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Basketball Basics for New Players and Coaches

Learn the Basic Rules, Concepts, Court Layout, and
Player Positions

FREE! Get 72 of our favorite basketball drills and 32 of our favorite basketball plays.

The rules of basketball, thankfully, are fairly straightforward. However, for the younger players, some
rules can be easily forgotten. The three-second rule addressing how long an offensive player can be in
the key before clearing out is a good example.

Once you have taught the rules of the game to your team, there is a simple way to make sure that they
don't forget them. Have them tell you the rules. Spend a few minutes during each practice quizzing them.
Make it fun. Additionally, you can teach and reinforce the rules of the game during drills.

Before you can teach the rules to your team, you must know them yourself...

The Rules
Basketball is a team sport. Two teams of five players each try to score by shooting a ball through a hoop
elevated 10 feet above the ground. The game is played on a rectangular floor called the court, and there
is a hoop at each end. The court is divided into two main sections by the mid-court line. If the offensive
team puts the ball into play behind the mid-court line, it has ten seconds to get the ball over the mid-court
line. If it doesn't, then the defense gets the ball. Once the offensive team gets the ball over the mid-court
line, it can no longer have possession of the ball in the area in back of the line. If it does, the defense is
awarded the ball.

Basketball Court 1

The ball is moved down the court toward the basket by passing or dribbling. The team with the ball is
called the offense. The team without the ball is called the defense. They try to steal the ball, contest
shots, steal and deflect passes, and garner rebounds.

When a team makes a basket, they score two points and the ball goes to the other team. If a basket, or
field goal, is made outside of the three-point arc, then that basket is worth three points. A free throw is
worth one point. Free throws are awarded to a team according to some formats involving the number of
fouls committed in a half and/or the type of foul committed. Fouling a shooter always results in two or
three free throws being awarded the shooter, depending upon where he was when he shot. If he was
beyond the three-point line, then he gets three shots. Other types of fouls do not result in free throws
being awarded until a certain number have accumulated during a half. Once that number is reached, then
the player who was fouled is awarded a '1-and-1' opportunity. If he makes his first free throw, he gets to
attempt a second. If he misses the first shot, the ball is live on the rebound.

Each game is divided into sections. All levels have two halves. In college, each half is twenty minutes
long. In high school and below, the halves are divided into eight (and sometimes, six) minute quarters. In
the pros, quarters are twelve minutes long. There is a gap of several minutes between halves. Gaps
between quarters are relatively short. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, then overtime periods of
various lengths are played until a winner emerges.

Each team is assigned a basket or goal to defend. This means that the other basket is their scoring
basket. At halftime, the teams switch goals. The game begins with one player from either team at center
court. A referee will toss the ball up between the two. The player that gets his hands on the ball will tip it
to a teammate. This is called a tip-off. In addition to stealing the ball from an opposing player, there are
other ways for a team to get the ball.

One such way is if the other team commits a foul or violation.

Fouls and Violations

Personal fouls: Personal fouls include any type of illegal physical contact.
 Hitting
 Pushing
 Slapping
 Holding
 Illegal pick/screen -- when an offensive player is moving. When an offensive player sticks
out a limb and makes physical contact with a defender in an attempt to block the path of
the defender.
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.
 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.
 One & one. If the team committing the foul has seven or more fouls in the game, then the
player who was fouled is awarded one free throw. If he makes his first shot, then he is
awarded another free throw.
 Ten or more fouls. If the team committing the foul has ten or more fouls, then the fouled
player receives two free throws.
Charging. An offensive foul that is committed when a player pushes or runs over a defensive player. The
ball is given to the team that the foul was committed upon.

Blocking. Blocking is illegal personal contact resulting from a defender not establishing position in time to
prevent an opponent's drive to the basket.

Flagrant foul. Violent contact with an opponent. This includes hitting, kicking, and punching. This type of
foul results in free throws plus the offense retaining possession of the ball after the free throws.

Intentional foul. When a player makes physical contact with another player with no reasonable effort to
steal the ball. It is a judgment call for the officials.

Technical foul. Technical foul. A player or a coach can commit this type of foul. It does not involve player
contact or the ball but is instead about the 'manners' of the game. Foul language, obscenity, obscene
gestures, and even arguing can be considered a technical foul, as can technical details regarding filling in
the scorebook improperly or dunking during warm-ups.


Walking/Traveling. Taking more than 'a step and a half' without dribbling the ball is traveling. Moving
your pivot foot once you've stopped dribbling is traveling.

Carrying/palming. When a player dribbles the ball with his hand too far to the side of or, sometimes,
even under the ball.

Double Dribble. Dribbling the ball with both hands on the ball at the same time or picking up the dribble
and then dribbling again is a double dribble.

Held ball. Occasionally, two or more opposing players will gain possession of the ball at the same time.
In order to avoid a prolonged and/or violent tussle, the referee stops the action and awards the ball to one
team or the other on a rotating basis.

Goaltending. If a defensive player interferes with a shot while it's on the way down toward the basket,
while it's on the way up toward the basket after having touched the backboard, or while it's in the cylinder
above the rim, it's goaltending and the shot counts. If committed by an offensive player, it's a violation and
the ball is awarded to the opposing team for a throw-in.

Backcourt violation. Once the offense has brought the ball across the mid-court line, they cannot go
back across the line during possession. If they do, the ball is awarded to the other team to pass inbounds.

