How long is an NBA Game

How long is an NBA Game? [Detailed Guide]

Professional basketball events and tournaments come with a specific amount of time, and all teams participating in the game are restricted from obeying the rules and regulations. However, there are different types of factors that can impact and extend their run time.

How long is an NBA game, and how long does a basketball game come with a similar meaning. Basketball games are different in length, and the international basketball federation and other regulating bodies are accountable for knowing these lengths.

How long is an NBA Game

So if you want to know how long an NBA game is, keep reading this valuable information.

Let’s dive into the section to know:

  • How long is an NBA game quarter
  • NBA games during breaks
  • NBA game lasts for a year
  • How long are basketball games for high schools
  • How long are basketball games for college
  • How long does an NBA game for the finals lasts
  • Time outs in the basketball game
  • Use of shot clock in a basketball game
  • Factors affecting basketball game

How long is an NBA game quarter?

Associations and leagues regulate the basketball game in most countries. The playing time or duration for basketball depends on the organization under which the game is held. To find out how long is an NBA game quarter, check out the following calculation in terms of time.

NCAA college games: two halves of t20 minutes having 15 minutes half time

NBA games: 12 minutes with 15 minutes’ halftime

FIBA games: 10 minutes with 15 minutes halftime

NFHS High school games: 8 minutes with 10 minutes half time

How long do NBA games last, including breaks?

Each basketball tournament is regulated by the NBA associations and is played in four quarters consisting of 12 minutes, which comes around 48 minutes in total. However, this time must be added in the halftime that lasts for 15 minutes as there are constant breaks for many reasons like injuries, fouls, and free throws.

The average length of NBA games by year

The average length of the NBA game by year lasts for 48 minutes, further divided into 4 quarters. But this prescribed time does not indicate much about how much the teams take to play as these 48 hours is a net playing time.

How long are basketball games in high school?

The basketball games for high school comes around for an hour and 15 minutes to an hour or 30 minutes to an hour. For those passionate about playing basketball and who want to have more experience in high school basketball, reach in school before the scheduled tip-off and practice warm-ups.

How long are college basketball games?

Historically, the longest college basketball game comes with a slightly shorter time but was very impressive. The tournament was held between Bradley Braves and Cincinnati Bearcats on December 21, 1981, and was won by Bearcats 75 to 73.

The match was followed by 75 minutes and only 3 minutes behind the historic Rochester Royals and Olympians. Excitingly, the innovative basketball game led to another record in which Bobby Austin and Bradley Center Donald Reese played for 73 minutes on the playing court, a record that stands to date.

Use of shot clock in basketball

every game comes with rules and regulations regarding playing time and many more. In basketball, the use of a shot clock defines the amount of time in which each team has to score a legal shot after having control of the ball. The shot clock starts when the team gets control of the ball. The ball should leave the hand of the owner before shot clock time has gone. If the ball is still in the air and the clock sounds and the ball goes in, it will be scored.

If the shot clock sounds before the owning team tries a goal, the team is considered to be a violated team in terms of the shot clock and thus leads to the possession of the ball to the opponent team.

The duration of the shot clock is different for different leagues and associations:

  • NBA games: 24 seconds
  • FIBA games: 14 or 24 seconds after an offensive rebound
  • NCAA college games: 30 seconds for women and 35 seconds for men
  • NFHS high school games: 30 to 35 seconds

How long does an NBA game for the finals last?

For the final events in a basketball game, if you count for the overtime in the game, which ranges from 5 minutes to 3 minutes per team, depending on the event of the game. The game should end up beyond one and a half hours. So the average time to end the basketball game is around 2 hours.

Time outs in the basketball game

In every country of the world, there are different rules for timeouts. Each basketball team can have a limited number of timeouts while playing.

The timeouts in the game offers:

  • Players can take a rest and get a sync before play
  • Coaches to conversant with their team players
  • For both teams to make substitutions and alterations

The rules for time pout are different in different leagues and associations

NCCA games: The time out allowed for the NCCA team is for 30 seconds and 60 seconds out for broadcast games

High school games: the high school team members can have five in per game, two 30 seconds timeouts, and three 60-second timeouts. If any team wants to have overtime, then each team can get additional time out for 60 seconds.

NBA Games: in NBA games, each team is permitted to have seven charged timeouts, which is limited to four timeouts in the fourth round for 75 seconds. Each overtime period also comes with a limit of two timeouts too.

FIBA Game: each team is allowed to have two timeouts while the first half goes on and three timeouts in the second half, and it lasts for 1 minute. The team can get full two timeouts when the clock indicates 2:00 or less than this in the fourth quarter and one time out in each overtime. The unused times of any team are not to be continued in the next half or overtime.

Factors that affect the length of the basketball game

The basketball game is undoubtedly very interesting, but there are many factors out there that greatly impact the length of the game.

Half time: In NBA and college basketball games, the half-time period extends and comes with fifteen minutes. The game cannot extend halftime as the game is already considered to be lengthy for those viewers who are enjoying the sport on TV because of commercial breaks that go on air during halftime breaks.

Over time, basketball also affects the playing during the match. The NBA basketball games do not restrict the number of overtime that each team can play. The overtime period in WNBA, NBA, and FIBA  is for 5 minutes in length, and each team can get a hand full of extra timeouts or overtime. There is no limit for overtime and timeouts for men’s and women’s tournaments.

Free throws, injuries, and fouls: during the game, the game clock stops for player injury, fouls, free throws, and out-of-bound balls. It will remain stopped until the ball returns to the hand of the player or with the throw-in or jump-in the ball.

How long is an average NBA game?

The average game time for NBA games usually lasts 2 to 2.5 hours. However, that is not a fixed time for all associations and leagues as these are different in different countries.

Is an NBA game 48 minutes?

Each NBA game comprises 48 total minutes of playing time. If the teams are allowed to play at the end of the fourth quarter, a 5 minutes overtime period should be played.

What was the longest NBA game?

The longest NBA game occurred between Rochester Royals and Indianapolis teams in New York at Edgerton Park Arena on January 6, 1951. The winner of the game was the Olympians 75 to 73, and the time for the tournament was 78 minutes as the game was six overtime games and was mentioned in the Guinness book of world record.


So to wrap up the article on How long is an NBA game? You have learned all about the duration of the gameplay. Whether you are a beginner, a professional player, or a fan of the fantastic sport, knowing the rules, regulations, and the time it is played is essential.

Although it is hard to define the exact duration of the game, it is a better option to tell in terms of minutes. The game length is different for men and women as described by the international associations and federations.

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