Halftime is a period of adjustment and rest that breaks up the action, usually between quarters (or halves in the case of college).
During halftime, players and coaches adjust, evaluate game plans, and discuss strategy. Fans stretch their legs, grab food and refreshments, and enjoy halftime entertainment on the court. For broadcasters or announcers, it’s a time to revisit the highlights, talk about gameplay, and share updates about player performance with their audience who cannot be in attendance, whether that’s on the radio or television.
Halftime rest periods are different depending on the level of play or league. Here are some breakdowns of basketball halftimes:
- Youth leagues or middle schools typically have a five-minute halftime.
- High school basketball halftime is 10 minutes.
- In college basketball, halftime is 15 minutes long, but during postseason tournaments like NCAA March Madness, it can last up to 20 minutes. Note, college basketball tradition sees it play two 20-minute halves of basketball, unlike the quarter format that others use.
- Halftime in the NBA lasts 15 minutes.
- For other professional leagues outside the United States, halftime breaks typically last between 10 and 15 minutes long.
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