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. Other time restrictions include the rule that a player cannot
have the ball for more than five seconds when being closely guarded and, in some states and levels,
shot-clock restrictions requiring a team to attempt a shot within a given time frame.

Player Positions
Center. Centers are generally your tallest players. They generally are positioned near the basket.

Offensive -- The center's goal is to get open for a pass and to shoot. They are also responsible for
blocking defenders, known as picking or screening, to open other players up for driving to the basket for a
goal. Centers are expected to get some offensive rebounds and put-backs.

Defensive -- On defense, the center's main responsibility is to keep opponents from shooting by blocking
shots and passes in the key area. They also are expected to get a lot of rebounds because they're taller.

Forward. Your next tallest players will most likely be your forwards. While a forward may be called upon
to play under the hoop, they may also be required to operate in the wings and corner areas.

Offensive -- Forwards are responsible to get free for a pass, take outside shots, drive for goals, and

Defensive -- Responsibilities include preventing drives to the goal and rebounding.

Guard. These are potentially your shortest players and they should be really good at dribbling fast,
seeing the court, and passing. It is their job to bring the ball down the court and set up offensive plays.

Offensive -- Dribbling, passing, and setting up offensive plays are a guard's main responsibilities. They
also need to be able to drive to the basket and to shoot from the perimeter.

Defensive -- On defense, a guard is responsible for stealing passes, contesting shots, preventing drives
to the hoop, and for boxing out.

Where Should New Players and Coaches Start?
First, we suggest that you focus on learning the basic fundamentals of basketball.

To teach fundamental skills, start with these 72 free basketball drills that include full diagrams and step by
step instructions. They will help you develop strong fundamentals and basketball skills.

Like any sport, no matter what your age -- whether you're a professional athlete or a youth player just
getting started -- you need strong fundamentals to be successful!

Unfortunately, most people don't really understand what that means.

The fundamentals include working on the little things that make you better -- no matter what team or
coach you play for -- or what offense or defense you are running.

For example, by working on the fundamentals of shooting, you will get better no matter what team you
play for. The fundamentals of shooting include proper foot alignment, leg bend, hand position, arm angle,
follow through, and so on. These are some of the little things that make a difference. Learn them!

The same goes for lays ups, foot work, post play, passing, jab steps, jump stops, pivoting, blocking out,
and so on.

We suggest that you start by learning the proper technique and fundamentals for:
 Shooting
 Passing
 Dribbling
 Lay ups
 Jump stops
 Pivoting and footwork
 Jab steps
 Screening
 Cutting
 Defense
 Rebounding
These are all critical fundamentals to master because they'll make you and your team better, no matter
what age level or situation you might be in.

Kids Sports

Back to Kids Sports
Back to Kids Basketball

Basketball Rules Player Positions Basketball Strategy Basketball Glossary
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is played with a ball and a hoop. Players
score points by shooting the ball through the hoop.

Basketball has become popular for a number of reasons:

Basketball is fun to play: Basketball has a very fast and exciting pace of play. Also, each player on
the court gets to play both offense and defense and the roles of each player are only loosely defined.
Much of basketball easily can be practiced (like shooting or dribbling) with one person making it easy
to learn. The sport also is great for one-on-one play all the way up to 5-on-5, so you don't need a big
crowd to get a good game going.

Simple equipment: With basketball all you need are a ball and a hoop. Many playgrounds
throughout the world (especially in the USA) have hoops making it easy to get a game going with
just a ball.

Basketball is fun to watch: Some of the worlds greatest athletes are basketball players. The game
is fast-paced and full of excitement and lots of scoring.

Basketball is an all weather sport: Basketball is often played outside in parks or in driveways, but
is also a winter sport played indoors. So you can play basketball year round.

Basketball History

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Jim Naismith. He invented the sport for indoors play at the
YMCA during the Massachusetts winter. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two peach
baskets for goals.

The sport spread from the YMCA to colleges where the first basketball leagues were formed. As the
sport gained popularity at the college level professional leagues were formed and, in 1936,
basketball became an Olympic sport. Today the NBA (National Basketball Association) is one of the
most popular professional sports leagues in the world.

Basketball has had a number of players that have help make basketball popular as a spectator sport
including Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Oscar Robinson. Perhaps the most
famous and arguably the greatest basketball player of all time is Michael Jordan.

More Kids Basketball Links:
Basketball Rules
Referee Signals
Player Positions
Point Guard
Basketball Strategy
Personal Fouls
Foul Penalties
Non-Foul Rule
The Clock and Timing
Basketball Court
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Individual Defense
Team Defense
Offensive Plays

Individual Drills
Team Drills
Fun Basketball Games

Basketball Glossary

Michael Jordan
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Chris Paul
Kevin Durant

