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Basketball Overtime: Strategies and Tips for Winning the Game

Basketball is a sport that is loved by millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s a high school, college, or professional game, the excitement is always high, and the competition is fierce. One of the most thrilling moments in basketball is when a game goes into overtime. In this article, we’ll take a look at basketball overtime, what it is, and how it works.

What is Basketball Overtime?

Basketball overtime occurs when the score is tied at the end of regulation time. Each team is given an additional period of play to try and win the game. In the NBA, overtime periods are five minutes long, while in college basketball, they are five minutes in regular season play, but ten minutes in postseason play. In high school basketball, overtime periods are generally four minutes long.

How Does Basketball Overtime Work?

Basketball overtime works similarly to regular game play, with a few exceptions. Each team is given an additional time-out, and the team that wins the opening tip-off gets possession of the ball first. If the game is still tied at the end of the first overtime period, another overtime period is played until a winner is determined.

During overtime play, fouls and violations work the same way as they do during regulation time. Each team is allowed to accumulate four fouls before entering the bonus, where the opposing team is awarded free throws for each foul committed. If a player fouls out during overtime, they must be replaced by another player from the bench.

What Happens if the Game is Still Tied?

If the game is still tied at the end of the second overtime period, additional overtime periods will be played until a winner is determined. The only exception to this is in college basketball postseason play, where there is a different rule known as the “overtime shootout.” In this scenario, each team takes turns shooting a single free throw until one team misses and the other makes it.


Basketball overtime is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for players and fans alike. With the game on the line, every possession counts, and every shot matters. Understanding the rules and procedures of overtime play is crucial for players and coaches to prepare and strategize for these high-pressure moments. Whether you’re a fan of the NBA, college, or high school basketball, overtime play is always an exhilarating experience that can make or break a team’s season.