Basketball is a team sport in which players move the ball around by passing it or dribbling, abiding by a fixed set of rules. Each time the ball goes through a hoop or basket, the offensive team scores points. A shot made inside the area encircled by the three-point line in the opposing team’s half is worth two points; a player who gets fouled while shooting a free throw earns an additional point. Fouls occur when a player makes contact with another player and can result in a player being excluded from the game for a period of time.
Besides the obvious physical benefits of playing basketball, it also has the potential to enhance children’s motor coordination and agility, according to 2018 research. In addition, engaging in regular physical activity helps people maintain a healthy body weight and increase their levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. The sport also encourages people to get active, which can improve their self-esteem and mood and decrease pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891 at Springfield College and later introduced it to Geneva College and the University of Iowa. The students at these schools loved the game, and word spread from there. People in many countries now play basketball.
A game of basketball is played with five players on each side. They fall into one of five playing positions, including the tallest player, called the center; the second-tallest, strongest player, known as the power forward; the shortest but fastest players, who are often designated as small forwards or shooting guards; and the point guard, who implements the coach’s strategy and plays defense.
The quickest and most effective way to move the ball from one player to another is by passing it. The ball must be touched with both hands during each pass, and a player cannot dribble after he or she has passed the ball. If a player takes more than two steps without dribbling, it is a foul known as traveling. A shot that only hits the backboard is often referred to as a brick, and a bad pass is sometimes called an air ball.
There are several other types of fouls in basketball. A personal foul occurs when a player makes contact with an opponent and is penalized with a loss of possession. The player who commits a personal foul may not return to the game after the foul is committed, and he or she can be excluded from the entire competition.
The rules of basketball are designed to prevent excessive physical contact between players. However, there are times when it is necessary to make contact in order to keep the game moving and avoid a delay. If a player commits too many fouls, he or she is excluded from the game for a certain period of time. Games of basketball are typically divided into four quarters of varying length depending on the level of competition. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.