How Long is Halftime in College Basketball

How Long is Halftime in College Basketball?

At any given basketball game, Whether you’re at a live or televised game or if you’re watching the highlights on ESPN SportsCenter, the question on everyone’s minds is, How long is halftime? 

And to this question, the answer is, It depends!

College basketball is a fast-paced game with a high scoring average. 

Halftime can be an excellent time to get some snacks or catch up on social media, but what about the length of halftime? 

Keep reading for our guide on the halftime length in college basketball to ensure you get enough rest between periods.

In most college basketball games, the halftime lasts for 15 minutes, but it can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.

What do you need to know about halftime at a college basketball game? I’m going to tell you, so read up.


How Long Is a Halftime in a College Basketball Game?

In college basketball, there is a 15-minute halftime break between the two halves of a game. 

The college basketball rulebook, published by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), states that halftime should last no longer than 15 minutes and that teams are expected to be ready to play at the end of this period.

Most college basketball games have approximately 20 minutes left in regulation play after halftime. This can vary slightly from game to game depending on when stoppages in play occurred. 

For example, if a team called for a timeout before time expired in the first half, then there will be a few extra seconds of gameplay after halftime.

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The NCAA also dictates that teams are allowed only one timeout during the overtime period, but there is no time limit for this period of gameplay.

What Happens in a Halftime Show?

Halftime shows tend to be a mix of entertainment and fluff. They’re supposed to be fun and make you want to watch the second half of the game.

Sometimes there are musical performances, and sometimes there are marching bands, sometimes there are cheerleaders, and sometimes there are all three.

On rare occasions, a school will bring in some sort of stunt group or dance troupe.

On the other hand, teams will typically gather in their locker rooms to discuss strategy and make adjustments. Players will also get a chance to rest and refuel with food and water.

Commentators discuss the game’s highlights, including which players made big plays and what may have been wrong in the second halves. They also discuss upcoming matches and a team’s formation if needed.

If the game is on TV, breaks for commercials take place during the match. If ads are in between halves, halftime may be extended from 15 to 17 minutes.

Now that you know how long halftime is in college basketball let’s look at the lengths of gameplay of other tournaments.

Read: What is jumper in basketball?

Now that you know how long halftime is in college basketball let’s take a look at the lengths of other tournaments.

Starting the Second Half of a Basketball Game

After halftime, the game is restarted. The referee will use a possession arrow to determine which team gets the ball in the second half. 

The team that didn’t score at the end of the first half gets the possession arrow, so they get to begin with the ball in the second half. 

If two teams are tied, it will be settled with a jump ball.

How Long is Halftime in High School Basketball?

The length of a high school basketball game depends on the level of play. 

Varsity games consist of four quarters that each last eight minutes, while junior varsity and freshman games generally consist of two halves that each last 20 minutes. 

If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the teams play overtime periods until one team has more points than the other after a period.

A regulation, high school basketball game consists of four quarters that each last 8 minutes. The clock stops during fouls, timeouts and dead balls, but otherwise continues to run, or be stopped by the referee, when charged to a team.

The halftime break lasts 15 minutes in all high school games. 

How Long is Halftime In Women’s Basketball Games?

The length of a women’s basketball game is 40 minutes long. The game is divided into four 10-minute quarters, just like in the men’s basketball. 

Halftime in women’s college basketball is 15 minutes, just as it is in the men’s game.

half time in college basketball

There are five minutes of overtime if the game is tied after regulation play. Each team gets two timeouts per quarter, with a maximum of five timeouts if the game goes into overtime.

How Long is Halftime in The NBA?

There is a 15-minute halftime period for all NBA games. At the end of the first half, teams are allowed to leave before the 15 minutes are up, but they must be back after 12 minutes remaining in the period. 

The halftime period can be shortened if both teams decide to do so.

During halftime, the teams change courts and then engage in a mandatory shoot-around. While players are warming up, the coaches discuss adjustments to their respective game plans. 

The teams and referees then return to their locker rooms for about 10 minutes for halftime intermission.

How Long Is A College Basketball Game On Tv?

The average duration of an NCAA basketball game is often 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, college basketball games often last three hours, sometimes even longer.

That’s because TV timeouts, also known as television breaks, have been extended from two minutes to four minutes in the past decade. 

The extra time has allowed for additional commercials, but it also lengthens the time it takes to play a game.

How are College Basketball Rules Different from NBA?

College basketball differs from the NBA in many ways, including game duration and fouls.

College basketball games last 40 minutes, divided into two 20-minute halves. Unlike the NBA, NCAA teams play a possession arrow after the first and third quarters. 

This means that depending on which direction the arrow points to, one team will always have possession of the ball. There is no arrow at halftime.

In addition to a different number of quarters, there are many other rules and differences between college basketball and the NBA. 

Here are some of the most notable:

  • College basketball’s shot clock is 30 seconds long, 5 seconds shorter than in the NBA.
  • College basketball allows only two timeouts per half, whereas the NBA allows three timeouts per half.
  • Teams are allowed 10 seconds to advance the ball past half-court in college, while teams have eight seconds in the NBA.
  • The NBA allows players six fouls before they foul out of a game; players in college can commit five fouls before they must leave the game.

Final Thoughts

The short answer to this question is that there is no set amount of time for halftime in college basketball. The length of halftime usually ranges from 10-20 minutes and only the college or university can decide how long the halftime period is at a particular game.

LeagueHalftime Intermission
High school10-15 minutes
College15 minutes
WNBA15 minutes
FIBA15 minutes
NBA15 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who gets the ball after halftime in basketball?

In college basketball, the team that did not score last in the first half will get the ball to start the second half. In the NBA, it is always the home team that gets the ball after halftime. This is also true when there are overtime periods. 

  1. Do timeouts reset at halftime in college basketball?

Timeouts are called to put the game clock and shot clock on hold. During a timeout, the shot clock continues to run but doesn’t reset until the ball is in play again.

  1. Does college basketball only play 2 quarters?

College basketball games are 40 minutes long, divided into two 20-minute halves, separated by a halftime. A standard television timeout is used for TV broadcasts within the game. There are no quarters.

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