How Long is a Basketball Quarter?

Wondering how long is a basketball quarter? A standard NBA game consists of four quarters. Each quarter lasts 12 minutes, making it 48 minutes in total for a full game. There are also 5-minute overtimes in case of a tie.

A basketball quarter can be divided into two parts: the first and second half.

The First Half

In Basketball, at the start of every quarter, the arrow on the scoreboard points to “0” for both teams. In their turn, each team can score as many points as possible.

The game referees stop the clock when:

– A team has possession of the ball (possessing it in their hands or arms)

– The ball goes out of bounds

– A shot is made at the basket

– Violation occurs

– Offensive Foul                   

– Personal Foul               

– Technical Foul (unsportsmanlike conduct) 1 free throw + ejection of the player, coach, or assistant coach who made the foul (the ejected team member(s) is(are) automatically substituted with one (1) of their teammates.

– Double Foul (where players from both teams foul each other at the same time, resulting in a jump ball between them to determine possession).

The offensive team gets the possession arrow after they score or stop the other team from scoring. The arrow alternates after every score.

When the second half ends, if both teams have the same score for a tie, overtime starts after a short break.

During halftime in basketball, both teams go to their locker rooms for 15 minutes while the audience is having some refreshments and music is played. There are no commercials or timeouts during this time. Teams come back to the court when they are called by an official on duty.

The Second Half

In basketball, the second half consists of two more 12-minute quarters that mirror the same pattern as the first half.

In case of a tie, overtime takes place immediately after the fourth quarter ends. If it’s still tied at the end of the first overtime, they go into even more extended overtime with the same rules as the regular quarters.

The Overtime

An NBA game can have up to two (2) overtimes. The first overtime is five (5) minutes long and the second overtime is also five (5) minutes long.

Quarter Length for High School Games

The quarter length for High School games is 8 minutes, similar to the college game. The only difference between high school and college games is that there are two 20-minute halves at the high school level.

Most European basketball leagues play quarters of 10 minutes.

Techniques to Shoot Better…

-Jump stop

Jump and land with both feet at the same time while bringing the ball in front of your body. This technique allows you to get a good view and control of your shot while also giving enough time for other team players to position themselves.


Make sure that the ball bounces off the backboard at a high speed. This gives you enough time to position yourself before the rebound gets there.

-Bank shot

If you are beyond the 3 point line, try shooting just above the horizontal plane of the rim so that it could bounce off and hit the net. This is an advanced technique that needs experience and practice to master.


Only use this when running at top speed, not while standing still. It should be low and tight to the body. This technique allows you to get away from defenders but you should always keep your eyes on the ball so it does not get stolen.

How Should You Practice for Basketball?

Practice is important if you want to improve your skills. You can practice by yourself or with a team. If you want to play better in a team, watch NBA games and learn from the teams’ techniques. Try uploading videos of yourself playing so other people could tell you what mistakes you did that session. Going back to practice helps immensely if this happens.

Do You need a coach?

Yes. A good coach knows all the techniques and how to play the game better. If you have a bad coach, it might be a sign that your team isn’t as good as others so try getting into other teams if possible because not having a coach at all could affect your playing time significantly. You should always consider the possibility that you might get cut anytime.

A good coach should always up to date with the basketball rules of the game and refer to them if there is any confusion before or during play.

A good coach should also teach you about winning strategies, how to make your teammates better, and other things like that.

If your coach isn’t doing all of these things, talk to your team’s manager and see how they can change your coach. If that doesn’t work, talk to the league.

What Must You be Aware of When Playing Basketball…

-You need to know some techniques that will help you measure up against other players.

-Moreover, you need to have the right mental attitude in order for you to push through when you are tired or losing.

-You also need good equipment if your goal is to play at the highest level possible.

-Talking with your team members about what happened during a game is important so that it doesn’t happen again. This also includes talking to your coach about any problems you have.

-Talking with the other team is helpful once in a while if they are being too rough or not, letting them know that it’s either fair play or foul play will allow them to adjust their actions accordingly.


In conclusion, for the NBA there are four quarters in basketball, each with a time limit of 12 minutes each. 

If the game is tied at the end of the game, overtime appears in which two five-minute halves are played until there is a winner. 

If both teams have the same score when regular playing time ends, the game goes into overtime in which two five-minute periods are played until one team has a higher score at the end of the overtime.

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