What Is the Average Length of an NBA Game?

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Like other professional sports, National Basketball Association (NBA) games are divided into specific time periods. However, the actual length of the game always exceeds the time on the clock because of things like timeouts and commercials. The average length of an NBA game is two hours and 11 minutes as of 2018. Other basketball games, such as women’s professional games and college, high school and youth basketball, have different lengths, which depend more on shorter quarters and things such as fouls.

How Long Is an NBA Game?

The actual playing time in an NBA game is 48 minutes, which is divided into four quarters that are 12 minutes each. If there is a tie, there is also an overtime period, which lasts for five minutes. If the game is still tied after five minutes, another five-minute overtime is played. There is no limit to the number of overtime periods. Many times an NBA game can last two and a half hours long. 

What Affects NBA Game Length?

Many things can affect the length of an NBA game, such as timeouts, out-of-bounds balls, fouls and halftime, which is 15 minutes. There's also a two-minute break between each quarter. NBA playoffs, including the finals, are usually longer. For NBA and some college games, there are also commercial breaks, which do not always correspond to team time-outs. 

How Long Is a College Basketball Game?

Unlike the four quarters in the NBA, college basketball games have two halves that last 20 minutes each. Many of these games are also televised and the actual length is based on many other factors. Overall, the average length of a college basketball game is the same as the NBA, roughly 2 hours and 10 minutes. College games also have 5-minute overtime periods and 15-minute halftimes.

How Long Is a High School Basketball Game?

High school basketball is similar to NBA basketball, except everything is shorter. Quarters are only eight minutes each, and halftimes are 10 minutes. Without halftime, the technical length of a high school basketball game is 32 minutes. However, other factors, such as fouls, can affect game length. An average high school varsity basketball game length is 90 minutes. 

How Long Is a Women’s Professional Basketball Game?

Women also play professional basketball, and their league is called the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Quarters are slightly shorter and are 10 minutes long. Because quarters are slightly shorter, so is the overall average length, which is roughly two hours. Just like the NBA, women’s game also have halftimes and fouls, which can lengthen the game. Als, many women’s games are televised. 

How Long Is a Youth Basketball Game?

There is one notable difference when it comes to youth basketball, which is what makes games so much shorter (only an hour in length). A youth game generally has two 20-minute halves, just like college basketball. However, youth games almost always have a clock that never stops. This running clock keeps ticking throughout the length of the game, except for halftime and timeouts. As such, these games are considerably shorter.