National Basketball
Association (NBA)
List of NBA Teams
College Basketball

Basketball is a team game played on a court. Each five-person team attempts to throw or dunk an
inflated ball into the opponent's basket, which is mounted on a backboard that is ten feet above the
floor. TheInternational Basketball Federation (FIBA) is the recognized governing body for basketball
world wide. Founded in 2002, FIBA aims to create a worldwide basketball network to achieve a
sustainable continuous growth of the sport of basketball. USA Basketball, a non-profit corporation, is
the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States.
Basketball is a popular sport worldwide, played in professional leagues, school teams, recreational
leagues, and on courts and driveways all over America. Early evidence of the game has been found in
the archeological remains of the ancient civilizations of Central and South America, but the game as we
know it was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith of Pringles, Massachusetts. He was commissioned
to design an indoor team game for the YMCA. The YWCA requested a copy of the rules in 1895, and
since then, both men and woman have been participating in the sport of basketball.
The basketball court may be located indoors or outdoors, and is a rectangular hard surface. The
dimensions of the court vary according to the level of play; NCAA courts are 50x90
feet, NBA and WNBA courts are 50x94 feet, and high school courts are 50x84 feet. The court may be
constructed of a variety of materials, including wood for indoor gymnasium courts, or asphalt for
outdoor courts, and must have clearly defined lines which are 5 centimeters in width.
A basketball hoop is located at each end of the court. This consists
of a pole with an orange-painted iron ring of 45 centimeters in
diameter and bottomless net of white cord on a backboard which is
ten feet above court level. Backboards are made of hardwood
painted white or transparent material of comparable rigidity. The
backboard measures 6 feet horizontally and 4 feet vertically. The
basketball is round and made of either leather, rubber, or molded
nylon casing around a rubber inner bladder. It is typically orange in color, with black panel markings.
Each college or professional basketball team wears matching sleeveless nylon shirts and shorts in team
colors, and supportive basketball sneakers which are usually high top and have adequate shock
absorption. Each member has a number on the front and back of his shirt for identification, and no
team mates may wear duplicate numbers. Shirts may also feature
the player's last name.
Each basketball team consists of five players, and up to five
substitutes are allowed. There is usually a center, two forwards, and
two guards. The primary ball handler is the point guard, and the top
scorer is the shooting guard. The goal is to make the basketball pass
through the hoop of the opposing team, and therefore, score
points. A successful shot is worth two points; three if it is taken from
behind the three-point arc which is 20 feet 6 inches from the basket
in international games and 23 feet 9 inches in NBA games. The
basketball can be passed, thrown, tapped, or dribbled toward the opposing goal, but it cannot be
A basketball game is played in four quarters of ten or twelve minutes and begins with a "jump-
ball." This means that one player from each team stands in the center circle while the referee tosses the
ball in the air between them. The players then jump upwards and attempt to tap the ball in such a way
that their own team members gain possession of the ball. The players then dribble and pass toward the
opposing goal.
Dribbling occurs when a player bounces the ball on the floor and touches it again, without assistance or
intrusion of another player. He may continue dribbling as long as he is able, but once it comes to rest in
his hand, or he catches it, he must pass it to another player, or attempt to shoot it through the
hoop. Many beginners must practice dribbling so they are able to keep their eye on the basket and
other players instead of the ball.
Passing and dribbling allows the team to reach a suitable shooting position. Any player may take a shot
from anywhere on the court, but the goal is to increase the likelihood of a successful shot. A shot may
pass directly through the ring, or it may be bounced off the backboard into the basket. A missed shot is
fair game for both teams, who will attempt to gain control of it. The team gaining possession must
attempt a shot at the goal within 30 seconds or possession will be given to the opposite team.
It is tough at times to avoid personal contact on the court, and a "foul" may be charged if one player
comes in contact with another. If the player fouled was in the act of shooting, that player is awarded
two free throws (two unhindered shots from behind the free-throw line). A free throw is worth one
point. If the second throw is unsuccessful, both teams may vie for the ball. A "technical foul" is
considered an offense against the spirit of the game. A technical foul may be charged against a player,
substitute, or coach, and is penalized by two free throws for a technical foul by a player, and one for a
technical foul by a coach.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the sport. For the ball used in the sport, see Basketball (ball). For other uses,
see Basketball (disambiguation).

Michael Jordan goes for a slam dunk at the oldBoston Garden
First played 1891, Springfield,Massachusetts, U.S.
Contact Contact
Team members 10–20 (5 on court)
Mixed gender Single
Type Indoor (mainly) or Outdoor (Streetball)
Equipment Basketball
Olympic Demonstrated in the 1904 and 1924 Summer
Part of the Summer Olympic program since
Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The objective is
to shoot a ball through a hoop 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.0 m) high mounted to
a backboard at each end. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports.

A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket during regular play. A field goal
scores two points for the shooting team if a player is touching or closer to the basket than the three-
point line, and three points (known commonly as a 3 pointer or three) if the player is behind the
three-point line. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but additional time
(overtime) may be issued when the game ends with a draw. The ball can be advanced on the court
by bouncing it while walking or running or throwing it to a team mate. It is a violation to move without
dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling.
Violations are called "fouls". A personal foul is penalized, and a free throw is usually awarded to an
offensive player if he is fouled while shooting the ball. A technical foul may also be issued when
certain infractions occur, most commonly for unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of a player
orcoach. A technical foul gives the opposing team a free throw, and the opposing team also retains
possession of the ball.
As well as many techniques for shooting, passing, dribbling and rebounding, basketball has
specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures (player positioning). Typically,
the tallest and strongest members of a team will play the center or power forward positions, while
slightly shorter and more agile players will play small forward, and the shortest players or those who
possess the best ball handling skills and speed play point guard or shooting guard.
 1 History
o 1.1 Creation
o 1.2 College basketball
o 1.3 High school basketball
o 1.4 Professional basketball
o 1.5 International basketball
o 1.6 Women's basketball
 2 Rules and regulations
o 2.1 Playing regulations
o 2.2 Equipment
o 2.3 Violations
o 2.4 Fouls
 3 Common techniques and practices
o 3.1 Positions
o 3.2 Strategy
o 3.3 Shooting
o 3.4 Rebounding
o 3.5 Passing
o 3.6 Dribbling
o 3.7 Blocking
 4 Height
 5 Variations and similar games
 6 Social forms of basketball
 7 Fantasy basketball
 8 See also
 9 References
 10 Further reading
 11 External links
Main article: History of basketball

