When Does The Basketball Season Usually Start?

For many, basketball means the NBA, the American National Basketball Association. Many aspects of the NBA’s annual schedule are heavily regulated because of the need for players’ contracts to be properly completed, and to allow TV schedules to be finalized.

Because putting together a squad for an NBA basketball franchise can’t happen overnight, there is a well-established timescale to allow everything to come together – and it’s easy to lose track of when does basketball season start, given that teams need to do so much organizing and training beforehand.

And at the end of the season, allowances also have to be made for the regular play-offs and the NBA Finals.

So to the outside observer, who doesn’t really follow basketball too closely, it can appear that the game never goes away. Even if games aren’t being played, there are lots of maneuverings happening behind the scenes in putting together all the elements of the entertainment and sporting spectacle that millions of people love.

The basketball season usually starts around October time, but the official date changes from year to year.

What Is The Program For The Build-up To The NBA Season?

The momentum had already begun to build as this article was written, with the start in early August of negotiations between free agent players and teams, and deals being signed.

August 8 to 17 saw the annual Summer League competition, a kind of warm-up-come-exhibition tournament, take place, giving fans their first chance to see the new rosters in action.

All then goes quiet – at least on the surface – for nearly two months. However, behind the scenes, players and teams will be in private preparation, getting ready for the annual ritual of training camp.

During the three weeks from September 28, coaches and players alike will all be evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their squads. So it’s here that every member of a squad has the chance to impress, especially as it’s also seen as part of the vital recovery time for every squad’s front-line players, those expected to get the most game time.

The 2021-22 training camps are shorter than in previous year because of COVID, so there will have been extra pressure on players and coaching staff alike to carry out their assessments and be fully prepared to hit the ground running.

In this time, coaches and backroom staff have the tough job of whittling down their squads to comply with the maximum number of 17 players allowed – comprising 15 under standard NBA contracts, and a further two permitted under two-way contracts. This means they are only allowed to line up in a maximum of 50 games throughout the whole season, including the pre-season tournament and play-off games.

When Do The First Games Of The Basketball Season Take Place?

The 2021-22 season officially tips off on October 19, and lasts for just under six months. It’s widely accepted that most games take place during autumn, winter and the early spring, as it’s the time of year when people are looking for events taking place indoors.

It must be said that the whole basketball schedule is only just beginning to recover from the massive disruption caused when the COVID pandemic forced the dislocation of fixtures at the back end of 2019. 

As a result, several basketball leagues and associations either rescheduled their programs, or in some cases, scrapped them completely. This had knock-on effects for the draft and training schedules for the whole of 2020-21.

What Is The Season Calendar For High School Basketball?

If anything, the high school basketball program was even more greatly affected, due to the schedule being fitted around school term times.

But for 2021-22, it’s widely hoped that there will be a return to the season getting under way around Thanksgiving in late November, which had not been possible for the 2020-21 season.

Games then take place most weeks through to March or April, with a two-week break somewhere in the middle of the season to allow students some rest and to being their preparations for the exam season to come.

Another factor high school students have to consider – especially if they are among those competing for one of the highly-prized sports scholarships on offer – is that their rivals are likely to be fitting in training and practice where and whenever they can.

So attending training camps and off-season fitness training are likely to mean that they need to be committed to their sport year-round.

But with the potential rewards from gaining attention of one of the top pro teams being so great, it’s clear that many with ambitions to go far in basketball know they have to make huge sacrifices, including needing to practice year-round, if they are to pursue their dream.