Weekly Basketball Play Time Recommendations for Youth Athletes

Milan Djordjevich
2 min readJan 6, 2023

Located in Springfield, Missouri, Milan Djordjevich has served as president and owner of the Chicago-based virgin and recycled plastic seller MD Plastics, Inc., since 1999. A former college athlete, Milan Djordjevich has additional experience as a basketball coach. In 2006, he led the Midwest Storm AAU Basketball program to multiple tournament victories and a place in the Adidas Top 64 Tournament, with a number of Storm players earning scholarships.

Basketball is a popular sport among American youths, with millions of participants throughout the nation. In fact, participation leapt from 24.92 million individuals in 2019 to 27.75 million the following year (although that number decreased to 27.14 million players in 2021, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic). In addition to providing children with physical exercise and opportunities to demonstrate sportsmanship and the ability to excel in a collaborative team environment, sports like basketball provide students with a pathway to collegiate scholarships.

Parents may worry whether their young athletes are engaging in too much basketball. Fortunately, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and USA Basketball have teamed up to create official youth participation guidelines. According to NBA and USA Basketball, children between the ages of 7 and 8 should play games of between 20 and 28 minutes once per week, in addition to a single practice of 30 to 60 minutes.

Recommendations are categorized into age groups for players between 9 and 11 years old, 12 and 14 years, and high school athletes. Game lengths ultimately reach 40 minutes, two to three times per week, at the high school level. High school athletes also practice up to four times per week, sometimes for as long as 2 hours.

In general, young players should engage in no more than 3 hours of basketball per week. As they get older, this number can increase to 5 hours. Young teens can increase their weekly workload to around 10 hours, while high school players should be able to comfortably handle around 14 hours per week.

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Milan Djordjevich
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Springfield Mo. Sales Leader Milan Djordjevich