So You Want to Play Basketball
Basketball is an incredibly popular sport that anyone can play. It was invented in Springfield Massachusetts by James Naismith. While you might not become the next superstar like Paul Pierce or LeBron James, playing basketball is a fun group activity. So grab your sneakers and get ready to learn How to Play Basketball!
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
Basketball is a universally popular game played by people of all genders, ages, nationalities and abilities. There are professional leagues for both men and women in the US as well as all over the world. You’ve probably heard of “March Madness”. Which is the NCAA (National College Athletic Association)college single elimination tournament held every spring. The NBA (National Basketball Association) best out of seven just finished.
What You’ll Need
Unlike baseball and football, two other popular sports, you don’t need a lot of equipment to play basketball. You also don’t need as many people to play. Basketball can be played alone, or with as many as ten people.
A hoop (also called a rim) is a metal ring, most times a net is attached. The basketball must pass through the hoop to score points in basketball.
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A full basketball court is ideal, but many people play with much less. You can play one-on-one in your driveway or anyplace with a hard surface and a basketball. The court is a hard playing surface. The sideline runs down the long side of the court. This line forms the boundary on the side of the court. The baseline runs down the short side of the court, below the hoop. This line forms the boundary at the base of the court. The half-court line runs directly through the middle of the court, splitting it into two mirror-image halves with a hoop at each end. The shape of the court is a large rectangle. The circle at center court is where the game will begin. One player from each opposing team will meet in this center to tip-off (start the game).
At the tip-off, a referee tosses the ball in the air while the two players in the center attempt to tap the ball to their players and obtain possession. The free-throw line is where a shooter lines up to take a free shot after being fouled. A free throw is awarded with one point. The key is the small half-circle above the free-throw line, which is typically continued by a dashed line. This circle is used for jump ball tip-offs in mid-game, usually only seen in professional leagues. The lane consists of the area between two lines extending from the key to the baseline. The floor in this area is usually painted, which is why the lane is also sometimes called “the paint.” This is the area where each team lines up when a shooter takes a free throw. An offensive player may not stand within the lane for longer than three seconds at a time. A defensive player may stand in the lane for as long as he wants. The three-point arc is the line that makes a half-circle from the baseline on one side of the hoop to the other, encircling the key. Any shot made from this area receives a score of three points.
Basketball is a game that can be played by anyone, there are several different sizes of basketballs. The size is based on a players age or if your male or female.
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There is a lot of stop-and-go action that happens in a basketball game, you should wear stable, comfortable sneakers for foot and ankle support.
Loose comfortable clothing is the best type of clothing to wear while playing basketball, or a uniform on game day.
Scoring the most points is the goal of the entire game. When a player shoots the ball, he/she wants the ball to travel through the hoop. This is how a player scores points (a basket or hoop).
A basket inside the three point arc scores two points. However a shot made from behind the three-point arc is worth three points; a free throw is worth one point.
In an organized game, each team has five players. Each player plays a specific position.
The guards are usually the fastest players on the team. There are typically two guards playing at any time, a point guard and a shooting guard. The point guard is the best ball handler on the team, the shooting guard is the best shooter on the team.
The forwards are power players. They generally play in the front court, or closer to the hoop. They can be classified as a small forward or a power forward. The small forward is the best shooter in the front court. Small forwards are what some may call a “utility player”– they can handle the ball like a guard, but also provide power in the paint like a forward. Power forwards are the best rebounders on the floor.
The center is typically the tallest player on the team. They play in the area around the free-throw line, they help create pick-and-roll plays, scoring down low in the lane and on defense block shots.
Numbers are often assigned to each position.
A point guard is a 1.
A shooting guard is a 2.
A small forward is a 3.
A power forward is a 4.
A center is a 5.
Gaining Possession of the Ball
There are several ways to gain possession of the ball and become the team on offense (the team with the ball): 1) Win the tip-off, the game begins with an opening tip-off. The team that controls the ball after the tip-off is in possession of the ball. 2) The defense (the team without the ball) can steal the ball. A ball is considered stolen if you are a defensive player and intercept a pass or otherwise take the ball from an offensive player. 3) When a player shoots the ball, but the shot misses, the person who catches the ball has made a rebound. This is another way to get possession of the ball. If a defensive player catches the rebound, the offensive and defensive teams now reverse roles. Another way to get the ball is to 4) force a turnover, there are many ways to force a turnover. One way is when the ball goes out of bounds, with the offensive team being the last to touch the ball. Then the possession goes to the defensive team. Any time possession of the ball changes between the teams without a basket being scored is considered a turnover. 5) A jump ball is when two players from the opposing teams are each in possession of the ball, essentially fighting over it. In some professional leagues, the teams will actually have another tip-off. In most other leagues, this is settled by the possession arrow. The possession arrow changes teams after every jump ball, beginning with the opening tip-off, so that each team has an equal chance possessing the ball. 6) Lastly after a team makes a score, possession goes to the other team.
