However, depending on the start time, games previous to the game, and what the schedule is after the game, a basketball game can have anything from 10 minutes to 30 minutes of warm-up time. How much free time do you have between quarters? If it's less than 10 minutes, then you need to get back into game mode as soon as possible. Otherwise, you're leaving money on the table.
During warmups, coaches change out players on defense to keep them fresh for the next quarter. Coaches also give certain players special instructions such as "Go hard until I tell you to stop" for players who are playing above their ability level just to get themselves in shape for the next period. This process usually takes about 10 minutes starting with the first player off the bench.
Warmups are important because it gives players time to get re-acclimated to the game environment after sitting down for so long, and it gives them time to work out any kinks in their games before the second quarter starts.
Using the basis of basketball regulations present in college previous to the league's inception, the NBA determined that 12 minute quarters were the ideal length for a basketball game to run slightly over 2 hours. Basketball is divided into two halves of 15 to 20 minutes each. Then there are three quarter-length games per team, for a total of 36 minutes played per game.
In addition, there is a 5-minute overtime period if the score is tied at the end of regulation time. This occurs most often when one team is trying to avoid being shut out (0-22) and the other team is looking for an extra point or 3-pointer to win or lose the game.
Finally, there is a second overtime period if the score is still tied after both teams have had a chance to play in their first half of time. This period is used almost exclusively in playoff games.
The use of overtimes is very expensive for the owners of baseball teams, who would not want to pay their players such high salaries if they knew that they would only be playing for a few minutes more per game.
Overtime was originally intended as a way for teams to settle ties during regular season games. If no winner can be decided by normal means, then coaches will sometimes try to make up the lost time by having their players use extreme energy levels or physical duels to win or lose games.
The NBA, on the other hand, specifies a time limit of 12 minutes for each quarter. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), on the other hand, has a 10-minute quarter for its games. The NCAA is separated into two halves, each lasting 20 minutes. Furthermore, the high school game lasts 8 minutes every quarter. This means that the average length of an NBA quarter is about 4 minutes.
In fact, this is why there are only 10 minutes left in the third quarter when the clock shows 40 seconds remaining. In order to avoid having the game end before the fourth quarter begins, time must be added back onto the clock. This ensures that players have enough time to rest between quarters.
The length of the quarter depends on many factors such as how many players are on the court, whether there is a time limit, and so on. But regardless of the number of players on the court or the length of the season, it takes approximately four minutes to play one quarter in basketball.