The Basics of Basketball


Basketball is a team sport in which five players compete against each other to get the ball through a basket, scoring points by doing so. It is played on a rectangular floor called a court, with a hoop at each end. There are many ways to move the ball down the court, including dribbling, passing, and shooting. The teams alternate possession of the ball throughout a game, which lasts four quarters (NCAA games are played by halves). The team with more points wins.

James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. The first players were college students, and Naismith wrote the rules of the game to encourage his students to exercise and stay active. The sport spread rapidly and is now one of the world’s most popular sports, played at all levels from grade school to professional. The National Basketball Association, founded in 1946, is the premier men’s professional league and attracts top talent from around the globe. In addition to the NBA, there are many other professional leagues around the world, including the EuroLeague and FIBA Americas League.

In the United States, there are more than 14,000 high schools that offer basketball programs, and more than 3.5 million students play the sport. There are also countless recreational leagues and clubs for adults and children. Basketball puts a lot of stress on the body, so it’s important to warm up and stretch before playing, as well as to hydrate frequently during a game.

The most common way to move the ball between teammates is by dribbling, which involves bouncing the ball while walking or running. When a player is dribbling, he or she must keep the ball within sight at all times. It’s a violation to lift or drag a pivot foot without dribbling, to carry the ball, or to stop dribbling and then begin again. It’s also illegal to “fake” a shot, which is a deceptive move intended to confuse the defense.

There are several types of shots in basketball, including the layup shot and the slam dunk. A made basket counts two points unless it is made behind the three-point line, which is worth three points. The game also includes free-throw shots, which are awarded according to a format that may involve the number of fouls committed or the type of foul committed.

Terms and phrases used in basketball include:

Term of Art: “The game is played on an elevated track known as the court, which measures 48 feet by 30 feet. A team has ten seconds to get the ball over the midcourt line before it must turn the ball over to the defense.”

A defender who moves close to an offensive player in order to contest a shot is known as a power forward or center. A player who catches a pass and immediately dribbles toward the basket is said to be on a fast break. A pass that is caught by a teammate in the key, a restricted area in the center of the court, is referred to as an alley-oop.