BASKETBALL BASICSThe Basics!Basketball players move a ball on a court by dribbling, passing, and shooting. Pointsare scored when a player shoots the ball through the hoop. A basket (or field goal)counts as either two or three points, and free throws count one point each. The teamscoring the greater number of points in the allotted time wins the game.Whats Needed?A basketball, basketball sneakers, socks, shorts, and matching jersey.How long is a game?A basketball game is generally divided into two halves, each ranging from twelve totwenty-four minutes (depending on the league). Many youth leagues play fourquarters (as does the National Basketball Association). Play starts with a “jump ball”at center court. After each quarter (or at halftime) teams switch sides. Each team ispermitted a certain number of time-outs per half (again depending on league rules).If a game ends in a tie, overtime periods of up to five minutes are usually playeduntil one team outscores the other to win.Great ShotJump Shot - A shot performed while jumping in the air in which the ball is releasedat the highest point off the ground. It is often used when shooting over a defendertrying to block the ball.Lay-up - Describes when a player moves to the hoop with the ball, steps up towardthe rim, and rolls the ball off his or her fingertips into the basket.Bank Shot - A shot in which the ball first touches the backboard before it goes intothe hoop. A player will often try a bank shot when shooting from a difficult angle.Dunk (or Jam) - A player jumps in the air and slams the ball into the basket.Hook Shot - A one-handed shot usually taken from near or inside the key. Theshooter faces sideways to the hoop and arcs the ball over the defending player.Free Throw - A free shot taken from the foul line as the result of a foul. If a playeris fouled while in the act of shooting the ball and misses the shot, he or she is giventwo free throws. If the shooter is fouled but makes the basket then only one freethrow is taken. Also, if a non-shooting player is fouled and the opposing team is overits limit of “team fouls,” the fouled player goes to the line to shoot a “one-and-one.”Lets Get Personal!Personal Foul - Called when illegal body contact occurs between opposing player.Common examples are holding, charging, tripping, blocking, pushing, orinterference. A personal foul results in either a player taking free throws or a teamlosing possession of the ball.
Charging - Called when a player moving with the ball runs into a defender who hasestablished a set guarding position. Possession of the ball goes to the defense.Blocking - A defensive player may not stand in the way of a dribbling player unlessthat defender has established a legal guarding stance.Technical Foul - Called against any player or coach for unsportsmanlike conductsuch as swearing or arguing with a referee. A technical foul awards the other team atleast one free throw and possession of the ball. If a player or coach receives twotechnical fouls, he or she is removed from the game.Three-second Violation - An offensive player without the ball may not stand in thefree-throw lane for more than three seconds. Infraction of this rule results in a“turnover.”Five-second Rule - A closely guarded player holding the ball has five seconds toeither pass or advance the ball toward the hoop. When called, possession of the ballgoes to the opposite team.Ten-second Rule - After an “inbound,” offensive players have ten seconds to movethe ball from their own “backcourt,” over the midcourt line into their “frontcourt.”Backcourt Violation - An offensive player with the ball may not cross back over thehalf-court line once he or she has advanced the ball beyond midcourt. Doing soresults in a turnover.Inbound Violation - Players have five seconds to inbound the ball. If unable to doso the ball goes to the other team.Did You Know That?Basketball was invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Dr. JamesNaismith. A teacher at the YMCA, he saw the need for an indoor game that could beplayed during the inclement winter months. The game quickly grew in its popularityamong both players and spectators, and in 1893, backboards were placed behind therims to prevent overzealous fans from interfering with players’ shots. The firstprofessional basketball league was created in 1898.
Two teams of five players are on the court at one time. Teams usually line up withtwo guards, two forwards, and one center. All players contribute on offense anddefense. Coaches may substitute players as often as they want, but only when theclock is stopped.Center - Plays underneath the basket. He or she is typically the tallest player on theteam. The center’s main tasks are to gain position under the hoop so as to best get“rebounds,” take shots, and on defense block shots by opposing players.Forwards - Generally play along the court baselines on either side of the basket.Along with the center, they are the team’s main rebounders. Offensively they shootfrom both outside and in close to the hoop.Guards - As the main ball handlers, they are typically the best “dribblers” andpassers on the team. They are responsible for bringing the ball up the court andpassing it to open players for scoring opportunities. The point guard calls theoffensive plays and controls the tempo of the game. The shooting guard generallyplays near the top of the “key” and is often relied upon to take the three-point shot.