Before you go to watch a basketball game, you need to know how long the game lasts. As for basketball, the length of the game depends upon the type of competition. There are different types of completion matches in basketball. The length of the match is different for each competition.

For example, the NBA basketball match is longer than another level of basketball matches. If you want to know the length of each game as per levels, we can guide you. In this post, we will discuss how long do basketball game last as per levels.

How long do basketball game last based on levels?

As we know, there are different levels of basketball. NBA and WNBA makeup professional basketball games. Only the best players play in this league. Apart from the NBA, there are other levels like FIBA, NCAA, etc. Here, we will explain each level’s timeframe in detail.

  • NBA (National Basketball Association): Being the highest level of competition in basketball, NBA matches last longer than all the other leagues or levels of a basketball game. The average time of an NBA match is 2 to 2.5 hours. There are rare cases where a match can last up to 3 hours in NBA. In 2018, the average NBA game timespan was 2.11 hours.
  • WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association): After NBA, there comes WNBA. It is the same as the NBA but with female players. WNBA matches last up to 2 hours approximately. 
  • FIBA (Federation International Basketball Association): These games are shorter when you compare it with NBA and WNBA. FIBA games last up to 2 hours. 
  • Men’s NCAA: Men’s NCAA basketball games can last approximately 2 hours.
  • Women’s NCAA: Women’s NCAA basketball games can last approximately 2 hours, same as men’s matches.
  • College Basketball: College level basketball matches have a time span of 2 hours.
  • High School: High School basketball games are not as competitive as other higher-level games. The average times of a high school match are 1.45 to 2 hours.
  • Youth: It is the lowest level of a basketball game. The average time span of the youth match is 1 hour.

When does the clock run?

In all levels of basketball games, the clock starts running as soon as the whistle blows. It indicates the start of the match. The clock keeps on running unless the whistle blows again in case of fouls. It also stops during timeouts.

The clock also stops during breaks. In the last two minutes, if a shot is made, the clock stops running. Then if the match is a tie, overtime is given.

How many quarters are in a basketball game?

In all the basketball games, there are four quarters. NBA, WNBA, FIBA, and all other levels have four quarters. The game is divided into 4. 

Each quarter is of 12 minutes in NBA. College basketball games do not have quarters. Instead, the game is divided into two halves.

Factors that determine the length of a basketball game?

There are four factors that determine the length of a basketball game.

  • Shot Clock: It is the amount of time given to the team for making a shot. In the NBA, it is 24 seconds.
  • Time Out: It is the time given for the players to rest. In the NBA, there are six timeouts.
  • Overtime: When there is a tie, overtime is given. It is extra time.
  • Halftime Break: It is the break given after two quarters.


Basketball matches are quite popular in western countries. The timespan of each level of match is different from the other. This information will be useful for you if you plan to watch any basketball match.



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