The Rules of Basketball


The game of basketball involves moving a ball around the court and scoring points by shooting into a hoop or by making a field goal, following a fixed set of rules. The players are divided into two teams, with five athletes from each team taking turns running with the ball and passing it between themselves as they move toward the basket. The objective is to score more points than the opposing team. The team with the ball is called the offense, while the defensive team tries to steal the ball, block shots, deflect passes and garner rebounds. A basket made by an offensive player scores two points, while a basket scored from inside the area encircled by the three-point line wins three points. Throughout the game, time outs are allowed to allow coaches to talk with their teams and to heal injuries.

The earliest forms of the game were played by men who threw or dribbled the ball while standing on a horse-drawn wagon, with the wagon towed along the ground by an animal. In 1891, Dr. James Naismith introduced the sport at Kansas State Teachers College, now known as the University of Kansas, where he developed a game involving dribbling and passing. Naismith’s invention was later adapted for use by military and civilian physical training units and at schools and colleges across the United States.

In 1905, a committee was formed to standardize the rules of the game. This included representatives from collegiate, YMCA-Amateur Athletic Union and state militia groups, as well as professional leagues and amateur associations. By the early 1920s, there were at least five different sets of rules in use. This created a wide range of strategies among competing teams to gain an advantage, such as playing faster and using the rules to their favor.

Some of the most important basketball rules include the restriction on how long a team can have possession before it must pass the ball or attempt a shot. These limits are imposed in order to speed the game up and promote more offense. There are also limitations on the distance a player can travel before being required to dribble, as well as restrictions on how close a player can be to an opposing team member while handling the ball.

A basketball game is usually divided into four quarters, with the teams switching sides after each period. A FIBA sanctioned game typically lasts between eight and twelve minutes, with the winner being determined by the team who has the most points at the end of the game. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, overtime periods of varying lengths are used to determine the winner.

There are many techniques for handling the ball and executing moves in basketball, but some basic principles are common to all levels of play. Some of these basic techniques include the ability to perform a pick-up pass and to bank a shot off of the backboard. Other essential skills involve knowing the proper way to hold the ball and how to pass it to a teammate.