Basketball games are always attention-grabbing events at any level. Fans are not only interested in professional tournaments but also eager for college basketball.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the organizer of the tournament for young basketball players. Depending on the level of the match, the time will vary.
How long is a college basketball game? The total game time is about 2 hours 10 minutes.
A college basketball game takes place in two halves of 20 minutes each. The half-time interval for NCAA games is 15 minutes. The college basketball overtime is 5 minutes.
If you are still curious about the durations of different tournaments, let’s find out with Scott Fujita in this article.
Men’s college basketball game
How Long Is A College Basketball Game On TV?
With just two 20-minute halves each and a 15-minute break, the standard length of a college basketball game should be 55 minutes.
However, the total length of the match when broadcast on television is often much longer than that. Most NCAA matches last for 2 hours and 10 minutes.
With that total, we have 40 minutes for actual play, two 30-second timeouts for each team, and three overall timeouts. The total time is 48 minutes.
One exciting thing you should note is that college games are usually 8 minutes less long than an NBA game. Even so, the average real-time NCAA match duration is less than a few minutes. The number of timeouts and the frequency with which teams take the free throws during and after college basketball games are the main contributors to this problem.
Unlike NBA games, men’s college basketball games have no quarters. It means fouls will last for an inning and not much reset time. The more fouls a player commits, the longer the game lasts and increases the game’s length.
Each men’s college basketball team will have four timeouts in a basketball game. Three of them lasted 30 seconds, and only one timeout lasted 60 seconds.
They had to use a timeout in the first half, or they would have missed it. The second half stipulates that each team can stop the game only three times.
In addition to timeouts and halftime breaks, four sets of TV waiting times are scheduled for each round. Their name is stoppage and appears at 16, 12, 8, and 4 of each game. If there is no stoppage at one of these four milestones, it will be ignored.
How Long Will A Women’s College Basketball Game Last?
Unlike a men’s college basketball game, women’s matches usually last for 2 hours with four 10-minute quarters.
Women’s basketball games used to last as long as men’s. In 2015, new regulations changed the format of the game. The use of four quarters is entirely consistent with other major leagues. These matches also include a break between the 2nd and 3rd half.
During the game, each team is given about four timeouts, similar to the men’s game. Even so, the women’s groups have no limit on when they can use them.
The Longest NCAA Basketball Games Of All Time
In addition to the longest NBA game, some people are curious about the longest NCAA game in history. Let’s find out in this section.
Bradley Vs. Cincinnati
Bradley Vs. Cincinnati (1981)
The basketball match between Bradley and Cincinnati on December 21, 1981, was the longest NCAA match. After six innings, the two teams still kept the score even. It was only in the 7th extra time that Cincinnati gained the upper hand over Bradley.
This match lasts for about 4 hours, from 19:30 to 11:20. Interestingly, the score of this match was relatively low, 75-73.
Connecticut Vs. Syracuse (2009)
On March 12, 2009, Connecticut faced Syracuse in a match that lasted until sixth overtime in the quarterfinals of the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Syracuse was the winning team with a score of 127-117. The match lasted a total of 3 hours and 46 minutes. You can watch the footage of this college game here.
How Long Is An NBA Game?
A typical NBA game usually lasts from 2 to 2.5 hours. This number is not fixed because many factors can directly affect the time of the match.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) rules each round of an NBA basketball game to be about 12 minutes. With four games, the total playing time will be up to 48 minutes. The extra time of these matches lasted 5 minutes.
There will be a 15-minute break time between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but they are only theoretical. Some issues will cause a basketball game to last longer than expected, up to about 2 hours in actual play. Compared to FIFA games, these matches last longer.
How Long Will The FIBA Games Take Place?
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) stipulates that each basketball game will have four quarters. With a total playing time of 40 minutes, each basketball quarter will last 10 minutes. We can see that the duration of FIBA basketball games is slightly shorter than that of NBA games.
This tournament also sets the following rules on break time:
- Each team is given 20 minutes to prepare before the start of the competition
- There will be a short break between the first and second half, lasting 2 minutes
- In order for both teams to have time to change the pitch and move on to the next half, the break between the 2nd and 3rd half is 15 minutes.
- The break between the 3rd and 4th quarters is 2 minutes.
- Extra time will have a break of 2 minutes.
- If both teams play four quarters but still don’t find a winner, they go into overtime periods. The team with the most points in the first extra-time wins.
- In the opposite case, the two teams will continue to play in the following extra time.
When the FIBA alarm clock goes off to end the round, the halftime break will begin.
How Long Does A High School Basketball Game Last?
High school basketball game
According to NFHS regulations, high school basketball games will consist of four quarters. Each round will last 8 minutes, with a 10-minute break in between.
Usually, people don’t use shot clocks in high school games. However, there is still a rule that mercifully turns the game clock into a running clock if a team leads by a specified number of points in the second half. Only a few states apply this rule.
Each state has different regulations, so there will be other criteria for regulating the time and managing clocks.
A junior high basketball game lasts shorter at 1 hour 30 minutes. These matches also cover four quarters with 6 minutes each quarter. In some states, the game time for each quarter can be as long as 8 minutes.
The break is 10 minutes long, and there is usually no shot clock for junior high basketball games. If the allotted time runs out and the two teams still tie, there will be an extra time of 5 minutes.
How Long Does A Youth Basketball Game Last?
Youth basketball games will last for about an hour. These matches usually consist of 2 halves of 20 minutes each. Unlike other leagues, the youth basketball game uses a running clock. This type of clock will not stop except for halftime breaks and timeouts.
The interval between sets is about 10 minutes. Also, when a team calls for timeouts, the match time will be extended by 4 minutes. With the primary audience being children, we have to consider a period to settle down and hold their positions.
Youth basketball games usually do not have over time, so that the score can be a tie in some situations.
On average, how long is a basketball game? It will be challenging to give a general answer as the time of each match will vary based on the tournament rules. A playoff game also usually lasts longer than a regular-season one because of the longer promotional period.
A college basketball game lasts from 1.5 hours to more than 2 hours, depending on many factors. Knowing about the playing time will make it easier for the audience to observe and follow the game.