How Many Periods In Basketball Game? NBA and NCAA (2022)

NBA VS. NCAA Basketball Game Period

Have you ever observed how many periods in a basketball game there are? They are made up of either four periods or two halves, depending on the basketball’s level?

Being unfamiliar with each league and being new to the game can make this confusing. This article aims to clarify any misunderstandings regarding the number of periods played in each league.

A basketball game usually consists of two halves, each with two periods. Between quarters, teams have a little rest, and after the second period, they get a longer halftime break.

How Long Is a Basketball Game in Total?

how many periods in basketball

Basketball games can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the league. For example, there are various rules for the NBA, colleges, and high school. The NBA, WNBA, NCAA, and high school basketball minutes will be discussed further.

NBA games are the longest, running 48 minutes. NCAA games for both men and women last 40 minutes. WNBA games last 40 minutes as well.

Basketball competitions for The Olympics and all other tournaments are 40 minutes long when sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). High school basketball games typically last 32 minutes, but the length also depends on the league rules.

In a Basketball Game, How Many Periods Are There?


Each of the four periods (often referred to as quarters) in an NBA game lasts exactly 12 minutes. After the first and third periods, the players are given a brief two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minute break. Whether or not the game is broadcast nationwide determines how long the break will be.

The players are given a 15-minute halftime break following the end of the second period before the third quarter starts. While the coaches plan their second-half strategies, the players have a chance to relax and rehydrate during the interval.

NCAA Men’s

Basketball games played in colleges differ slightly from those played in the NBA. There are only two halves of basketball played in a game of NCAA Men’s Basketball instead of four periods. Since there aren’t as many breaks in play for players to take a break off the court, this alternative style constantly tests the players’ stamina.

Each half lasts for twenty minutes, and the first half is followed by a 15-minute break for halftime. Unless the game is tied and goes into overtime, a men’s collegiate game lasts 40 minutes.

NCAA Women’s

The regulations for men’s and women’s college basketball are different. Four 10-minute quarters make up an NCAA women’s game. In the NCAA Women’s season of 2015–2016, this new regulation went into effect. Women’s college basketball previously followed the men’s format of two 20-minute halves.

Women’s games also have a 15-minute halftime. Women’s matches go 40 minutes in total, much as the men’s games, except if overtime is required.

How Many Periods Are There in College Basketball?

how many periods in basketball

Four periods are only used in NCAA women’s basketball matches. All NCAA men’s basketball game consists of two halves.

It’s interesting to note that during the 1951–1952 and 1954–1955 seasons, men’s basketball in the NCAA tried out four quarters. After each season, the rule was quickly reverted back to two twenty-minute halves.

What About Basketball in High School?

Mostly, the length of a high school basketball game is 32 minutes. Each game consists of four eight-minute segments. There is a 10- to 15-minute halftime break following the end of the second period.

how many periods in basketball

How Long Does Overtime Last?

If a game is tied after regulation, there are five-minute overtime sessions in the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Men’s, and NCAA Women’s basketball games. A four-minute overtime period is used in high school basketball.

How Long Does It Take for a Basketball Game to Finish?

Have you ever noticed how much quicker it is to watch a high school game live than an NBA game on TV? A high school game typically lasts one and a half hours, whereas an NBA game can last up to 2.5 hours. Here are a few explanations for that.

how many periods in basketball


NBA games last 48 minutes, as was already noted, but high school basketball games last only 32 minutes. Although it may not seem like much, those 16 minutes add up.

Mathematically speaking, nevertheless, that means that NBA games are 50% longer than high school games.

TV Breaks

TV timeouts are another factor contributing to NBA games lasting longer than high school basketball matches. Due to the fact that every NBA game is shown on television, numerous commercial breaks are expected.

With the unusual exception of two strong programs on ESPN every once in a while, high school basketball games are never televised.

Amount of Timeouts

Seven timeouts are allocated to each side during an NBA game. They have up to 75 seconds for each timeout.

There are only five timeouts permitted to each side during a high school basketball game, and two of them are only 30 seconds long. In terms of the amount of timeouts alone, that means an NBA game has four more play interruptions than a high school game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long are NBA timeouts?

Since the 2017–18 season, NBA timeouts have been 75 seconds long, changing the previously used short and long timeout formats.

How long is NBA quarter?

Four quarters are used in basketball games. In the NBA, a match lasts 48 minutes total because each quarter is 12 minutes long. FIBA events, on the other hand, have 40-minute games with 10-minute quarters.

How many rounds are in the NBA?

The NBA Draft has only had two rounds since 1989, which is fewer than the entry draft round of other US sports leagues, which is typically at least seven rounds long.