The Basics of Basketball


Basketball is a team sport in which players score points by throwing the ball through a basket. The game has been around for over a century, and is played in both professional and amateur leagues across the world. The most popular league is the National Basketball Association (NBA), which attracts the top talent from major colleges and universities in the United States. Other leagues compete to qualify for continental championships and the Olympic Games.

Players move the ball by throwing it to teammates or bouncing it with one hand while running or walking. If a player moves both feet without bouncing the ball, they commit a violation called travelling. If they bounce the ball with two hands or use both hands while dribbling, they break other rules. A foul or other violation causes the other team to get possession of the ball, and play is stopped until the violation is corrected. There are time limits on when a team can possess the ball and shoot, known as the shot clock.

In basketball, the goal is to get the ball into the basket and make it stick to score a point. Each basket is worth one point, and the ball may only be scored by a teammate who has the ball in his or her hands. Defending a teammate while they are shooting is called defending the basket. If a player is unable to defend the basket, they can pass the ball to another teammate in order to continue the offensive play.

There are multiple types of shots in basketball, including the jump shot and the dunk. Players can also “stack” or “screen” to block an opposing player and give their teammate more room to shoot. A player can also get a basket by shooting from the paint, the shaded area surrounding the hoop, or by making the ball go through the hoop from the free throw line.

Fouls are a common part of the game, and they can result in a player losing the ball or being called a technical foul. The referees are responsible for calling all fouls and violations, and they can decide when to restart the game or award free throws.

To practice your shot motion, start by holding the ball in your dominant hand and getting into a good position to take the shot. Then, dribble the ball down the court while facing the direction you’re going. Try to make each dribble as short as possible by keeping your head on a swivel and staying focused on where your teammates are and what they’re doing. When you’re ready to shoot, remember to keep the ball low and to follow through with your body so it puts backspin on the ball to increase its chances of bouncing in.