How Many Quarters Are There In a Basketball Game?

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A quarter is a term widely used in every measurement that shows 25% of the total value. In basketball, the quarter formula is used mostly during professional-level games. There are four quarters in the whole game.

The duration for each quarter varies according to the playtime of the match. For instance, the NBA quarter means 12 minutes while leagues and championships quarters are 10 minutes, respectively.

Quarters In a Basketball Game:

The total duration of the game depends upon the format of the play.

The time duration for various formats are as follows:

Format of GameDuration
NBA48 minutes
NCAA (College)40 minutes
Olympics basketball40 minutes
Euro-League40 minutes
High-School36 minutes

The duration for each quarter is determined by calculation 25% of the total time or simply multiplying the total playtime in minutes by 0.25. For Example, the quarter duration for an NBA match can be calculated by 0.25 x 48 minutes is equal to 12 minutes per quarter.

College Basketball:

College basketball was started during the 1960s. This is the same time when NCAA was formed. NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association is a body that looks after athletes from over 1200 American institutions. They organize inter-college level basketball matches.

How Many Quarters Are In a Basketball Game

The basic rules and regulations for NCAA basketball are the same as the NBA rulebook. However, there are few differences that should be taken into consideration before joining a college team. For instance, college basketball doesn’t follow a quarter system like NBA. College game consists of two half-times. Each half consists of 20 minutes of time between them. The total game time of an NCAA match is also less than the professional NBA level, i.e., 40 minutes. This makes college games even more fast-paced than NBA. Similarly, another difference is there are four timeouts allowed per team in college matches, while NBA players are allowed six timeouts per match.



In NCAA college basketball matches, both the players and coaches are allowed to call timeouts during the play. On the other hand, in professional NBA matches, only the players are eligible for calling timeouts. No other member of the team management can stop the match for a timeout.

Some basic Basketball terms:

Basketball is a vast game with a lot of possibilities. New rules and techniques are added to the game every season. It is because basketball provides the players with the opportunity to experiment with their techniques. These innovations are mostly accepted in the game due to the tolerant nature of the game. Here are few basic basketball terms that you should know before starting to play basketball at any level.


This term is used when illegal physical contact is made to an opponent player who doesn’t possess the ball. Generally, blocking is considered a violation of the rules and results in a penalty. The nature of the penalty differs according to the nature of blocking.


Basketball players are not allowed to move from their place during the possession of the ball. It restricts the players from changing their place without making either a shot or a pass. To dribble means to bounce the ball on the ground while moving faster continuously. Suppose the ball is kept in possession for more than 1 second time while moving. It calls for a foul by the referee, and the team is subjected to a penalty.


In the original rulebook of basketball, any movement by the player was completely restricted during the ball’s possession. This made the game very difficult as the player had no choice but to either pass or made a shot. In 1896, a team playing at Yale attempted an innovation to the game.

They bounced the ball while moving without keeping in contact with the ball for more than a second. it was initially called suspicious activity by the referee.

However, upon further investigations, this technique was officially included in the basketball rulebook in 1897 ever since dribbling is considered one of the basic moves by basketball players.

Held ball

The held ball is a type of foul in the basketball match. A held ball is called when two players from opposing teams have a firm grasp of the ball. They have their hands so firmly on the ball that it is almost impossible for any of them to take possession of the ball completely. In such a situation, the held ball is called by the referee, and ball possession is returned to the initial team from the court’s center.

Quarters Are There In a Basketball Game

Similarly, if a player is stuck near the basket post guarded by opposing team players, he cannot make a pass or attempt a scoring shot. In such a case, the held ball is called, and possession of the ball is returned at the court’s center.

Jump ball:

A jump ball is similar to kick-off in soccer. It takes place at the center of the basketball court. The referee tosses the basketball in the air, and one player from each team attempts to tap the ball. It is done to direct the ball towards a fellow player to gain initial possession of the ball. This is the initial stage of any basketball game. A jump ball is also used after the held ball is called by the referee. This creates a sense of equality and fair competition in the game.


This is the method of interchanging the ball possessing between fellow players. Passing is required when dribbling is not possible or to break opposition guard-defense. This includes Throwing, batting, tapping, or rolling the basketball to a fellow player.

There are five main types of passing, these are:

  • The chest pass is the passing in which the ball is thrown from a position in front of the chest of the player.
  • The bounce pass is the passing in which the ball is bounced heavily on the floor of the court. This helps to get the ball across a guard of defensive opponent/opponents. This technique is mainly used near the goal-post.
  • The roll pass is the passing in which the ball is rolled on the floor of the court. This helps in getting the ball across the opponent players from underneath them. However, such a passing is used seldom because it can be easily intercepted by the opponents.
  • The hook pass: is the passing in which the basketball is thrown to a fellow player from the side of the head. It can even be used when passing overhead to a fellow player. This helps in creating a distraction in the minds of opposing players.
  • The baseball pass is the passing in which the ball is thrown to a longer distance to a fellow player. To make a baseball pass, you need to throw the ball with one hand in a manner similar to a baseball throw. This technique is useful when you are caught in a line of defense of the opponents, and fellow players are apart at a distance.


It is the technique in which the player takes a step or two in any direction. At the same time, keeping the initial foot (pivot foot) firmly intact with the ground. This helps in confusing the opponent players.


in case of an unsuccessful basket shot, the ball is bounced back after impact with the backboard. If the ball remains under the premises of the court, players from either side try to take possession of the ball. However, if the ball is rebounded out of the court, the referee calls for a jump ball at the center of the court.

Type of shots:

Basketball is a vast game with many innovations added by the players over time. There are many ways to score a goal in the game. Here I will discuss some of them:

  • Layup is the type of shot in which the player jumps and puts the ball against the backboard so the ball will rebound into the basket or lays it over the hoop. This shot is best for close-range shots.
  • One-hand push is the type of shot in which the player attempts to throw the ball from a stride, jump, standing position, and even a hook shot. These shots are perfect for attempting to score from a distance
  • Dunk or slam-dunk the ball, the payer jumps near the post, jamming the ball down into the basketball hoop. This is the most difficult yet glamorous shot of the whole game.


How long is a basketball game?

A typical basketball game lasts for 40-48 minutes, depending on the format of the match.

How many rounds are in a basketball game?

There are two halves in NCAA games, while NBA games follow the quarter rule consisting of four quarters per match.

Which type of goal post is best for dunking?

You can dunk on both in-ground basketball hoops as well as some portable basketball hoops.


There are four quarters in a basketball match, the duration for each quarter is between 10-12 minutes.

In this article, I have only provided carefully researched information that can be counted as authentic. I hope that it has helped you in increasing your knowledge about basketballs.

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