Basketball is an intense game that puts stress on the body. The game requires players to perform a variety of actions including running, dribbling, passing, and shooting. Players should take care to hydrate regularly and become physically strong. They should also warm up and stretch before playing.
Players are divided into teams of five. Each team is given 20 minutes to prepare for a match. Teams switch sides at the end of the first two quarters. Teams play four quarters of 12 minutes. If the scores are tied at the end of the fourth quarter, the game is decided by overtime. During the overtime period, the winning team is the team that scores the most points.
The goal of a basketball game is to score by throwing the ball through the hoop and into the opposing team’s basket. The ball is usually thrown high by the referee. There are many different rules governing the game, so it’s important to understand them.
Most games are played over four quarters. The length of the game is determined by the level of competition. For example, a high school game is shorter than a professional league game. Also, the game is played on a smaller court.
There are five basic positions on a basketball team: center, power forward, shooting guard, small forward, and point guard. Each position requires a different skill set, and each position needs quick movements and teamwork. A shooting guard, for example, is typically the best long-range shooter, while a center is the player who makes the most defensive plays.
Players can also receive a personal foul for making unsportsmanlike plays. Players may be accused of arguing with the referee, blocking the opposing team’s defenders, or intentionally injuring the opponent.
Generally, there are three on-court officials that oversee the game. They call fouls, stop play when a player breaks a rule, and keep score. These officials also run the shot clock and the game clock. Depending on the rules of the game, teams may agree to play under a different set of rules for each half of a match.
In addition, each team is allowed to substitute players. This can be a very effective way to win a game. However, the substitutions can be limited by a coach. When a team has five players on the court, they cannot participate in the second half of the game.
Another rule is that a defender can only spend three seconds in the paint at a time. After three seconds, the defender must leave the paint.
In the early days of basketball, a peach basket was used as the goal. Today, a basketball rim is typically 18 inches (45.7 cm) in diameter and made of cast iron. It is surrounded by a nylon mesh cord.
When a player dribbles down the court, they must bounce the ball continuously. If a dribble is stopped before the ball is thrown into the hoop, the possession is reclaimed by the opposing team.