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How Long is A Basketball Game?

The basketball game can be longer depending upon the timeouts, fouls, injuries, commercial breaks, and other sudden breakdowns. The game may take up to 1 to 3 hours to end depending on the league and the total calculation level like NBA, NCAA, college, High School, and 3×3.

How long are NBA games ?

NBA games or professional games may last long till 2-3 hours. The game clock will be of four quarters of each 12-minutes  with a 15-Minute Break and 1 minute 15 seconds in each 7 timeout. There is also a rule of an additional 5 minutes for the overtime periods if the game goes on the tie. Besides these, the time may also be lengthy depending upon the injuries foul counts, and other sudden breakdowns.

How long is WNBA game ? 

Women’s NBA may long last for 2-2.5 hours depending upon the game. Like NBA, the basketball team also has a game time of 4 quarter period and includes 5 minutes for the overtime period. The WNBA has 15-minute halftimes and 1 minute 15 seconds in every 7 timeouts. The game also may be lengthy vary upon commercial breaks, injures, and fouls. 

How long is NCAA/ College Basketball Game?

NCCA or College basketball game has different time intervals than other basketball games. It is divided into two halves each containing 20 minutes. NCAA has a 15-minute halftime break and is given after the first 20 minutes of the game. NCAA game has a 35-seconds clock for men and a 30-second shot clock for women. Like NBA, NCAA also has 5-minute overtime periods.  

How long is School basketball Game?

School game may last till 1.45 to 2 hours depending upon the game. The school team has four quarters of 8 minutes each in-game of basketball. It also has a 10-minute half-time after the second quarter ends. The shot clock for the High School Basketball game is 24 seconds and has 4 minutes of overtime in case the game goes on a tie.

3×3 Basketball

On three three-game, there are 4 players in every 2 teams. The game is conducted only on half of the basketball court and is also the fastest game. 3X3 basketball is played for a total of 10 minutes. The clock stops like the regular rule on how the 5×5 basketball game does. If the team scores 21 before the 10 minutes then the team wins the game and time is dismissed. If the game goes on overtime then a 1-minute time will be added for the game. 1 minute lasts until the team scores two points and wins the game. The gap of points between two teams must be at least 2 to win the game in overtime. The shot clock between 3 on 3 games is 12 seconds.

Some of the European and International games use a 10-minute quarter instead as mention by FIBA rules.

Reasons for lengthy basketball game.

Clock run/stop

When the ball gets out of the court, the clock will be stopped including the shot clock and main game clock by the referee. When a foul is called the clock is stopped. The clock won’t run at the free-throw shot until and unless foul shots are attempted and unless the ref call for the clock. During the time the period, the main clock is stopped and time out the clock is on the run. When the ball is in the play the clock will always run.

Foul and Violation Shots After a foul is called, the clock is stopped and the ref walks towards the official table to report the fault made by the player. After reporting to the official desk, the players line up at the free-throw line if it’s a shooting foul or offensive player has to go to the sideline and start the play by passing the ball in. If it is shooting foul than two bonus shot is given for the sufferer player. The player must shoot the ball within 10 seconds after the ball is given to shoot by the ref. In case of violation or intentional foul the ref also may decide for two free throws and give side ball in advance for the victim team. The ref can also disqualify or send the team out of the court in terms of flagrant calls.

Video Review

Nowadays in every major sports video reviews are done in some cases where referees can’t see and later examine the call. So, the NBA also does the same and takes a view on the camera for the proper decision.

Commercial Timeouts

For the benefit of the program or promotion basketball games also run breaks while there is time out or half time. Due to advertisements people get to know about the league and get more viewers for the game. Most of the media are also the sponsor of the game, team jerseys, etc…


In the basketball game, the coach can substitute their player much as they want. When there are any calls and the ref stops the game then the ref signals for the substitution.


Once the NBA had 18 timeouts throughout the game and referee timeout was almost more than 20 times in 1 game. Since then the rule is changed and total time outs are reduced to 7. Each timeout consists of 75 seconds for a game while each team must take on every quarter. The teams are allowed to take 2 timeouts in the final quarter of the last 2 minutes of play. Team also gets 2 timeouts if the game goes on overtime. One time outs for each team and 2 for Advertisers or TV. Time outs are taken at 6:59 and 3:59 after the dead ball for 30 seconds. There will be 4 timeouts for 75 seconds and 2 timeouts for 30 seconds in College/NCAA games. High school basketball allows five timeouts per game, with three 60-second and two 30-second timeouts.


Halftimes in basketball games are made for players to rest and get guides from coaches. They make plays and work on their strategies with their team to win the game. In college games, half-time is in between the first and second halves. In other basketball games, half breaks are given in between the 2nd and third quarters in every game. In this period the Tv advertiser and other performers conduct programs for entertainment and promotion.

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