that the game. High school games follow a comparable model to university rules.


#DidYouKnow in january 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 ultimately win the
NBA championship the season in a thrilling seven-game collection over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA history (
NBAHistory) might 4, 2019


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

The Rochester Royals and also Indianapolis Olympians squared off in a (not so epic) video game that wound increase lasting a full time of 78 minutes and six overtimes, good for the longest NBA basketball video game in history. The bout, i m sorry took ar at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, brand-new York, was ultimately won by the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that simply 18 points to be scored in the timeframe that the whole six overtimes. No team scored in the 2nd and 4th overtimes. Why? since the team who began with the ball tended to wait for the clock to operation out before throwing increase the last shot.


From the Rochester Democrat: “ much more than 26 that the 30 overtime minutes, the ball stayed neatly tucked away under an eight of a royal or Olympian player. One or an additional player simply stood there through the score tied, waiting the end the clock for a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers that complained were burned up in ~ the unchallenged freeze. Because that the Olympians, it certain wasn?t good basketball, but it paid off.”


Booooooring. That’s a far cry from the moment Tracy McGrady scored 13 point out in 33 seconds, a feat that actually occurred in a professional basketball league and is quiet 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 virtual (

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

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The sport of basketball has actually come a long way since the pre-shot clock days. I’m not certain we’ll ever see an additional six- or seven-overtime game, and that’s more than likely for the best. The typical points per game per team is the highest that is been due to the fact that the 1980s, for this reason sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

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About the author: Patrick Pinak, employee Writer
Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable will certainly Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras prior to spending two periods writing for major League Baseball. He"s a baseball junkie that spends his days defending Derek Jeter and also the Miami Marlins. He resides in south Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.