Is Basketball A Winter Sport – A Definitive Answer [2023]

For most people, winter sports refers to skiing and snowboarding. However, you’ll be surprised at the number of hard sports that play during winter. One such sport is basketball.

So, is basketball a winter sport?

Basketball is a year-round sport with most leagues playing throughout the winter. In the US, the NBA starts around the fall season to early summer. It is considered a winter sport.

However, the view of whether basketball is a winter sport varies among people. The Winter Olympics Committee considers winter sports as sports played on snowy and icy surfaces.

So, which basketball leagues are considered a winter sport? In this post, I’ll show you why basketball is a winter sport and yet played in the Summer Olympics.


Is basketball A Winter Sport?

Despite being a hard sport that only plays on a hard surface court, the game remains a winter sport.

The NBA starts playoffs during the fall season and pays throughout the year. During the summer, games are played outdoors.

In the winter, games can be played indoors. In the US, winter starts around 21st December. By then, most leagues are already playing or practicing. 

The NBA, which offers a far more worldwide appeal is considered a fall sport. The same applies to college basketball and high school basketball.

Almost all levels of basketball leagues start in the fall and end up in spring. However, there is a lot more diversity as you move to overseas basketball leagues.

The NBA playoffs start in fall and end in early summer. Most professional basketball players tend to have breaks in the summer seasons.

This is probably why basketball is considered a winter sport. Playoffs can start afterwards but most games are played in winter.

A team in the NBA can play up to two matches a week. However, college basketball has at least one match a week. The NBA official schedule has matches played throughout the winter season.

This leads us to our next question.

Why is basketball played in winter?

You must be wondering why most basketball leagues play during the winter season. The game must be a winter sport because it’s being played during the winter season. However, what is the reason for that?

Most popular sports take breaks during the winter season. However, the basketball season will run through the winter season.

A basketball player will tell you basketball is a winter game. All star break in summer for holidays. 

Front view of basketball hoop under the snow

Basketball was invented as a winter sport to give entertainment when other sports are taking a break. Unlike most games, you can play basketball indoors and outdoors. This is why the game is considered a year-round sport.

You don’t need excellent weather to play it. Sports like football require good weather in an open place outside. However, you can play basketball outdoors and indoors.

For professional basketball players, the weather isn’t a big concern. They can play in a warm stadium. However, for amateur players the court must be dry and without snow.

The same applies to peach baskets where special baskets are used to dunk.

How Does Basketball Qualify As A Winter Sport?

For most people, winter sports are played on snow or icy surfaces. In the simplest terms, basketball is considered a winter sport since most games are played during winter.

The game doesn’t need a break during winter.

The NBA basketball with the best players is widely watched during winter. This is the opposite of soccer, and athletics, which take a break during the winter season.

Apart from the game taking place in the winter, most big star names have made it a popular winter sport. Right now, the NBA is one of the most lucrative sports in the world, with star NBA players.

Most sports fans lack an exciting game during the winter period. This leaves basketball the only exciting sport during winter.

Let’s have a look at basketball leagues that play during the winter. Indeed basketball qualifies for winter since leagues begin in fall and go on throughout the winter season.

Most team sports require special conditions for the game to be played. For example, baseball cannot be played year-round. It requires an open field and winter conditions can affect it.

Most popular sports have summer leagues and winter breaks. A typical basketball season on the other hand begins around Winter and plays throughout the winter season. Sports like ice hockey require ice or snow.

However, basketball can be played indoors with snow blocked, as indoor stadiums have roofs. You’ve probably seen football matches canceled when the snow is too high, right?

Is WNBA a Winter Sport?

The Women’s Basketball Association starts in April and runs to September. It is played throughout the summer, hence considered a summer sport.

However, there are efforts to move the game into the winter period. Unlike big leagues where games play in the winter months, WNBA is a summer sport.

This is possible since the league comprises 12 teams and only plays 34 matches.

Is College Basketball a Winter Game?