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A team can only score points when they are in possession of the ball. The team that is in possession of the ball is on offense. The goal of the offense is to score points, which is done by shooting the ball through the basket or hoop. A player in possession of the ball may not move their feet without dribbling (bouncing) the ball at the same time. Basically, you can’t just hold on to the basketball and run; this is a violation called traveling. You may also pass the ball to another teammate to move the ball down the court. Other ways to create shots are to make plays, or set picks. A pick puts a defensive player off balance, and allows the player with the ball to move, shoot or pass. To set a pick run up behind the defensive player guarding the player in possession of the ball, cross your arms over your chest, and “plant” your feet (don’t move them).
You may be charged with a foul if your feet are moving when you set the pick. Let the defensive player knock into you, which helps your teammate by slowing down the defensive player.
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The team that is not in possession of the ball is on defense. The goal of the defense is to stop the other team from scoring points.
There are two types of defense:
In a man-to-man defense, each defensive player is responsible for
defending one offensive player. For example, the player who plays point guard on the defensive team will likely guard the player who plays point guard on the offensive team.
In a zone defense, each defensive player is responsible for defending an area of the court and also, any offensive player who comes into that area, or zone.
There are rules to playing defense. Defensive players must follow these rules, or risk being called for a foul.
Technically, basketball is considered a non-contact sport. Anyone who has ever played or seen a basketball game knows that this is not necessarily accurate. Even though some contact is overlooked, the officials control the game by calling fouls. The players are not allowed to have a free-for-all. Certain actions on the court are considered “fouls.”
If you are on offense and you run into a defensive player who has
established position (planted feet), you are charging.
An illegal screen happens when a player sets a pick, but moves his or her feet. When you set a pick, you must stay stationary until the defensive player has moved.
Push (used to be called as over the back)
When you are attempting to go for an offensive rebound, you cannot jump over a person in front of you. You may only jump directly up and down; any curling over or pushing the person in front of you will result in a foul.
A blocking foul occurs when a defensive player uses his or her body to impede an offensive player’s advancement.
A holding foul occurs when a defensive player holds onto an offensive player, restricting the offensive player’s ability to play the game.
If a defensive player hits an offensive player while attempting to steal the ball, this is a reaching foul. Defensive players may not hit the arms, hands, or other body parts of an offensive player in mid-shot. Doing so will result in a hacking foul.
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There are two other, more serious, types of fouls, which can be called against an offensive or defensive player.
A technical foul is called when a player exhibits unsportsman like conduct, such as talking back to a referee or slamming the ball down. When a technical foul is called, a player from the opposing team will get two free throws, and get the ball back. If a player receives two technical fouls in a game, he or she will be ejected.
A flagrant foul is called when a player exhibits unnecessary or intentional harm to an opposing player, while the game is in play. A player may be ejected after one flagrant foul.
Free Throws are given to a player if he/she is fouled while taking a shot, he/she will get two free throws. The exception to this rule is if the original shot was made. If this is the case, the player will get the two points from the original shot, plus one free throw attempt. Fouls that occur when a player is not shooting will not receive a free throw attempt. However, in some leagues, there is a penalty limit. When a team goes over the penalty limit (a certain number of fouls committed by the entire team, usually ten), the opposing team will be awarded free throws for all types of fouls.
Violations are not as serious as fouls because they don’t necessarily give the other team a free shot. Violations however, cause turnovers, which means the other team will get possession of the ball if you or a teammate does one of these things.
You will be called for travelling if you take steps without bouncing (dribbling) the ball.
If you dribble the ball and stop (or pick up the dribble), you may not dribble again. You must pass or shoot. If you do dribble again, you are committing a double dribble.
While dribbling, you cannot bring your palm underneath the ball. Keep your palm facing downwards while dribbling.
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An offensive player cannot stand in the lane, or the paint, for more than three seconds at a time.
Over and back
When playing a full-court game, once the point guard brings the ball across center court, play is restricted to that side of the court as long as that team retains possession. Meaning, once the point guard crosses half court, the ball cannot go back until the other team has possession.
Basketball is a great game that can be enjoyed by just about anyone, even if you are not in great shape. You don’t need to play basketball to enjoy watching it on television or in person. There are plenty of opportunities for anyone interested in basketball to get involved or just be to a fan. So enjoy the most universal game out there– basketball!
To learn more about basketball, in great players visit the Basketball Hall of Fame this summer! Usually you can purchase a reduced rate ticket at the Big Y or through AAA. Hopefully, someday I’ll be playing on a college team and I’ll be sure to send you a ticket. Thanks for giving me the chance to teach you about basketball.
How to play better basketball www.howtoplay.com/basketball-overview-how to play.html
Top Basketball Coaches Top-Basketball-Coaching.com
How to Play Basketball Rules www.playbasketballnow.com