Rules of Basketball

Basketball Basics for New Players and Coaches - Learn the Basic Rules, Concepts, Court Layout, and Player Positions

  • Oct 31, 2019
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Learn the Basic Rules of Basketball

Football is a fast paced sport and amateur sport which is played worldwide. Although it originated in North America It dates back to 1891. The second most popular sport in the world has gained significant popularity in many countries such as Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and parts of Asia. The biggest and most lucrative league in the world is the NBA (National Basketball Association). It's one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

In this game, the main point is to score "field goals" and to get these two teams play opposite to each other and by throwing the ball up and down the court through a basket or hoop, they score field goals. It is a team sport in which 2 teams try to score points by throwing a basketball to the opponents' hoop. The team with the highest score wins the game.

The game starts with the 'jump ball' shoot. This happens when the refereethrows the ball up in the air and this decided who will shoot first. This is decided in 24 seconds. If you shoot before the 24 seconds are up, then you score points based on the shot that you make.

Basketball Basics for New Players and Coaches 

The Basic Rules of Basketball

  • Two teams with a maximum of 5 players on the court at any one time. Substitutes are allowed and it can be done as many times within the game.
  • The way to move the ball is by 2 methods - either dribbling (bouncing the ball) or passing the ball. Players are not allowed to use two hands on the ball except catching the ball. If they do so, they cannot dribble or move with the ball. The ball must be passed or shot.
  • After the ball goes into a teams half and they win possession back the ball must then make it back over the halfway line within 10 seconds. If the ball fails to do so then a foul will be called and the ball will be turned over.
  • Each team has 24 seconds to at least shot at the basket. A shot constitutes either going in the basket or hitting the rim of the basket.
  • The two team are called offence and defense teams. One trying to score a basket is called the offence and the other trying to prevent them from scoring is called the defense.
  • After each successful basket the ball is then turned over to the opposition.
  • When the number of fouls of a team reach to a certain number throughout the game then the opponent team will be awarded a free throw. A free throw is done to take a shot unopposed from the free throw line. The number of free throw is decided on the number of fouls committed.
  • There are some violations in basketball which are included like travelling - it is when one player takes more than one step without bouncing the ball), double dribble - picking the ball up dribbling, stopping then dribbling again with two hands), goaltending - a defensive player interferes with the ball travelling downwards towards the basket and back court violation -once the ball passes the half way line the offensive team cannot take the ball back over the half way line.

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Court Dimensions

All that is needed to play basketball game is a court which should be rectangular shaped and measures 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. A basketball court has symmetry; one half of the court is a mirror image of the other. between the full court dimensions, a halfway line is made with a small circle at the centre. From the circle point, the referee make the jump shoot and game starts. In the court, there are two baskets both 10 feet in height at each end of the court. A free throw line is also made to get three point arc in the outside ring. There are two types of courts - Indoor basketball courts made of hardwood and outdoor courts are made of asphalt.

The borders of the court have their own commonsense names:

  • sidelines - the borders along the length of the court.
  • End line, orbaselines - the borders along the ends.
  • Midcourt line - a line separating both halves of the court.
  • Circle at midcourt line - center circle12 feet in diameter from where referee stars the game.
  • The backcourt and frontcourt - For offense team thefrontcourtis where the offenses basket is located and thebackcourtis the other half. Thus one teams backcourt is the other teams frontcourt.

Dimensions of court

Rules of Basketball
  • Size (Overall): 94 x 50 | 28.65 x 15.24 m
    Area (Court): 4,700 ft2 | 436.64 m2
    Baskets: 4 | 122 cm from perimeter, 10 | 305 cm high
    Three-point Arc: 239 | 7.24 m, 22 | 6.7 m corners
    Free-Throw Line: 15 | 4.57 m from basket
    Center Circle: 12 | 366 cm diameter
    Material (Indoor): Polished wood, hardwood usually maple
    Material (Outdoor): Paving, concrete, asphalt
  • The Foul Line: For all Courts, The foul line distance is 15? from the foul line to the front of the backboard and 18? 10? from the baseline.
  • The Key: Also called the free throw lane or the paint is 16 feet wide for NBA and FIBA.
  • Circles: There are three 6? circles on a court, one in the center of the court and one on each end centered on the foul line.
  • 3 Point Line or Arc: 
  1. 19.75 ft (6.01 m): High School
  2. 20.75 ft (6.32 m): NCAA
  3. 21.65 ft (6.60 m) to 22.15 ft (6.75 m): WNBA and FIBA
  4. 22 ft (6.71 m) to 23.75 ft (7.24 m): NBA
  • The Division Line: Line that marks the center of the court

