How long is a basketball game?

How long is a basketball game?

Basketball is a sport that was invented in the United States in 1891. It quickly spread around the world, so that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) was founded in 1932. 4 years later, the basketball has become an Olympic sport. Despite the age of this sport, many people are unaware of its rules, especially the duration of a game.

A basketball game has an official duration that has been established by FIBA. However, this duration is only mandatory for international competitions. Thus, the national championships are not required to respect this duration. Moreover, there are other factors capable of influencing the duration of a basketball game.

What is the official duration of a basketball game?

A basketball game is divided into four quarters. According to FIBA ​​rules, a basketball quarter must last 10 minutes. Therefore, all international competitive basketball games have four four-strokes that each last 10 minutes. Most championships have adopted this duration. Thus in France, the French basketball federation (FFBB) has set the rule that a basketball match is made up of 4 periods of 10 minutes.

As with most sports, a basketball game also has break times. In France, basketball quarters are separated by an interval of 2 minutes, in accordance with the rules of the FFBB. Halftime is between the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Its duration does not vary, regardless of the competition, it is 15 minutes.

What are the factors that can extend the duration of a basketball game?

There are several factors capable of influencing the duration of a basketball game. These factors are:

  • Whistles  : each time the referee whistles in a basketball game, the clock stops. He starts timing again when the referee blows his whistle to announce the resumption of play.
  • Time outs  : these are periods during which the coach of a team requests a stoppage of play to change his tactics, or advise his team. The duration of a time out varies depending on the competition. In France and in international competition, a time out lasts 1 minute.
  • Extra  time: takes place when both teams have the same number of points at the end of the match. Extra time lasts 5 minutes. There is no limited number of overtimes for a basketball game. There may be as many overtime periods as the tie is not broken.

How long does a basketball match last in other competitions?

The duration of the game and the game intervals in basketball vary according to the competitions. Many leagues have rules similar to those of FIBA. Thus, the duration of the quarters in these championships is 10 minutes. However, there are also championships in which the duration of the match differs from that of an international competition. This is particularly the case of the National Basketball Association (NBA).  Let’s have a look some other articles: Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos | National Stadium | Indianapolis Motor Speedway

In the NBA, a quarter is 12 minutes long. The time out period is 75 seconds. In the American university championship (NCAA), the basketball game is played in 2 periods of 20 minutes. The length of a basketball game also varies depending on the level of the competition. Thus, cadets and minors can play matches of 8 minutes per quarter. Basically, a professional basketball game lasts between 2 hours and 2 hours 30 minutes.


Officially, the duration of a basketball game is 40 minutes. The match is divided into four quarters of 10 minutes. However, certain factors such as timeouts, whistles, and overtime may extend the duration of the game. It should also be noted that this duration varies according to the competitions.

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