The first basketball court:Springfield College
In early December 1891, Canadian Dr. James Naismith,
a physical education professor and
instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School
(today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts was trying to keep his gym class active on
a rainy day. He sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of
fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly
suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot
(3.05 m) elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its
bottom, and balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored; this proved
inefficient, however, so the bottom of the basket was removed,
allowing the balls to be poked out
with a long dowel each time.
Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specifically for basketball
were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be
more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use.
Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the
ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the
asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s,
as manufacturing improved the ball shape.
The peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were finally replaced by metal hoops with
backboards. A further change was soon made, so the ball merely passed through. Whenever a
person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got the most points
won the game.
The baskets were originally nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court,
but this proved impractical when spectators on the balcony began to interfere with shots. The
backboard was introduced to prevent this interference; it had the additional effect of allowing
rebound shots.
Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006,
indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a
children's game called "Duck on a Rock", as many had failed before it. Naismith called the new
game "Basket Ball".
The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New
York on January 20, 1892 with nine players. The game ended at 1–0; the shot was made from 25
feet (7.6 m), on a court just half the size of a present-day Streetball or National Basketball
Association (NBA) court. By 1897–1898 teams of five became standard.
College basketball
See also: College basketball

The 1899 University of Kansas basketball team, with James Naismith at the back, right.
Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly
spread through the USA and Canada. By 1895, it was well established at several women's high
schools. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a
decade it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the
YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs
quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and
the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control
over the rules for the game. The first pro league, the National Basketball League, was formed in
1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote a less rough game. This league only lasted
five years.
Dr. James Naismith was instrumental in establishing college basketball. His colleague C.O. Beamis
fielded the first college basketball team just a year after the Springfield YMCA game at the
suburban Pittsburgh Geneva College.
Naismith himself later coached at the University of
Kansas for six years, before handing the reins to renowned coach Forrest "Phog" Allen. Naismith's
disciple Amos Alonzo Stagg brought basketball to the University of Chicago, while Adolph Rupp, a
student of Naismith's at Kansas, enjoyed great success as coach at the University of Kentucky. On
February 9, 1895, the first intercollegiate 5-on-5 game was played at Hamline University between
Hamline and the School of Agriculture, which was affiliated with theUniversity of Minnesota.
School of Agriculture won in a 9–3 game.
In 1901, colleges, including the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, the
University of Minnesota, the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Colorado and Yale
University began sponsoring men's games. In 1905, frequent injuries on the football field
prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to suggest that colleges form a governing body, resulting in
the creation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). In 1910, that
body would change its name to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The first
Canadian interuniversity basketball game was played at the YMCA in Kingston, Ontario on February
6, 1904, when McGill University visited Queen's University. McGill won 9–7 in overtime; the score
was 7–7 at the end of regulation play, and a ten-minute overtime period settled the outcome. A good
turnout of spectators watched the game.

The first men's national championship tournament, the National Association of Intercollegiate
Basketball tournament, which still exists as the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics(NAIA) tournament, was organized in 1937. The first national championship for NCAA
teams, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in New York, was organized in 1938; the NCAA
national tournament would begin one year later. College basketball was rocked by gambling
scandals from 1948 to 1951, when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in match
fixing andpoint shaving. Partially spurred by an association with cheating, the NIT lost support to the
NCAA tournament.
High school basketball

The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not
represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on
the talk page. (August 2012)

A basketball game between the Heart Mountainand Powell High School girls teams, Wyoming, March 1944
See also: List of U.S. high school basketball national player of the year awards
Before widespread school district consolidation, most American high schools were far smaller than
their present-day counterparts. During the first decades of the 20th century, basketball quickly
became the ideal interscholastic sport due to its modest equipment and personnel requirements. In
the days before widespread television coverage of professional and college sports, the popularity of
high school basketball was unrivaled in many parts of America. Perhaps the most legendary of high
school teams was Indiana's Franklin Wonder Five, which took the nation by storm during the 1920s,
dominating Indiana basketball and earning national recognition.
Today virtually every high school in the United States fields a basketball team
in varsity competition.
Basketball's popularity remains high, both in rural areas where they carry
the identification of the entire community, as well as at some larger schools known for their
basketball teams where many players go on to participate at higher levels of competition after
graduation. In the 2003–04 season, 1,002,797 boys and girls represented their schools in
interscholastic basketball competition, according to the National Federation of State High School
Associations. The states of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky are particularly well known for their
residents' devotion to high school basketball, commonly called Hoosier Hysteria in Indiana; the
critically acclaimed film Hoosiers shows high school basketball's depth of meaning to these
There is currently no national tournament to determine a national high school champion. The most
serious effort was the National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament at the University of
Chicago from 1917 to 1930. The event was organized by Amos Alonzo Stagg and sent invitations to
state champion teams. The tournament started out as a mostly Midwest affair but grew. In 1929 it
had 29 state champions. Faced with opposition from the National Federation of State High School
Associations andNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools that bore a threat of the schools
losing their accreditation the last tournament was in 1930. The organizations said they were
concerned that the tournament was being used to recruit professional players from the prep
The tournament did not invite minority schools or private/parochial schools.
The National Catholic Interscholastic Basketball Tournament ran from 1924 to 1941 at Loyola
The National Catholic Invitational Basketball Tournament from 1954 to 1978 played at
a series of venues, including Catholic University, Georgetown and George Mason.
The National
Interscholastic Basketball Tournament for Black High Schools was held from 1929 to 1942
at Hampton Institute.
The National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament was held
from 1941 to 1967 starting out at Tuskegee Institute. Following a pause during World War II it
resumed at Tennessee State College in Nashville. The basis for the champion dwindled after 1954
when Brown v. Board of Education began an integration of schools. The last tournaments were held
at Alabama State College from 1964 to 1967.

