When does basketball season start?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 27, 2024

Introduction to Basketball Season

Basketball, a sport loved worldwide, boasts a structured season that varies depending on the league and level of play. Understanding when basketball season starts involves delving into the professional leagues, college basketball, and even high school competitions. Each has its own schedule, traditions, and unique characteristics that mark the beginning of the season.

NBA Season Start

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pinnacle of professional basketball in the United States and arguably the world.


The NBA preseason generally starts in early October. During this time, teams play a series of exhibition games that serve as preparation for the upcoming regular season. These games allow coaches to evaluate new players, test strategies, and build team chemistry.

Regular Season

The NBA regular season typically kicks off in mid-October. The 2022-2023 NBA season, for instance, started on October 19, 2022. The season spans 82 games, giving fans ample time to follow their favorite teams and players.

Key Dates

- Training Camps: Begin in late September

- Preseason: Early October

- Regular Season: Mid-October

- Playoffs: Mid-April to June

College Basketball Season Start

In the United States, college basketball is governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The college basketball season is divided into several segments.

Preseason and Exhibition Games

Preseason activities for NCAA basketball usually begin in October. Teams engage in exhibition games against non-conference opponents. These games are crucial for player development and team cohesion.

Regular Season

The NCAA regular season typically starts in early November. The 2022-2023 season began on November 7, 2022. The regular season includes non-conference games, conference games, and various invitational tournaments.

March Madness

One of the most exciting times in sports, the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments, known as March Madness, begin in mid-March and conclude in early April. The tournament's unique single-elimination format captures the attention of millions of fans.

Key Dates

- Midnight Madness: Early October (varies by team)

- Preseason: October

- Regular Season: Early November

- Conference Tournaments: Early March

- NCAA Tournament: Mid-March to Early April

High School Basketball Season Start

High school basketball in the United States also has a structured season, but the start dates can vary significantly depending on the state and school district.

Regular Season

High school basketball seasons typically start in November. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) provides guidelines, but each state association sets its own start date. Practices generally begin in late October or early November, with games starting shortly thereafter.

State Tournaments

State tournaments are held in February and March, culminating in state championships. These tournaments are the highlight of the high school basketball season, showcasing the best teams and players in each state.

Key Dates

- Preseason Practices: Late October to Early November

- Regular Season: November to February

- State Tournaments: February to March

International Basketball Season Start

Basketball is a global sport, with professional leagues in many countries. Each league has its own start date and season structure.


The EuroLeague is the premier basketball competition in Europe. The season usually starts in early October. The 2022-2023 EuroLeague season began on October 6, 2022.

Other International Leagues

- Australia's NBL: The National Basketball League (NBL) season typically starts in early October.

- Spain's Liga ACB: The Spanish Liga ACB season generally begins in late September or early October.

- China's CBA: The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season usually starts in November.

Key Dates

- EuroLeague: Early October

- NBL (Australia): Early October

- Liga ACB (Spain): Late September to Early October

- CBA (China): November

Special Events and Tournaments

Throughout the basketball season, there are several special events and tournaments that mark the calendar and excite fans.

NBA All-Star Weekend

The NBA All-Star Weekend, typically held in mid-February, is a highlight of the NBA season. It includes the All-Star Game, Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Contest, and other festivities.

College Basketball Invitationals

Several invitationals, such as the Maui Invitational and the Battle 4 Atlantis, take place during the college basketball season, usually in November and December. These tournaments feature top teams and are often held in exotic locations.

International Tournaments

In addition to regular league play, international basketball features tournaments such as the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics. These events occur in the summer months, outside the typical basketball season.

From the NBA to the NCAA, high school to international leagues, basketball seasons commence at different times, each with its own traditions and timelines. The start of basketball season is a highly anticipated event across various levels, and knowing when each begins allows fans to prepare and engage fully with the sport they love.

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