How Many Quarters in a Basketball Game? Complete Guide

Basketball games have a total of 4 quarters. The quarters in a basketball game has 10 minutes of game time and 2 minutes in between breaks for every quarter. The different leagues have varying time quarters. The college basketball game for men make use of two 20-minute halves, the college women’s utilizes 10-minute quarters, the high school varsity games have 8-minute quarters, and the NBA use 12-minute quarters.

Being familiar with a basketball game’s quarters will help you better understand the game’s perspective. In this post, let’s find out how many quarters are there in a basketball game so you’ll know what to expect when watching a game.

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What’s a quarter in a basketball game?

A basketball game is composed of different phases, commonly known as the quarters. Depending on the game’s quarter period, the game clock starts on how much time is left. For instance, in NBA, the game clock begins at 12 to zero. Each quarter’s timeframe is not fixed. There are instances wherein the game is extended for five minutes due to overtime other game technicalities

How long are breaks between quarters in basketball?

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In every quarter, there are breaks or commonly known as the intermissions. Breaks after each quarter last for about 2 minutes and 10 seconds long. For games with four quarters, there is a more extended break between the 2nd and 3rd quarters, also known as the halftime that lasts for 15 minutes. 

Why are there breaks in between quarters?

Breaks between quarters serve as a resting period for the players before starting a new quarter. It also serves as a transition period that indicates that a new game quarter is about to begin. The longer break, which is the halftime, is used for resting. This is also the time for the team to have to plan their strategy for the next quarters.

Halftime is considered one of the essential parts of the game because it is where the team brainstorms their game plan. This is to ensure that the errors they have made in the previous quarter will no longer transpire moving forward. 

The idea of a break is also the same as timeouts. It’s just that timeouts can be requested within the actual game. It is also used to let players rest or for player substitutions. The basketball game is a tiring sport. That is why breaks between quarters are an excellent way for the players to continue playing with less strain on their bodies.

How about quarters at international basketball level?


At the international basketball level, the length of a quarter is about 10 minutes. There is a two-minute gap before starting on a new quarter. Timeouts for the international basketball level can also be called during a stoppage. Only the coach is the only one allowed to request it. 


How many quarters in a basketball game? The game organized by the International Basketball Organization (IBA) consists of four quarters per game. Each quarter has 10 minutes with 2 minutes break before starting anew quarter.  

If you are watching a televised game, you can quickly determine whether you are watching an NBA, college basketball, high school basketball game, or an international basketball game just by the number of quarters they play.

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