Professional basketball

Ad from The Liberatormagazine promoting an exhibition in Harlem, March 1922. Drawing by Hugo Gellert.
Teams abounded throughout the 1920s. There were hundreds of men's professional
basketball teams in towns and cities all over the United States, and little organization of the
professional game. Players jumped from team to team and teams played in armories and smoky
dance halls. Leagues came and went.Barnstorming squads such as the Original Celtics and two all-
African American teams, the New York Renaissance Five ("Rens") and the (still existing) Harlem
Globetrotters played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours.
In 1946, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed. The first game was played
in Toronto, Ontario, Canada between the Toronto Huskies andNew York Knickerbockers on
November 1, 1946. Three seasons later, in 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball
League to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). By the 1950s, basketball had become a
major college sport, thus paving the way for a growth of interest in professional basketball. In 1959,
a basketball hall of fame was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, site of the first game. Its rosters
include the names of great players, coaches, referees and people who have contributed significantly
to the development of the game. The hall of fame has people who have accomplished many goals in
their career in basketball. An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in
1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Today the
NBA is the top professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and
level of competition.
The NBA has featured many famous players, including George Mikan, the first dominating "big man";
ball-handling wizard Bob Cousy and defensive genius Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics; Wilt
Chamberlain, who originally played for the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters; all-around
stars Oscar Robertson and Jerry West; more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille
O'Neal and Karl Malone; playmaker John Stockton; crowd-pleasing forward Julius Erving; European
stars Dirk Nowitzki and Dražen Petrović and the three players who many credit with ushering the
professional game to its highest level of popularity: Larry Bird, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Michael
Jordan. In 2001, the NBA formed a developmental league, the NBDL. As of 2012, the league has 16
International basketball
The International Basketball Federation was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations:
Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. At this time,
the organization only oversaw amateur players. Its acronym, derived from the French Fédération
Internationale de Basketball Amateur, was thus "FIBA". Men's Basketball was first included at the
Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics, although a demonstration tournament was held in 1904. The United
States defeated Canada in the first final, played outdoors. This competition has usually been
dominated by the United States, whose team has won all but three titles, the first loss in a
controversial final game in Munich in 1972 against the Soviet Union. In 1950 the first FIBA World
Championship for men was held in Argentina. Three years later, the first FIBA World Championship
for Women was held in Chile. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976, which were
held in Montreal, Canada with teams such as the Soviet Union, Brazil and Australia rivaling
the American squads.
FIBA dropped the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1989, and in 1992,
professional players played for the first time in the Olympic Games. The United States' dominance
continued with the introduction of their Dream Team. However, with developing programs elsewhere,
other national teams started to beat the United States. A team made entirely of NBA players finished
sixth in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis,
behind Yugoslavia, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand and Spain. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, the
United States suffered its first Olympic loss while using professional players, falling to Puerto
Rico (in a 19-point loss) and Lithuania in group games, and being eliminated in the semifinals
byArgentina. It eventually won the bronze medal defeating Lithuania, finishing behind Argentina
and Italy. In 2006, in the World Championship of Japan, the United States advanced to the
semifinals but were defeated by Greece by 101–95. In the bronze medal game it beat
team Argentina and finished 3rd behind Greece and Spain. After the disappointments of 2002
through 2006, the U.S. regrouped, reestablishing themselves as the dominant international team
behind the "Redeem Team", which won gold at the 2008 Olympics, and the so-called "B-Team",
which won gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey despite featuring no players from
the 2008 squad.
The all-tournament teams at the 2002 and 2006 FIBA World Championships, respectively held in
Indianapolis and Japan, demonstrate the globalization of the game equally dramatically. Only one
member of either team was American, namely Carmelo Anthony in 2006. The 2002 team featured
Nowitzki, Ginobili, Yao, Peja Stojakovic of Yugoslavia (now of Serbia), and Pero Cameron of New
Zealand. Ginobili also made the 2006 team; the other members were Anthony, Gasol,
his Spanish teammate Jorge Garbajosa and Theodoros Papaloukas of Greece. The only players on
either team to never have joined the NBA are Cameron and Papaloukas. The all-tournament team
from the 2010 edition in Turkey featured four NBA players—MVP Kevin Durant of Team USA and
the Oklahoma City Thunder, Linas Kleiza of Lithuania and the Toronto Raptors, Luis Scola of
Argentina and the Houston Rockets, and Hedo Türkoğlu of Turkey and the Phoenix Suns. The only
non-NBA player was Serbia's Miloš Teodosić. The strength of international Basketball is evident in
the fact that Team USA won none of the three world championships held between 1998 and 2006,
with Serbia (then known as Yugoslavia) winning in 1998 and 2002 and Spain in 2006.
Worldwide, basketball tournaments are held for boys and girls of all age levels. The global popularity
of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. Players from all six inhabited
continents currently play in the NBA. Top international players began coming into the NBA in the
mid-1990s, including Croatians Dražen Petrović and Toni Kukoč, Serbian Vlade Divac,
Lithuanians Arvydas Sabonis and Šarūnas Marčiulionis and German Detlef Schrempf.
In the Philippines, the Philippine Basketball Association's first game was played on April 9, 1975 at
the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. Philippines. It was founded as a "rebellion" of several
teams from the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association which was tightly
controlled by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (now defunct), the then-FIBA recognized
national association. Nine teams from the MICAA participated in the league's first season that
opened on April 9, 1975. The NBL is Australia's pre-eminent men's professional basketball league.
The league commenced in 1979, playing a winter season (April–September) and did so until the
completion of the 20th season in 1998. The 1998/99 season, which commenced only months later,
was the first season after the shift to the current summer season format (October–April). This shift
was an attempt to avoid competing directly againstAustralia's various football codes. It features 8
teams from around Australia and one in New Zealand. A few players including Luc Longley, Andrew
Gaze, Shane Heal, Chris Anstey andAndrew Bogut made it big internationally, becoming poster
figures for the sport in Australia. The Women's National Basketball League began in 1981.
Women's basketball
See also: Women's basketball

