how long is a college basketball game

how long is a college basketball game

How Long Is a College Basketball Game?

College basketball games have been a popular tradition of American college sports for many years. With the games being such a fan favorite, many wonder just how long a college basketball game takes.

Game Length and Required Lengths

A regulation NCAA Division I men’s or women’s basketball game can range from 35 minutes to around two hours. The standard length for a college basketball game must be 40 minutes if two halves are played or 20 minutes if one half is played.

Pregame and Game Clock Time

Pregame warm-up activities and layup lines can last up to 15 minutes. A regulation college basketball game also has a clock that runs between 20 and 35 minutes depending on the type of game (men’s/women’s and conference). This clock time can be reduced if teams are struggling to have the ball inbounded or to get off the court.

Halftime and Overtime Lengths

Halftime typically lasts 15 minutes. During this period, teams discuss strategies and take a break. Overtime periods can last up to five minutes and are played in ascending order. In the event of a tie after all five minutes, an extra period is played.

Factors That Affect Game Length

The following factors all affect the length of a college basketball game:

  • Number of timeouts: Each team is allowed to call up to four timeouts per half and the clock is stopped each time a timeout is called, adding to the total game time.
  • Fouls and free throws: When fouls occur, the clock stops and the fouled player is allowed to take free throws. This adds additional time to the game.
  • Injuries and substitutions: If a player is injured, the clock stops until a substitution can be made, adding to the total game time.
  • Pace of play: Persons the pace at which players move the ball can have an effect on the time it takes to play a game.

In conclusion, The total length of a college basketball game can range from 35 minutes to two hours, depending on the game, the teams, and other factors. With the addition of pregame warm-ups and stoppages of play, games can take longer than the required amount of time, making a college basketball game one of the most time-consuming college sports.



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