When does High School Basketball Season Start in the U.S.?

Are you already counting the days until the high school basketball season begins? Those of us who cannot get enough basketball are anxiously awaiting the first practices, as well as the beginning games of the season.

The AAU and traveling leagues have already started their summer and fall leagues. However, high schools follow a much more regimented schedule.

The high school basketball season is just around the corner. Winter sports commonly begin after Thanksgiving Day, with practices beginning a week or two before, but it differs from region to region.

Many states restrict practices until the football season has concluded, while others have differing regulations for the girls’ and boys’ programs. Some states even differentiate between schools that have football programs and those that do not.

States also have different high school basketball season lengths. Most structure the games around the school year calendar and allow roughly nine to ten school weeks for the season to develop. However, others base their seasons on the number of games played. Either way, all aim to end post-season tournaments right when spring sports startup.

For better visualization, here is a quick listing of each state and the dates for the time that coaching and organized practices can begin. Many states allow for “open gym” time before these practices, but the first eligible game, not including preseason scrimmages, is in the second column.

The sectional dates are approximated in states where the schools are divided into a class system. The actual start date will depend on the school’s class. The ending date may also be approximated depending on how far a school progresses in the tournament.

Abbrev State Boys/Girls Coaching Begins Sectional Ends
AL Alabama Both 21-Oct 7-Nov 3-Feb 1-Mar
AK Alaska Both 4-Dec 19-Dec 14-Mar 1-Apr
AZ Arizona Both 4-Nov 25-Nov 13-Feb 1-Mar
AR Arkansas Both After FB (11/3) 10-Nov 2-Feb 8-Mar
CA California Girls 29-Oct 19-Nov 13-Feb 10-Mar
Boys 29-Oct 19-Nov 12-Feb 10-Mar
CO Colorado Both 18-Nov 2-Dec 23-Feb 9-Mar
CT Connecticut Both 5-Dec 19-Dec 9-Mar 23-Mar
DE Delaware Both 11-Nov 4-Dec 3-Mar 15-Mar
FL Florida Both 4-Nov 25-Nov 8-Feb 8-Mar
GA Georgia Both 15-Oct 8-Nov 17-Feb 1-Mar
HI Hawaii Girls 4-Nov 4-Nov 27-Jan 1-Mar
Boys 11-Nov 11-Nov 10-Feb 1-Mar
ID Idaho Girls 4-Nov 15-Nov 20-Feb 15-Mar
Boys 15-Nov 30-Nov Mar-19 15-Mar
IL Illinois Girls 4-Nov 18-Nov 20-Feb 31-Mar
Boys 11-Nov 25-Nov 24-Feb 21-Mar
IN Indiana Girls 21-Oct 4-Nov 4-Feb 14-Mar
Boys 11-Nov 25-Nov 3-Mar 28-Mar
IA Iowa Both 18-Nov 2-Dec 24-Feb 13-Mar
KS Kansas Both 18-Nov 5-Dec 24-Feb 14-Mar
KY Kentucky Both 15-Oct 2-Dec 24-Feb 10-Mar
LA Louisiana Both 14-Oct 18-Nov 22-Feb 14-Mar
ME Maine Both 18-Nov 6-Dec 23-Feb 25-Mar
MD Maryland Both 15-Nov 5-Dec 28-Feb 14-Mar
MA Massachusetts Both 4-Nov 6-Dec 23-Feb 3-Mar
MI Michigan Girls 11-Nov 2-Dec 2-Mar 21-Mar
Boys 18-Nov 9-Dec 9-Mar 28-Mar
MN Minnesota Girls 11-Nov 29-Nov 24-Feb 14-Mar
Boys 18-Nov 29-Nov 24-Feb 21-Mar
MS Mississippi Both 14-Oct 7-Nov 11-Feb 7-Mar
MO Missouri Both 3-Nov 17-Nov 1-Mar 21-Mar
MT Montana Both 21-Nov 6-Dec 17-Feb 14-Mar
NE Nebraska Both 18-Nov 25-Nov 22-Feb 3-Mar
NV Nevada Both 16-Nov 28-Nov 12-Feb 21-Mar
NH New Hampshire Girls 18-Nov 13-Dec 2-Mar 23-Mar
Boys 25-Nov 20-Dec 2-Mar 23-Mar
NJ New Jersey Both 25-Nov 19-Dec 13-Feb 23-Mar
NM New Mexico Both 18-Nov 1-Dec 6-Mar 15-Mar
NY New York Both 11-Nov 1-Dec 15-Mar 29-Mar
NC North Carolina w/ football 30-Oct 18-Nov 25-Feb 15-Mar
w/o football 16-Oct 30-Oct 25-Feb 15-Mar
ND North Dakota Both 25-Nov 6-Dec 28-Feb 15-Mar
OH Ohio Girls 25-Oct 22-Nov 10-Feb 22-Feb
Boys 1-Nov 26-Nov 17-Feb 28-Feb
OK Oklahoma w/ football 1-Oct 21-Nov 14-Feb 15-Mar
w/o football 1-Oct 1-Nov 14-Feb 15-Mar
OR Oregon Both 18-Nov 4-Dec 26-Feb 29-Mar
PA Pennsylvania Both 20-Nov 11-Dec 5-Mar 27-Mar
RI Rhode Island Both 2-Dec 11-Dec 28-Feb 15-Mar
SC South Carolina Both 4-Nov 2-Dec 15-Feb 7-Mar
SD South Dakota Both 2-Dec 13-Dec 2-Mar 21-Mar
TN Tennessee Both 4-Nov 25-Nov 21-Feb 21-Mar
TX Texas Girls 23-Oct 8-Nov 17-Feb 7-Mar
Boys 30-Oct 15-Nov 24-Feb 15-Mar
UT Utah Both 11-Nov 19-Nov 11-Feb 1-Mar
VT Vermont Girls 2-Dec 13-Dec 3-Mar 15-Mar
Boys 2-Dec 13-Dec 25-Feb 15-Mar
VA Virginia Both 11-Nov 2-Dec 21-Feb 15-Mar
WA Washington Both 18-Nov 29-Nov 7-Mar 15-Mar
WV West Virginia Girls 11-Nov 3-Dec 21-Feb 15-Mar
Boys 18-Nov 10-Dec 28-Feb 15-Mar
WI Wisconsin Girls 11-Nov 19-Nov 25-Feb 15-Mar
Boys 18-Nov 26-Nov 3-Mar 28-Mar
WY Wyoming Both 25-Nov 12-Dec 27-Feb 15-Mar

For more information about high school basketball in a particular state, track down the state’s high school athletic association website or the website of the school you follow.

MaxPreps carries state rankings and tournament schedules. When you follow high school basketball, you have a chance to see the future college and professional athletes as they develop their talents and get their starts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *