How Many Quarters In Women’s College Basketball?

Last Updated on: 3rd August 2023, 11:29 pm

women's basketball how many quarters

Are you a fan of women’s college basketball and wondering about the game’s structure? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

The quarter system is an important aspect of basketball games, as it determines how long each period of play will last and how many opportunities each team has to score. In women’s college basketball, there are four quarters in total, each lasting for ten minutes.

Game time management is another critical element in women’s college basketball. Each team has limited time to make their mark on the court, so coaches must strategize carefully to maximize their players’ strengths while minimizing their weaknesses.

Additionally, timeouts are essential in managing game time as they allow teams to rest and regroup during intense moments on the court. Understanding the structure and timing of women’s college basketball games is crucial if you want to follow your favorite teams closely throughout the season.

Why Does Women’s College Basketball Have 4 Quarters?

Women’s college basketball switched to a four-quarter format during the 2015-16 season following a proposal to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel and endorsement by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Board of Directors.

The main reason for this change was the belief that a four-quarter format would enhance the game’s flow. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, which initially recommended the rule change, also believed that the four-quarter format would make the game more exciting and help speed it up. This change brought women’s college basketball in line with the WNBA and FIBA, which also use four 10-minute quarters.

It is important to note that men’s and women’s basketball have their own rules and oversight committees, and they do not have to agree on the same rules. As a result, men’s college basketball continues to use two 20-minute halves, making it the only remaining division of the sport to do so.

What Is The Structure Of Women’s College Basketball Games?

When you watch women’s college basketball games, you’ll notice that each quarter lasts 10 minutes.

There are four quarters in total, making the game 40 minutes long.

There is a two-minute break between the first and second quarters and between the third and fourth quarters.

How Long Is Each Quarter In Women’s College Basketball?

You’ll be pleased to know that each quarter in women’s college basketball is only 10 minutes long. This means the entire game consists of four quarters, making it 40 minutes.

The length of the game is shorter compared to men’s college basketball games, where each half lasts for 20 minutes.

The NCAA tournament for women’s college basketball also follows the same structure as regular season games, with each quarter lasting for 10 minutes.

However, during the tournament, there are no ties allowed since a winner must be determined. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, an overtime period of five minutes will be added until a winner is declared.

Knowing the length and structure of quarters in women’s college basketball can help you better understand and appreciate this exciting game.

What Are The Rules Regarding Breaks Between Quarters?

As a spectator, it’s important to note the length and structure of breaks between quarters in women’s college basketball games. Here are some rules regarding breaks that you should be aware of:

  1. Between the first and second quarters, there is a break of 15 minutes.
  2. The halftime lasts for 20 minutes.
  3. The break between the third and fourth quarters is also 15 minutes.
  4. If a game goes into overtime, there’s an additional timeout of two minutes before each extra period.

Knowing these rules will help you plan your time at the basketball game accordingly, so you can ensure not to miss any exciting moments on the court.

As always, it’s important to respect the players and officials during these breaks by refraining from interrupting their preparation or performance in any way.

Enjoy the game!

How Is Game Time Managed In Women’s College Basketball?

So you’re curious about how game time is managed in women’s college basketball, particularly in the case of overtime.

When a game is tied at the end of regulation time (which consists of four quarters), an additional five-minute period is added to determine the winner.

If the score remains tied after that first overtime period, subsequent periods are played until there is a winner.

It’s worth noting that teams get two timeouts per overtime period, and fouls continue to accumulate as normal.

What Happens In Case Of Overtime?

In overtime, the teams play an additional five-minute period to determine the winner of the game in women’s college basketball. This extra time is added when the score is tied at the end of regulation play.

The rules for overtime are similar to those for regular play but with some key differences. During overtime, each team has one timeout that they can use. If a player fouls out during regulation play and no eligible substitutes are left on the bench, then that team will have to continue playing with fewer players in overtime.

Additionally, if a player commits a technical foul during overtime, they will be disqualified from further participation. In case of a tie at the end of the first five-minute overtime period, another five minutes is played until a winner is determined.

It’s important to note that free throws awarded during regulation still count toward both teams’ scores during overtime.

Comparing Women’s College Basketball to Other Leagues

When it comes to the quarter structure, men’s college basketball differs from women’s college basketball. Men’s college basketball games are divided into two halves of 20 minutes each instead of four quarters.

This means teams have less time to adjust and mount comebacks during the game.

How Does The Quarter Structure Differ In Men’s College Basketball?

As you watch the game unfold, you’ll notice a stark contrast in the quarter structure between men’s and women’s college basketball. While women’s college basketball has four 10-minute quarters, men’s college basketball only has two 20-minute halves. This difference affects the game’s pacing and how coaches manage their players’ minutes.

To highlight this difference further, here is a table comparing the length of each quarter/half in different leagues:

LeagueQuarter/Half Length
Women’s College Basketball10 minutes
Men’s College Basketball20 minutes (2 halves)
NBA12 minutes
WNBA10 minutes

As you can see from the table, NCAA men’s basketball shares its half structure with professional leagues like the NBA. The longer time per half allows more time to strategize and make adjustments during halftime. On the other hand, women’s college basketball and WNBA have shorter quarters, which may require quicker decision-making from coaches and players. Regardless of these differences, both men’s and women’s teams strive towards one common goal: making it to March Madness. Whether it be a close fourth-quarter comeback or a dominant first-half performance, every minute counts on the road to victory.

The Evolution Of The Quarter System In Women’s College Basketball

You may wonder how the quarter system in women’s college basketball has impacted the game. One major change is that games are now divided into four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.

This shift has led to more strategic timeouts and a faster pace of play. Additionally, teams now shoot free throws starting with the fifth foul in each quarter rather than after the seventh foul in each half.

What Has Been The Impact Of The Quarter System On Women’s College Basketball?

Just like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly into its place, the implementation of quarters in women’s college basketball has seamlessly transformed the game and allowed for more strategy and excitement on the court.

The quarter system has brought about several positive changes to the sport since its introduction, including:

  • More breaks: With four quarters instead of two halves, players get more frequent opportunities to rest and strategize with their coaches during timeouts.
  • Increased scoring: By resetting team fouls at the beginning of each quarter, players are less likely to be disqualified due to excessive fouls. This keeps teams at full strength and allows for more scoring opportunities with fewer free throw shots.
  • More suspenseful endings: In close games, the 4th quarter becomes a nail-biting experience for players and fans alike. With every possession becoming increasingly important as time winds down, it makes for an intense finish that adds to the overall excitement of women’s college basketball.

Overall, the quarter system has been a positive change in women’s basketball that has added more depth and intrigue to an already exciting sport.

As we approach March Madness each year, these improvements will continue to enhance our viewing experiences while keeping us on the edge of our seats until the end.


Congratulations! You now know how many quarters are in women’s college basketball. With four quarters, each lasting ten minutes, the game is full of excitement and energy.

And while the quarter system may seem different from other leagues, it allows for a more structured and strategic approach to the game. But women’s college basketball is not just about the structure or game time management. It’s about the passion and dedication of these student-athletes who strive to be their best both on and off the court.

This league has produced some of the greatest moments in sports history, from legendary coaches like Pat Summitt to iconic players like Candace Parker. So next time you watch a women’s college basketball game, remember that you’re witnessing athletic prowess and an enduring legacy that continues to inspire future generations.