Are you going to watch a WNBA game, and in the process of planning your trip, or are you trying to see whether you can fit it into your TV schedule? We’ve got you covered. Today we’ll share the answers to all your questions including: how long is a WNBA game?
We’ll cover how many minutes games are, how long overtime is, and other reasons games take a little longer. We’ll also reveal the longest ever WNBA and NBA games recorded in history. Plus, we’ll take a look at how many games are in the WNBA season. Let’s get after it.
Up first, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of the length of a WNBA game. WNBA players, including Indiana Fever legend Tamika Catchings, were excited when the league made the switch to the newest format.
“I think its awesome, I’m so excited about it, even playing overseas, playing in Korea, we get to play four quarters and I think its great because it cleans up the game and it differentiates between the college and the professional games.” she said.
There are 40 minutes in a WNBA game – which is made up of four 10-minute quarters. Because of a 15 minute half-time, commercials breaks, fouls, and time outs, a game usually takes about 2 hours from start to finish.
The longest WNBA game in history happened in 2002, when the Orlando Miracle claimed a 103-99 victory over the Cleveland Rockers in a 2 hour and 57 minute contest that spanned three overtime periods.
Quarters in WNBA games are 10 minutes. Which fun fact, is the same as they are for the Olympics: FIBA basketball games are four 10-minute quarters.
The four quarter change was made in December of 2005, as previously the league player two 20-minute halves. The new format gave teams more time to rest, and improved the overall entertainment value of the game.
“I think it’s part of the evolvement of the game, but it’s quick, so I’m happy in the aspect that it’s going to move the game, make it more up-tempo, more up-and-down, because I think it’s a more exciting brand to watch and a more exciting brand to play. ” said Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon at the time the rule changes rolled out.
Yes WNBA games are shorter than NBA games by 8 minutes.
NBA games are 48 minutes, and made up of four 12-minute quarters. They tend to take about two and a half hours to complete. However, the longest NBA game in history was in 1951, and took seventy-eight minutes long, including six overtimes, when the Indianapolis Olympians beat the Rochester Royals and 75–73.
How overtime is handled varies just a bit across the leagues. Here’s the quick breakdown:
Both women’s and men’s FIBA Olympic games are four 10-minute quarters. Overall these games last about two hours because there are fewer timeouts.
However 3X3 basketball rules are very different – with the game lasting as long as it takes to get to 21 points or just 10 minutes, whichever comes first.
In 2015 NCAA women’s college games made the change to be played in four 10-minute quarters as well. So college games take about two hours.
High school basketball games are the shortest coming in at 32 minutes of play with four eight-minute quarters. Games can take about an hour and a half from start to finish.
The WNBA has a 36-game regular-season schedule for 2022. Which is its longest in 26 seasons. The 2022 regular season begins on Friday, May 6, and ends on Sunday, Aug. 14.
As always, it’ll be followed by the playoffs. In addition, the All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, July 10, and the second annual Commissioner’s Cup Championship game will happen on Tuesday, July 26.
Up next, learn all about a new way to play WNBA fantasy basketball.