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After watching the NIT this year where they went to quarters it got me wondering why is college played in halves and not quarters. The NBA and High School both play in quarters it seems non-sensical to me that college isn't played in quarters. So does anyone know why it was either set up as halves or changed to halves?

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TL;DR, College men's basketball were played in four 10-minute quarters between 1951-52 and 1954-55 seasons and later it changed back to being played in two 20-minute halves.


Important rules and NCAA rule changes omitting rule changes not concerning the question:

From Dr. James Naismith's 13 original rules of basketball:

....
12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves, with five minutes’ rest between. ...

Important rule changes by the year:

1891-92
The 13 original rules of basketball were written by Dr. James Naismith in December 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1905-06
...
Games were played in two 20-minute halves with a 10-minute rest time between the halves.
...

1951-52
Games were played in four 10-minute quarters.

1954-55
...
Games were changed back to being played in two 20-minute halves.

And from the source of this data:

The earliest rules book available for this research was from the 1905-06 season. Some of the rules listed in 1905-06 could have actually been instituted before that season.


So, it seems that the games were played in two 20-minute halves with a 10-minute rest time between the halves according to 1905-06 rule, changing from Dr. James Naismith's original rules of two 15-minute halves. (I have found no resources why and when this happened)

And games were played in four 10-minute quarters between 1951-52 and 1954-55 seasons and later it changed back to being played in two 20-minute halves. (I have found no resources why this change happened)


References:

  1. http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs

  2. Wikipedia - History of NCAA Basketball Rule Changes

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