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AP Photo/Paul E. Thomson

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s played in pretty lot every country you deserve to think of. The National Basketball Association, i beg your pardon is a member that USA Basketball and recognized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) together the national governing body because that basketball in the joined States, consists of groups each precious billions of dollars. The NBA Finals alone color etc tens of numerous viewers every year.

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Many fans watch basketball since it’s basically nonstop action. But prior to 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 native the half-court line, basketball to be boring and in decrease in the 1950s.


The implementation the the shot clock essentially saved the game and also put fans in the seats when it to be introduced. Before it, NBA teams could hold the round for as lengthy as they’d like as soon as they had actually a lead. The result? last scores prefer 19-18 once the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Dean smith made a living implementing a “four corners” stall offense in college the was unstoppable since there was no shot clock.

The game the basketball and its rule — for which there are plenty — have actually been revised throughout the year to placed the best possible product ~ above the court possible.

That being said, one pushing question many new fans questioning is: exactly how long is a basketball game? the answer varies since different rules exist for the plenty of levels that basketball that incorporate 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 gamings are separated into 4 quarters, each of which critical 12 minute long. That method there are 48 complete minutes of pat in a solitary game. Halftime offers played a 15-minute rest to enable them to remainder in between the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Every overtime period lasts 5 minutes.


The average size of a basketball video game in the NBA lasts 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 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, adding up come 40 full minutes of video game time. Every overtime duration is five minutes long. NCAA women’s university games are played in four 10-minute soldier just choose WNBA games are. Both take about two hrs from start to finish.

Most high school basketball games in the United claims are played in 8-minute quarters, yet that different from state come 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 started implementing a 24-second shooting clock throughout scrimmages. The result was a faster, higher-scoring video game that the NBA officially adopted for the 1954-55 season.

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


The NBA at this time uses a 24-second shot clock. This way teams need to shoot the ball prior to that time expires, or else they lose possession that the ball. The shooting clock resets to 14 secs in the NBA after ~ an attack rebound ~ above a missed shooting or totally free throw that hit the rim.

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

How numerous 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 tried to rate up gamings by limiting the number of timeouts teams have the right to call. As of the 2017-18 season, NBA groups are allowed seven timeouts per game. Every team is likewise only afforded 2 timeouts in the last three minutes, a readjust of speed from once it could speak to three timeouts in the last two minutes.

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

The NCAA permits three 30-second timeouts per game, two of which have the right to roll over right into the 2nd half. In addition, teams gain one 60-second timeout that can be dubbed at any time that the game. High school gamings follow a similar model to college 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 limit now. Look no more than a video game played on January 6, 1951, for simply why the is.

The Rochester Royals and also Indianapolis Olympians squared turn off in a (not for this reason epic) game that wound up lasting a full time that 78 minutes and six overtimes, an excellent 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 at some point won by the Olympians.

What’s horrendous is that just 18 points to be scored in the timeframe of the whole six overtimes. No team score in the 2nd and fourth overtimes. Why? since the team who started with the ball tended to wait for the clock to operation out prior to throwing increase the last shot.


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


Booooooring. That’s a far cry from the time Tracy McGrady score 13 points in 33 seconds, a feat the actually taken place in a professional basketball league and also is quiet 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 online (

As because that college basketball, the longest video game in NCAA men’s basketball history was a similar 75-minute, seven-overtime game between Bradley and also Cincinnati in 1981. That came prior to a shoot clock was imposed as well.

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The sport of basketball has come a long means since the pre-shot clock days. I’m not sure we’ll ever before see another six- or seven-overtime game, and also that’s probably for the best. The median points per video game per team is the highest its been since the 1980s, therefore sit ago and gain the fireworks.

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About the author: Patrick Pinak, employee Writer
Patrick extended the Florida Gators throughout the forgettable will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras prior to spending two seasons writing for major League Baseball. He"s a baseball junkie that spends his job defending Derek Jeter and also the Miami Marlins. He lives in south Florida however his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.