College basketball is a typical winter sport that starts just before fall and ends after winter. Leagues begin in November and end in April. Most of the games are played throughout the winter.

Female College Basketball Players Joining Hands During Team Talk With Coach

There are two leagues in college basketball for men and women. Most of the matches take place indoors in towns and cities across states.

Is High School Basketball a Winter Sport?

High school basketball has a huge following, especially in the cities where the high schools are located. Most high school basketball matches begin shortly before Thanksgiving.

The matches are played throughout the winter ending in March. With most games taking place during winter, basketball indeed is a winter sport.

Is Basketball Included In The Winter Olympics?

We’ve already seen that most basketball games are played throughout the winter period. However, basketball is not included in the Olympic  Winter games despite most teams playing in winter.

This is simply because the games are not played on icy and snowy surfaces. There are calls to have the game included in the Winter Olympics.

Most fans across the world agree that including the sport in the Olympics will increase the popularity of the Winter Olympics.

Winter Olympics

The biggest challenge in including basketball in the Winter Olympic games is because of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC considers winter sports as games played on icy or snowy surfaces. The Olympic charter includes basketball in the summer Olympic games.

Basketball is officially recognized as a summer sport despite most games taking place in the winter season. If the sport was to join the Winter Olympics, it would mean teams setting up two weeks of the season aside.

Breaking a season halfway affects it and means extending the finishing period. However, most people agree that basketball joining the Winter games would increase its popularity further.

Currently, basketball is played in the Summer Olympics.

Why is basketball in the Olympics Summer Games?

Basketball is one of the most popular games in the Summer Olympics joining games like football, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, and much more. These are big games with a huge following across the globe.

The big question is whether moving basketball to the Winter Olympics will have a big effect. Basketball is included in the Summer Olympics because it’s not played on icy and snowy surfaces. 

While basketball is an indoor game, it requires a dry and hard surface. However, some people argue few changes can be done to make it possible for basketball to be played in the Winter Olympics.

It’s probably time to place basketball in the Winter Olympics. More attention tends to be on the summer Olympics. However, including basketball in the winter Olympics can enhance the popularity of the winter Olympics.

Getting it into the Winter Olympics will give it more attention. More bigger sports taking place in the summer tend to draw more attention in the Summer Olympics.

It makes sense to add basketball to the Winter Olympics as it makes the competition more exciting and that will satisfy the fans but also the advertisers.

What sport is played in the winter?

Common sports played in the winter season include skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, biathlon, and much more. There are a total of up to 15 games in the Winter Olympics.

The best winter sports include fat biking, sledding & tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. There are more sports you can play in winter. 

Group of players while skiing

When it’s the off season for most sports, basketball takes center stage, providing people with entertainment. Major basketball games play through the chilly winter months, when most sports are taking a winter break.

What season sport is basketball?

Most sports are played in different seasons. So, what season sport is basketball? If you cross-check the sports per season, basketball tends to fall during the winter season.

Basketball might start during fall, but most games are played through the winter. It remains a major sport and a great entertainment form during the winter season.

Spring season is ideal for baseball, gold swimming, softball, volleyball, track, and field sports. The fall season is for cross-country, water polo, tennis, volleyball, and football.

While basketball is considered a winter sport, it can be played throughout the year. For athletes, you need good weather where you can train alone as opposed to training as a team in basketball.

Can You Play Basketball In The Winter?

Yes, basketball players can play in freezing temperatures. While basketball is a hard surface sport, it can be played indoors during the cold period. If you don’t have an indoor court, you can still practice outdoors, even on a trampoline hoop.

What is needed is wearing the right apparel (it’s highly recommended not to wear shorts) and practicing when there is no snow or ice on the court. It is also important to avoid slippage. NBA games are played indoors, while amateur leagues can play outdoors.

The playoffs might begin in the early summer for the NBA, but most games are played throughout the winter. For most popular sports like soccer and baseball, games are played outdoors when the weather is good.

Some of the common games that are also played in winter time include ice hockey. You can watch the video below on how to practice basketball in the winter period.


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