What is overtime in basketball?

Overtime is always the most exciting part of the game of all kinds of sorts. It always has fans biting their nails and the players are under intense pressure to perform. Besides being fun and the most exciting part of the game it can very overwhelming and difficult to understand the rules of the overtime.

So to help you understand how overtime works in all these games, we shall be covering and diving deep into the rules of each premier league. How the rules in each of them differ from one another and what makes the extra time so much fun and exciting.


What is overtime in basketball?

Understanding overtime:

Every Premier league has its own set of overtime rules. The basic rules remain the same regardless of everything but every league puts a different spin on their rules and plays it by their book.

Hence it is important to be aware of all the rules of various overtimes and be prepared to understand them thoroughly. As not understanding one or two small fragments can make you feel confused.

Now let’s look at all the overtimes for all the premiers.

NBA over time:

Being one of the largest premier leagues in the world NBA is the one that sets the standard for all the other leagues to follow. According to the rules when the score is tied at the end of the time regulation then both the teams get rewarded an extra time of 5 minutes.

All the scoring mechanics are the same in these 5 minutes, the fouls carry forward from the main regulation time and the scoring is the same as the regulation time. Such as the two points and three points remain two points and three points respectively.

The foul rule is if a player has 4 fouls in the regulation time, that player can get fouled only one more time before he is fouled out of the game.

The overtime rules apply the quarter ball possession rule, starting with the tip-off and both the team can avail two timeouts, regardless of how many time outs were taken during the regulation time. If the score is still tied by the end of the overtime, another 5 minutes of extra time with the same rules is rewarded.

Since NBA games cannot end in a tie, the game carries on until one of the team’s scores is higher than the other. The WNBA follows the same rule as well and the game doesn’t end until one of the teams has a higher score.

NCAA Overtime rules:

NBA takes most of its rules from the NBA since it is one of the largest leagues. As per the rules of the NBA, the NCAA also offers a 5 minute overtime to see which team lands an extra score and the 5 minute overtime continues until one of the team scores.

According to this rule, the overtime will keep continuing until one of the team scores and has more points than the opposing team. Besides this one rule, the other rules for the college vary a lot from the NBA rules.

In college, the teams are rewarded with a 75 seconds timeout along with all the other timeouts the team didn’t avail during the first regulation time.

This is generally a strategic move on the team’s part as they choose not to have a timeout during the game and save some for the overtime. All the leagues under collegiate, go for a half of the main duration of the whole half time in the overtime.

FIBA Overtime rules:

Since NBA is one of the biggest names in the industry most others follow its trend and it has become the trendsetter for all smaller leagues. FIBA is played in America but it also lends most of its rules and regulations from the NBA.

The major difference that the fans will notice is that of time, in FIBA a regulation lasts for 40minutes while in NBA a traditional regulation lasts for 48 minutes.

Other than that everything is the same even the overtimes are also of the same 5-minute duration. Similar to others the game will end only if one of the team’s scores and brings the other team down.

However, in FIBA the timeouts and carryforwards are reset to start over for every new over time. Euro league is the only one that doesn’t require the games to continue until one wins. If the game ends in a tie they let it end on a tie.

That’s when they use the point scoring system and the team with the larger aggregate wins the game.


Now we know all the overtimes of all the games and all the leagues. Hopefully, we have learned everything there is to know about the overtimes of all the different games and leagues.

We have detailed all the possible outcomes of the games as best as we can. We hope that this will help build your understanding of the game and give you a good idea about what happens in the overtime.

All the leagues have their unique scoring and rating systems but mostly all of them have the same rule that the game doesn’t end until one of the team’s scores a point above the opposing team.

Smaller rules may vary from league to league but the gist of it remains the same. As the sport grows bigger and technology keeps playing its role, you will see the game evolve even more over time.

Leave a Comment