How Many Breaks in Basketball?

Basketball is an exciting and dynamic sport that has been enjoyed by millions of people all over the world for years. It’s a sport that requires physicality, skill, and strategy to succeed, and the competition level can be incredibly intense. But no matter how intense the action gets, there are still certain breaks that are taken in a game of basketball. Knowing how many breaks basketball has and when they occur can help you understand the flow of the game and how to prepare for each one.


Timeouts are the most common type of break in basketball. Each team is allowed six timeouts per game, three of which are full timeouts and the other three are thirty-second timeouts. A full timeout is called when a team wants to discuss strategy or take a rest, while a thirty-second timeout is used to make a quick substitution or take a quick break. Timeouts can only be called by the head coach or a player in the game.


Halftime is the second most common break in basketball, and it occurs after the end of the second quarter. Halftime usually lasts for around fifteen minutes, and it is used for the teams to rest and discuss strategy for the rest of the game. During halftime, the score is reset to 0-0 and the teams switch sides of the court.

End of Quarters

At the end of each quarter, the teams will take a two-minute break to rest and prepare for the next quarter. The teams will also switch sides of the court at this time. The only exception is the end of the fourth quarter, which is the end of the game.

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When a player gets injured, the game will be stopped and the player will be taken off the court. This break can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the severity of the injury. It is important to note that if a player is injured and cannot continue to play, their team will be allowed to substitute another player in their place.


If the score is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, the game will go into overtime. During an overtime period, the teams will play for five minutes and then take a two-minute break. This break is used for the teams to rest and strategize for the remainder of the overtime period.

Free Throws

When a player is fouled, the referee will blow the whistle and the player will be awarded two free throws. During this break, the other players will stand still and the player attempting the free throws will take a few moments to focus before shooting.

The Game Clock

The game clock is the official timekeeper of the game and it runs continuously until the game is over. At certain points, the clock will be stopped and the teams will take a break. This includes when a team calls a timeout, when a foul is called, or when a player is injured.


Basketball is a fast-paced and exciting sport that requires skill and strategy to play. Knowing how many breaks are taken in a game of basketball can help you understand the flow of the game and prepare accordingly. There are six timeouts per game, a halftime break, a two-minute break at the end of each quarter, an injury break, an overtime break, and a break for free throws. Understanding these breaks can help you get the most out of your basketball game.