how long basketball game last

how long basketball game last

How Long Does a Basketball Game Last?

Basketball is a popular sport played around the world. One of the questions many new players have is just how long the game actually lasts.

Professional Game Length

At the professional level, NBA (National Basketball Association) games last 48 minutes total. This is broken up into four 12 minutes segments, also known as quarters.

High School and College Games

High school and college basketball games also last 48 minutes total, however the segments are broken up differently. Instead of four 12 minutes segments, there are two 20 minutes segments, known as halfs. The teams take a break of around 15 minutes between the two halves.

Youth Game Length

Youth games last different lengths of time depending on the age group.

  • 4th Grade & Below: Games last for 8 minutes
  • 5th-6th Grade: Games last for 10 minutes
  • 7th-8th Grade: Games last for 12 minutes
  • High School Freshmen: Games last for 16 minutes


In the event of a tie after the regulation game time has ended, the game will go into overtime. The amount of overtime periods varies depending on the game. In NBA games, the teams will play overtime segments of five minutes. In college and high school games, overtime periods can range from one to five minutes. All youth games move directly to a shootout to determine the winner if a tie occurs.

The length of a basketball game depends on the level of play. Professional games last 48 minutes total, with four 12 minutes quarters. High school and college games last for 48 minutes with two 20 minute halves. Lastly, youth games range from 8 minutes for 4th grade and below, all the way up to 16 minutes for high school freshmen games.



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