Positions - Players & Equipment

  1. Teams - 2
  2. Each team players - 12
  3. Players allowed on court from one team - 5
  4. Maximum players in court - 10 players on the court at once and 5 for each team. 
  5. The positions are  - 
  • Point Guard - This point is for ball-handling and passing to the shooting guard or the center. This is also referred as position one and Offensively can create openings in a defense through quick penetration and layups. Defensively, they generally harass the opposing point guard and can optionally drop down to double-team threatening post players. They are generally the smallest players on the floor. Also referred to as the "1" position. 
  • Shooting Guard - Also referred to as the "2" position, the first or second offensive option of  a team. This position shoots the ball also handles the ball. It also plays the role of distributor.  This position have its play range beyond the three-point arc. It primarily move off-ball like when it receive the ball, it catch and shoot. Defensively, they are usually used to slow down the opposing shooting guard. It also provide cover to either the 1 position or the 3 position.
  • Small Forward - Generally the most versatile position which is often called as the "3" position in terms of both offense and defense. It has many roles like defensive stopper, to pass, to distribute, to offensive firecracker. Small forwards can generally cover any other player on the floor except for the center and some power forwards.
  • Power Forward - This is called as the "4" position and it is responsible for rebounding as well as a secondary inside threat.  Players at this position are considered most reliable. Usually they are a reliable post presence with the additional ability of being able to shoot from mid-range, and can defend both opposing power forwards and centers. They are also typically quite capable of shot-blocking and performing a lot of the tasks that a center normally would. Also 
  • Center - This is often called position number 5 and the man in the middle. The center is usually the biggest area covered. In this area team's most imposing and tallest player is placed here. This area comes near the basket. Players at this position defensively  defend the rim against attacking guards. It also defend opposing centers and power forwards in the post. 

Fouls -

  1. Personal fouls - When any player of a team hits other team players with illegal physical contact like Hitting, Pushing, Slapping or Holding.
  2. Illegal pick/screen  - When an offensive player sticks out a limb and in order to block the path of the defender makes physical contact with a defender.
  3. Personal foul penalties: If a player is shooting while a being fouled, then he gets two free throws if his shot doesn't go in, but only one free throw if his shot does go in. Three free throws are awarded if the player is fouled while shooting for a three-point goal and they miss their shot. If a player is fouled while shooting a three-point shot and makes it anyway, he is awarded one free throw. Thus, he could score four points on the play.
  4. Inbounds -  If fouled while not shooting, the ball is given to the team the foul was committed upon. They get the ball at the nearest side or baseline, out of bounds, and have 5 seconds to pass the ball onto the court.
  5. Seven or more fouls - After committing seven or more fouls in the game, the player of other team gets one free throw. If he gets success in free throw, he will get another free throw.
  6. Ten or more fouls - After committing ten or more fouls in the game, the player of other team gets two free throw. 
  7. Charging -  When one player of a team pushes or runs over other team player. The ball is given to the team that the foul was committed upon.
  8. Blocking - It is an attempt to prevent an opponent's player to move or drive to the basket. 
  9. Flagrant foul -  Hitting, kicking, and punching. 
  10. Intentional foul - Kind of physical contact with another player to steal the ball. 
  11. Technical foul - It is committed when the 'manners' of the game are not followed by players.,

Violations -

  1. Carrying/palming - When a player dribbles the ball with his hand too far to the side of or, sometimes, even under the ball.
  2. Walking/Traveling - If you walk carrying ball in hand' without dribbling.
  3. Double Dribble - When you dribble the ball with both hands on the ball or stopping the dribble and then dribbling again.
  4. Held ball - When two or more opposing players gain possession of the ball at the same time
  5. Goaltending - Interference of a defensive player between a shot by other player when it's on the way down toward the basket or it's on the way up toward the basket after having touched the backboard or when it's in the cylinder above the rim.
  6. Backcourt violation - If one player has brought the ball across the mid-court line, he cannot go back across the line during possession.
  7. Time restrictions - A player passing the ball inbounds has five seconds to pass the ball. If he does not, then the ball is awarded to the other team.

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