Usually played on a rectangular court, basketball is a game between two teams that aim to score points by putting the ball in the basket. A team may use a variety of shots, such as a jump shot, lay up, or slam dunk. The team that scores more points wins the game.
The game is played over four quarters, each lasting about twelve minutes. Each quarter has two teams that alternate on the court. The first team tries to score, while the other team tries to prevent it. A game may end in overtime if the scores are tied. The winner is the team that scores more points in the overtime period.
Each team is assigned a basket to defend. A center is assigned to block passes and screen defenders. The center is also responsible for taller rebounds. The tallest player is usually the center. Other players include a shooting guard, power forward, and small forward.
A basketball game begins with the referee throwing a ball high in the air. The ball is caught by a player from each team. The player from the opposing team must pass the ball to another teammate within five seconds. The ball is then awarded to the team that made the inbounds pass. In some formats, a free throw is awarded based on the number of fouls committed in the game.
In order to keep the ball moving around the court, the offensive team may dribble, pass, or bounce the ball. Players may also steal the ball from dribblers or intercept a pass. A player who steals the ball may then pass it to a teammate.
In order to score, an offensive team player must be beyond the three-point line. He or she may then shoot the ball through the basket of the opposing team. After the shot is made, the team receives the ball and can now try to score another point. During the possession of the ball, the team cannot go over the mid-court line. It is also illegal for an offensive player to stay in the key for more than three seconds without attempting a shot. If a player does stay in the key, he or she is considered traveling.
A player may also be awarded a technical foul if he or she makes an obscene gesture, argues, or commits a foul on the defending team. Technical fouls can be committed by a player or by a coach. A player may also commit a technical foul by improperly filling out the scorebook.
Each team is allowed a limited number of time-outs throughout the game. The time-outs are usually one minute in length. In addition, players may be allowed to call a time-out if they are injured. This can also be requested by the coach. Time-outs can last as long as 100 seconds in the NBA.
A player may not touch the ball with both hands while dribbling. A player who carries the ball is also considered to be traveling. If a player travels with the ball, the defending team will have a free inbounds pass.