Women of Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City playing a game at the campus
Women's basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson, a physical education
teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. Shortly after she was hired at Smith, she went to
Naismith to learn more about the game.
Fascinated by the new sport and the values it could
teach, she organized the first women’s collegiate basketball game on March 21, 1893, when her
Smith freshmen and sophomores played against one another.
However, the first women's
interinstitutional game was played in 1892 between the University of California and Miss Head's
Berenson's rules were first published in 1899, and two years later she became the editor
of A.G. Spalding’s first Women's Basketball Guide.
Berenson's freshmen played the sophomore
class in the first women's intercollegiate basketball game at Smith College, March 21, 1893.
same year, Mount Holyokeand Sophie Newcomb College (coached by Clara Gregory Baer) women
began playing basketball. By 1895, the game had spread to colleges across the country,
including Wellesley, Vassar, and Bryn Mawr. The first intercollegiate women's game was on April 4,
1896. Stanford women playedBerkeley, 9-on-9, ending in a 2–1 Stanford victory.
Women's basketball development was more structured than that for men in the early years. In 1905,
the Executive Committee on Basket Ball Rules (National Women's Basketball Committee) was
created by the American Physical Education Association.
These rules called for six to nine players
per team and 11 officials. The International Women's Sports Federation (1924) included a women's
basketball competition. 37 women's high school varsity basketball or state tournaments were held by
1925. And in 1926, the Amateur Athletic Union backed the first national women's basketball
championship, complete with men's rules.
The Edmonton Grads, a touring Canadian women's
team based in Edmonton, Alberta, operated between 1915 and 1940. The Grads toured all over
North America, and were exceptionally successful. They posted a record of 522 wins and only 20
losses over that span, as they met any team which wanted to challenge them, funding their tours
from gate receipts.
The Grads also shone on several exhibition trips to Europe, and won four
consecutive exhibition Olympics tournaments, in 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1936; however, women's
basketball was not an official Olympic sport until 1976. The Grads' players were unpaid, and had to
remain single. The Grads' style focused on team play, without overly emphasizing skills of individual
players. The first women's AAU All-America team was chosen in 1929.
Women's industrial
leagues sprang up throughout the United States, producing famous athletes, including Babe
Didrikson of theGolden Cyclones, and the All American Red Heads Team, which competed against
men's teams, using men's rules. By 1938, the women's national championship changed from a
three-court game to two-court game with six players per team.

Brittney Griner accepting an award.
The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) began in 1997. Though it had
shaky attendance figures, several marquee players (Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi, and Candace
Parker among others) have helped the league's popularity and level of competition.
Other professional women's basketball leagues in the United States, such as the American
Basketball League (1996-1998), have folded in part because of the popularity of the WNBA. The
WNBA has been looked at by many as a niche league. However, the league has recently taken
steps forward. In June 2007, the WNBA signed a contract extension with ESPN. The new television
deal runs from 2009 to 2016. Along with this deal, came the first ever rights fees to be paid to a
women's professional sports league. Over the eight years of the contract, "millions and millions of
dollars" will be "dispersed to the league's teams." The WNBA gets more viewers on national
television broadcasts (413,000) than both Major League Soccer (253,000)
the NHL(310,732).
In a March 12, 2009 article, NBA commissioner David Stern said that in the
bad economy, "the NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA. We're losing a lot of money amongst a
large number of teams. We're budgeting the WNBA to break even this year."

