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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s play in pretty much every nation you have the right to think of. The National Basketball Association, i beg your pardon is a member the USA Basketball and recognized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the nationwide governing body because that basketball in the joined States, is composed of groups each worth billions that dollars. The NBA Finals alone paint, etc tens of numerous viewers every year.

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


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

The game the basketball and its rule — for which there room plenty — have actually been revised transparent the years to placed the best feasible product on the court possible.

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

How lengthy Is an NBA Basketball Game?

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NBA gamings are divided into four quarters, every of which critical 12 minute long. That way there are 48 total minutes of pat in a solitary game. Halftime provides played a 15-minute rest to enable them to remainder in in between the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Every overtime period lasts 5 minutes.


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

How lengthy Is a college Basketball Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball gamings are slightly different. NCAA men’s basketball games consists of two 20-minute halves, including up to 40 total minutes of video game time. Every overtime period is five minutes long. NCAA women’s university games are played in four 10-minute quarters just choose WNBA games are. Both take around two hrs from start to finish.

Most high institution basketball gamings in the United claims are play in 8-minute quarters, however that varies from state come state.

How The shoot Clock adjusted 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 started implementing a 24-second shot clock throughout scrimmages. The an outcome was a faster, higher-scoring game that the NBA officially adopted for the 1954-55 season.

The shot clock fully revolutionized the game. Clues soared, as did attendance. Some claimed it conserved basketball, others said it rescued it. One of two people way, everyone was in favor the it.


The NBA at this time uses a 24-second shoot clock. This method teams should shoot the ball before that time expires, or rather they shed possession of the ball. The shoot clock resets come 14 secs in the NBA after an offensive rebound top top a missed shoot or complimentary throw that hit the rim.

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

How countless Timeouts room In a Basketball Game?

The video game clock stop a totality lot in the NBA, i beg your pardon is why the league has tried to rate up games by limiting the number of timeouts teams can call. As of the 2017-18 season, NBA teams are enabled seven timeouts per game. Each team is likewise only afforded two timeouts in the final three minutes, a readjust of pace from as soon as it could contact three timeouts in the final two minutes.

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

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


#DidYouKnow in january 1951,Indianapolis Olympians & Rochester Royals fought over 6 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 that season in a trembling seven-game collection over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA background (
NBAHistory) may 4, 2019


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

The Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians squared turn off in a (not therefore epic) game that wound increase lasting a total time that 78 minutes and six overtimes, good for the longest NBA basketball video game in history. The bout, i beg your pardon took place at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, brand-new York, was ultimately won through the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that just 18 points were scored in the timeframe the the whole six overtimes. Neither team scored in the second and fourth overtimes. Why? since the team who started with the sphere tended come wait for the clock to operation out prior to throwing up the last shot.


From the Rochester Democrat: “ much more than 26 that the 30 overtime minutes, the ball stayed neatly tucked away under an arm of a imperial or Olympian player. One or another player just stood there v the score tied, waiting the end the clock for a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers who complained were melted up in ~ the unchallenged freeze. For the Olympians, it sure wasn?t great basketball, but it paid off.”


Booooooring. That’s a much cry from the time Tracy McGrady scored 13 point out in 33 seconds, a feat that actually occurred in a expert basketball league and is still remarkable.

The Longest game in NCAA History


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

— OTBS virtual (

As because that college basketball, the longest video game in NCAA men’s basketball background was a similar 75-minute, seven-overtime game in between Bradley and also Cincinnati in 1981. That came before a shooting 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 sure we’ll ever see an additional six- or seven-overtime game, and that’s probably for the best. The average points per video game per team is the highest that been due to the fact that the 1980s, so sit ago and reap the fireworks.

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