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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is just one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s play in pretty lot every nation you deserve to think of. The National Basketball Association, i m sorry is a member the USA Basketball and recognized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) together the national governing body for basketball in the joined States, consists of groups each worth billions the dollars. The NBA Finals alone draws tens of millions of viewers every year.

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


The implementation the the shot clock essentially saved the game and put fans in the seats when it to be introduced. Prior to it, NBA teams might hold the sphere for as lengthy as they’d like once they had actually a lead. The result? final scores choose 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 shot clock.

The game that basketball and also its rule — for which there space plenty — have been revised throughout the years to placed the best possible product on the court possible.

That gift said, one pushing question many new fans ask is: just how long is a basketball game? that answer varies since different rules exist because that the numerous levels that basketball that encompass professional basketball, Olympic basketball, university basketball, high school and youth basketball.

How long Is an NBA Basketball Game?

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

NBA games are divided into four quarters, every of which last 12 minutes long. That way there are 48 complete minutes of pat in a solitary game. Halftime gives played a 15-minute break to permit them to remainder in between the second and third quarter. Each overtime period lasts five minutes.


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

How long Is a college Basketball Game?

AP Photo/Richard Shiro

College basketball gamings are contempt different. NCAA men’s basketball games consist of 2 20-minute halves, adding up to 40 total minutes of video game time. Every overtime period is 5 minutes long. NCAA women’s university games room played in 4 10-minute quarters just prefer WNBA games are. Both take around two hours from begin to finish.

Most high institution basketball games in the United states are play in 8-minute quarters, yet that different from state to state.

How The shooting 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 also general manager Leo Farris began implementing a 24-second shoot clock during 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. Points soared, together did attendance. Some claimed it conserved basketball, others stated it rescued it. Either way, everyone was in favor the it.


The NBA currently uses a 24-second shoot clock. This method teams should shoot the ball prior to that time expires, or rather they shed possession of the ball. The shot clock resets come 14 seconds in the NBA after ~ an offensive rebound on a missed shooting or free throw the hit the rim.

The nationwide Collegiate strong Association (NCAA) currently offers a 30-second shooting clock because that both men and also women’s basketball matches. The league introduced a 45-second shoot clock in 1985 and reduced it come 35 2nd in 1993 prior to landing ~ above a 30-second shoot clock in 2015.

How many Timeouts are In a Basketball Game?

The game clock stops a entirety lot in the NBA, which is why the league has actually tried to speed up games by limiting the number of timeouts teams have the right to call. Together of the 2017-18 season, NBA groups are allowed seven timeouts per game. Every team is likewise only afforded two timeouts in the last three minutes, a change of pace from once it could contact three timeouts in the last two minutes.

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

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


#DidYouKnow in january 1951,Indianapolis Olympians & Rochester Royals combated over 6 OVERTIMES to decide the winner? pic.twitter.com/aoiv9dhyZh

— NBAIndia (
NBAHistory to be 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 that season in a thrilling seven-game series over the
NYKnicks pic.twitter.com/bfI3XFORcx

— NBA history (
NBAHistory) may 4, 2019


There’s a factor the NBA has actually stricter time constraints now. Watch no further than a video game played top top January 6, 1951, for just why that is.

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

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


From the Rochester Democrat: “ more than 26 the the 30 overtime minutes, the round stayed neatly tucked far under an arm of a royal or Olympian player. One or one more player simply stood there with the score tied, waiting out the clock for a last-second ?nothing-to-lose? shot. ? Customers that complained were melted up at the unchallenged freeze. For the Olympians, it certain wasn?t an excellent basketball, yet it paid off.”


Booooooring. That’s a much cry from the time Tracy McGrady score 13 clues in 33 seconds, a feat the actually taken place in a expert basketball league and also is still remarkable.

The Longest game in NCAA History


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

— OTBS virtual (

As for 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. The came before a shoot clock was enforced as well.

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The sports of basketball has actually come a long means since the pre-shot clock days. I’m not certain we’ll ever before see an additional six- or seven-overtime game, and also that’s probably 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 gain the fireworks.

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About the author: Patrick Pinak, staff Writer
Patrick extended the Florida Gators throughout the forgettable will 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 stays in south Florida yet his love belongs in Gainesville, Florida.