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Many people are interested in basketball, so there are many interesting questions to ask. Do you know: ‘how many quarters are there in a basketball game?’

There are 4 quarters in a basketball game. A typical NBA game consists of four 12-minute quarters; however, the length may vary significantly between games. 

Let’s take a closer look at these basketball terms with Scott Fujita!

How Many Quarters Are There In A Basketball Game?

A basketball game contains four quarters, which are the distinct periods of the game. The play clock starts on how much time is left, depending on the quarter of the game. 

How long are NBA quarters? In the NBA playoffs, the game clock begins at 12 to zero. Due to overtime or other game issues, the playing time may sometimes prolong for five minutes.

People from various walks of life have played basketball games. Children, men, or women can play basketball. It has been performed at colleges, schools, universities, and on a worldwide or national stage.  

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People Divide A Basketball Game Into Quarters

Therefore, basketball has several phases depending on the institution and age differences. Other basketball regulations, such as court tip-off, direction, dribbling, violation, and shooting, are consistent throughout all games. 

View more: How many fouls to foul out in NBA

High School Basketball Game Quarters

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High School Basketball Game May Run Up To 2 Hours

Fouls, breaks, halftimes, and other small moments may make a high school basketball game run up to 2 hours. High school basketball games consist of a 32-minute base session. 

It includes four quarters, each of which lasts 8 minutes. For high school males and females, this term is the same. 

College Basketball Game Quarters

Basketball games in college are lengthier than those in high school. The men’s or women’s college game lasts about two hours and ten minutes in total. The quarter consists of 10 minutes long, and the classic game takes 40 minutes to complete. There is also a 40-minute half-time break. Each half-time is 20 minutes long. 

Related: How many periods are in basketball

University Basketball Game Quarters

The college basketball season is the same as the university, WNBA, and NCAA seasons. All these matches span two hours till finish, similar to a double tennis racquet competition.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the originator of basketball tournaments, championships, and leagues. The NBA is in charge of all basketball regulations and rules. 

Following are the WNBA, NCA, and other basketball leagues across the world. There are four quarters in NBA games as well. Each NBA quarter length has a time limit of 12 minutes. It implies that each NBA game lasts 48 minutes.

Extra Quarters

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Extra Quarters Are A Timeframe

In basketball, there are different quarters. These times appear when a basketball match ends without a winner. These extra quarters add intrigue and suspense to the game. However, there are 5 minutes of rules at this time.

If neither team wins, another additional session will begin to determine the final results, and so on until finding a winner. Each basketball game is split into two halves. The first intermission begins, and the second halftime starts after the second and third quarter.

Both sides have time during the halftime breaks to devise methods for dealing with the other squad. They also utilize this time to focus on their flaws as well as the opponent’s weaknesses.

How Many Quarters Are Played In A Professional Basketball Game? 

A basketball quarter at international basketball level is approximately 10 minutes long. Before commencing a new quarter, there is a two-minute break. During a halt, international basketball players can also call timeouts. Only the coach has the authority to make such a request.

Why Are There Breaks In Between Quarters?

The time between basketball quarters gives the players a chance to recuperate before the next one begins. It also functions as a transition phase, signaling the start of a new game quarter. 

Halftime is a lengthier pause for relaxing, allowing the squad to organize their approach for the coming quarters. It guarantees that the mistakes they made in the previous quarter do not repeat themselves in the future. 

Moreover, breaks also give players a chance to relax or make replacements.

Some Other Basic Basketball Terms

Basketball is a diverse sport with several options. In every season, rules and methods change in the play. Basketball allows players to vary their strategies because it gives them the chance to do so. 

Because of the game’s liberal character, these changes are generally acceptable. Before you begin playing basketball, you should be familiar with the following words. 


Blocking is when an opponent player who does not have the ball makes illegal physical contact with another player. It is a rule infringement that results in a punishment. The severity of the penalty varies depending on the blocking.


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Ball Possession

During ball possession, basketball players are unacceptable to move. It prevents players from switching positions without shooting or passing. 

Dribbling is bouncing the ball on the court while going quicker and faster. Assume you keep the ball in your hands for more than 1 second while moving, then the referee calls for a foul, and the team receives a penalty. 

Held Ball

In a basketball game, a held ball is a form of foul. When two players from opposing teams have a firm grip on the ball, it is “held ball”. They have such powerful grips on the ball that it is nearly complicated for any of them to obtain complete custody of it.

In this case, the referee calls the held ball, and the ball is given to the starting team from the court’s center. A player cannot make and pass a scoring shot if he is stranded at the basket post protected by opposing players. 

Jump Ball

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Jump Ball Is Comparable To Football Kick-Off

A jump ball is comparable to a football kick-off. It occurs at the basketball court’s center when the referee tosses the basketball into the air, and one participant from every team attempts to roll the ball. 

It is responsible for directing the ball towards a fellow player to gain initial possession of the ball. Any basketball game begins with this stage. After the referee calls the held ball, a jump ball appears. It generates a sense of fairness in the game. 


Passing is the way of exchanging possession of the ball between teammates. When dribbling isn’t an option, or you need to go beyond an opponent’s guard, you’ll have to pass.

Here are five primary forms of passing: 

  • The chest pass is when the ball goes from a position directly in front of the player’s chest.
  • The bounce pass is a passing where players forcefully bounce the ball on the court’s floor. It aids in getting the ball past a defensive opponent guard. Close to the goal-post, it is the most commonly utilized method.
  • The roll pass is a passing where the player rolls the ball across the court’s floor. It aids in moving the ball across the opponent’s players from below. However, because enemies readily intercept this passing, it is rarely employed.
  • The hook pass is passing, where a player tosses a basketball from the head side to a teammate. It may even be responsible for passing to a teammate from above—this aids in a diversion in the creation of opponents.
  • The baseball pass is a passing when the ball goes to a teammate from a greater distance. To do a baseball pass, toss the ball using one hand in the same manner as a fastball throw. 

When you’re stuck in an opponent’s defensive line and your teammates are separated by a significant distance, this strategy comes in handy.


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It is a method in which the player moves one or two steps in either direction and maintains the initial foot firmly on the ground simultaneously. It aids in perplexing the opposing players. 


The basketball is bounced back after a collision with the backboard in a missed basket attempt. If the ball stays within the court’s boundaries, players on both sides attempt to seize possession of it. If it is rebounded out of bounds, the referee signals a jump ball in the middle of the court.

Final Thoughts

This article provides you with information: ‘How many quarters are in a basketball game?

So, if you’re watching a broadcast game, the number of quarters they play may instantly tell you if you’re watching an NBA, high school basketball, college basketball, or international basketball game.

Thanks for reading!

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