Rules and regulations

End of a match.
Main article: Rules of basketball
Measurements and time limits discussed in this section often vary among tournaments and
organizations; international and NBA rules are used in this section.
The object of the game is to outscore one's opponents by throwing the ball through the opponents'
basket from above while preventing the opponents from doing so on their own. An attempt to score
in this way is called a shot. A successful shot is worth two points, or three points if it is taken from
beyond the three-point arc which is 6.75 metres (22 ft 2 in) from the basket in international games
and 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 m) in NBA games. A one-point shot can be earned when shooting from
the foul line after a foul is made.
Playing regulations
Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA)
or 12 minutes (NBA).
College games use two
20-minute halves,
while United States high school varsity games use 8 minute quarters.
minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA, NBA, and NCAA rules
and 10 minutes
in United States high schools.
Overtime periods are five minutes in length
except for high
school which is four minutes in length.
Teams exchange baskets for the second half. The time
allowed is actual playing time; the clock is stopped while the play is not active. Therefore, games
generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time, typically about two hours.
Five players from each team may be on the court at one time.
Substitutions are unlimited
but can only be done when play is stopped. Teams also have a coach, who oversees the
development and strategies of the team, and other team personnel such as assistant coaches,
managers, statisticians, doctors and trainers.
For both men's and women's teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey with
a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back. Players
wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. Typically, team names, players' names
and, outside of North America, sponsors are printed on the uniforms.
A limited number of time-outs, clock stoppages requested by a coach (or sometimes mandated in
the NBA) for a short meeting with the players, are allowed. They generally last no longer than one
minute (100 seconds in the NBA) unless, for televised games, a commercial break is needed.
The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee (referred to as crew chief in the
NBA), one or two umpires (referred to as referees in the NBA) and the table officials. For college, the
NBA, and many high schools, there are a total of three referees on the court. The table officials are
responsible for keeping track of each teams scoring, timekeeping, individual and team fouls, player
substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock.
Main articles: Basketball (ball), Basketball court and Backboard (basketball)

Traditional eight-panelbasketball
The only essential equipment in a basketball game is the ball and the court: a flat, rectangular
surface with baskets at opposite ends. Competitive levels require the use of more equipment such
as clocks, score sheets, scoreboard(s), alternating possession arrows, and whistle-operated stop-
clock systems.

An outdoor basketball net.
A regulation basketball court in international games is 91.9 feet long and 49.2 feet wide. In
the NBA and NCAA the court is 94 feet by 50 feet. Most courts havewood flooring, usually
constructed from maple planks running in the same direction as the longer court dimension.
name and logo of the home team is usually painted on or around the center circle.
The basket is a steel rim 18 inches diameter with an attached net affixed to a backboard that
measures 6 feet by 3.5 feet and one basket is at each end of the court. The white outlined box on
the backboard is 18 inches high and 2 feet wide. At almost all levels of competition, the top of the rim
is exactly 10 feet above the court and 4 feet inside the baseline. While variation is possible in the
dimensions of the court and backboard, it is considered important for the basket to be of the correct
height – a rim that is off by just a few inches can have an adverse effect on shooting.
The size of the basketball is also regulated. For men, the official ball is 29.5 inches in circumference
(size 7, or a "295 ball") and weighs 22 oz. If women are playing, the official basketball size is
28.5 inches in circumference (size 6, or a "285 ball") with a weight of 20 oz.
The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot, passed between players, thrown,
tapped, rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running).
The ball must stay within the court; the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds
forfeits possession. The ball is out of bounds if it touches or crosses over a boundary line, or touches
a player who is out of bounds. This is in contrast to other sports such as football, volleyball, and
tennis (but not rugby or American football) where the ball (or player) is still considered in if any part
of it is touching a boundary line.
The ball-handler may not step with both feet without dribbling, an infraction known as traveling, nor
dribble with both hands or hold the ball and resume dribbling, a violation called double dribbling. Any
part of the player's hand cannot be directly under the ball while dribbling; doing so is known
ascarrying the ball. A team, once having established ball control in the front half of their court, may
not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. The ball may not be kicked, nor be
struck with the fist. A violation of these rules results in loss of possession, or, if committed by the
defense, a reset of the shot clock (with some exceptions in the NBA).
There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in
FIBA and the NBA; 10 seconds in NCAA men's play and high school for both sexes, but no limit in
NCAA women's play), before attempting a shot (24 seconds in FIBA and the NBA, 30 seconds in
NCAA women's and Canadian Interuniversity Sport play for both sexes, and 35 seconds in NCAA
men's play), holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds), and remaining in the restricted area
known as the free-throw lane, (or the "key") (3 seconds). These rules are designed to promote more
No player may touch the ball on its downward trajectory to the basket, unless it is obvious that the
ball has no chance of entering the basket (goaltending). In addition, no player may touch the ball
while it is on or in the basket; when any part of the ball is in the spacious cylinder above the basket
(the area extended upwards from the basket); or when the ball is outside the cylinder, if the player
reaches through the basket and touches it. This violation is known as "basket interference". If a
defensive player goaltends or commits basket interference, the basket is awarded and the offending
team gets the ball. If a teammate of the player shooting goaltends or commits interference, the
basket is cancelled and play continues with the defensive team being given possession.

