Basketball is a sport played by teams of two to ten players. The goal of the game is to score points by kicking, dribbling, passing, or shooting the ball. There are three types of scoring: field goals, layups, and free throws. Field goals are scored by throwing the ball through the basket, layups are scored by bouncing the ball into the basket, and free throws are uncontested shots taken when the team has been fouled. Free throws are worth one point, whereas field goals are worth three.
In official basketball games, the players fall into five playing positions. They are the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. Each position is used for a different purpose. Usually, the fastest player on the team, the point guard, is the leader of the team’s offense. It is his job to help the coach develop a game plan and control the ball. He is usually the fastest player on the court, and is the quickest to dribble.
During the first decades of the 20th century, basketball was a popular interscholastic sport, especially in the United States. A number of men’s professional basketball teams appeared in the 1920s and 1930s. Two of them were all-African American teams, the New York Renaissance Five (“Rens”) and the Franklin Wonder Five (FWF). Another all-African American team was the Harlem Globetrotters. Throughout this period, the National Basketball League was formed to protect the players’ rights and to make the game less rough.
The rules of basketball include the size of the court, the dimensions of the ball, time limits for advancing the ball, and rules for defending. These rules are designed to keep the game fair and to allow more offense. However, they can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the sport. Here are some explanations of the terminology and rules:
Layups are scored by bouncing the basketball into the basket, typically off the backboard. Sometimes, a player is able to collect rebounded shots and then slam dunk the ball into the hoop. Several different styles of dunks are played. One style, the slam dunk, is the most popular. To slam dunk, a player jumps high and then shoots the ball through the basket. Often, the player does not look at the basket, or he will use a bounce pass to send the ball around a defender.
Ball stealing is when a player steals the ball from an opponent who is dribbling. Taking the ball from the dribbler is a violation of the rules. If the player dribbles more than once, he is called for a double dribble.
When a player is dribbling, he is required to be facing the basket. He is also allowed to rest the ball on his dominant hand. His other hand is held stationary, slightly above his head. This is done to keep a steady backspin on the ball. Players can also rest the ball in their opponent’s possession and then intercept the ball.