The referee signals that a foul has been committed.
Main articles: Personal foul (basketball) and Technical foul
An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through physical contact is illegal and is called a
foul. These are most commonly committed by defensive players; however, they can be committed by
offensive players as well. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again, or
receive one or more free throws if they are fouled in the act of shooting, depending on whether the
shot was successful. One point is awarded for making a free throw, which is attempted from a line
15 feet (4.6 m) from the basket.
The referee may use discretion in calling fouls (for example, by considering whether an unfair
advantage was gained), sometimes making fouls controversial calls or no-calls. The calling of fouls
can vary between games, leagues and even among referees.
A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship, such as by arguing with a referee or by fighting
with another player, can be charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. The penalty
involves free throws (where, unlike a personal foul, the other team can choose any player to shoot)
and varies among leagues. Repeated incidents can result in disqualification. A blatant foul involving
physical contact that is either excessive or unnecessary is called an intentional foul (flagrant foul in
the NBA). In FIBA, a foul resulting in ejection is called a disqualifying foul, while in leagues other
than the NBA, such a foul is referred to as flagrant.
If a team exceeds a certain limit of team fouls in a given period (quarter or half) – four for NBA and
international games – the opposing team is awarded one or two free throws on all subsequent non-
shooting fouls for that period, the number depending on the league. In the US college and high
school games, if a team reaches 7 fouls in a half, the opposing team is awarded one free throw,
along with a second shot if the first is made. This is called shooting "one-and-one". If a team
exceeds 10 fouls in the half, the opposing team is awarded two free throws on all subsequent fouls
for the half.
When a team shoots foul shots, the opponents may not interfere with the shooter, nor may they try
to regain possession until the last or potentially last free throw is in the air.
After a team has committed a specified number of fouls, it is said to be "in the penalty". On
scoreboards, this is usually signified with an indicator light reading "Bonus" or "Penalty" with an
illuminated directional arrow indicating that team is to receive free throws when fouled by the
opposing team. (Some scoreboards also indicate the number of fouls committed.)
If a team misses the first shot of a two-shot situation, the opposing team must wait for the completion
of the second shot before attempting to reclaim possession of the ball and continuing play.
If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is unsuccessful, the player is awarded a
number of free throws equal to the value of the attempted shot. A player fouled while attempting a
regular two-point shot, then, receives two shots. A player fouled while attempting a three-point shot,
on the other hand, receives three shots.
If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is successful, typically the player will be
awarded one additional free throw for one point. In combination with a regular shot, this is called a
"three-point play" or "four-point play" (or more colloquially, an "and one") because of the basket
made at the time of the foul (2 or 3 points) and the additional free throw (1 point).
Common techniques and practices
Main article: Basketball position

Basketball positions in the offensive zone
Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever, they have evolved as part of basketball.
During the first five decades of basketball's evolution, one guard, two forwards, and two centers or
two guards, two forwards, and one center were used. Since the 1980s, more specific positions have
evolved, namely:
Point guard (often called the "1") : usually the fastest player on the team, organizes the team's
offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time.
Shooting guard (the "2") : creates a high volume of shots on offense, mainly long-ranged; and
guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense.
Small forward (the "3") : often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and
dribble penetration; on defense seeks rebounds and steals, but sometimes plays more actively.
Power forward (the "4"): plays offensively often with their back to the basket; on defense, plays
under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-to-man
Center (the "5"): uses height and size to score (on offense), to protect the basket closely (on
defense), or to rebound.
The above descriptions are flexible. On some occasions, teams will choose to use a three guard
offense, replacing one of the forwards or center with a third guard.
Main article: Basketball playbook
There are two main defensive strategies: zone defense and man-to-man defense. In a zone
defense, each player is assigned to guard a specific area of the court. In a man-to-man defense,
each defensive player guards a specific opponent. Man-to-man defense is generally preferred at
higher levels of competition, as it is intuitively easier to understand and avoid mismatches between
players who play different positions. However, zone defenses are sometimes used in particular
situations or simply to confuse the offense with an unexpected look.
Offensive plays are more varied, normally involving planned passes and movement by players
without the ball. A quick movement by an offensive player without the ball to gain an advantageous
position is known as a cut. A legal attempt by an offensive player to stop an opponent from guarding
a teammate, by standing in the defender's way such that the teammate cuts next to him, is
a screen or pick. The two plays are combined in the pick and roll, in which a player sets a pick and
then "rolls" away from the pick towards the basket. Screens and cuts are very important in offensive
plays; these allow the quick passes and teamwork which can lead to a successful basket. Teams
almost always have several offensive plays planned to ensure their movement is not predictable. On
court, the point guard is usually responsible for indicating which play will occur.
Defensive and offensive structures, and positions, are more emphasized in higher levels in
basketball; it is these that a coach normally requests a time-out to discuss.

Player releases a short jump shot, while her defender is either knocked down, or trying to "take a charge."
Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket, methods
varying with players and situations.
Typically, a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. A player will rest the ball on the
fingertips of the dominant hand (the shooting arm) slightly above the head, with the other hand
supporting the side of the ball. The ball is usually shot by jumping (though not always) and extending
the shooting arm. The shooting arm, fully extended with the wrist fully bent, is held stationary for a
moment following the release of the ball, known as a follow-through. Players often try to put a steady
backspin on the ball to absorb its impact with the rim. The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat
controversial, but generally a proper arc is recommended. Players may shoot directly into the basket
or may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket.

Basketball falling through hoop
The two most common shots that use the above described setup are the set-shot and the jump-shot.
The set-shot is taken from a standing position, with neither foot leaving the floor, typically used for
free throws, and in other circumstances whilst the jump-shot is taken in mid-air, the ball released
near the top of the jump. This provides much greater power and range, and it also allows the player
to elevate over the defender. Failure to release the ball before the feet return to the floor is
considered a traveling violation.
Another common shot is called the lay-up. This shot requires the player to be in motion toward the
basket, and to "lay" the ball "up" and into the basket, typically off the backboard (the backboard-free,
underhand version is called a finger roll). The most crowd-pleasing and typically highest-percentage
accuracy shot is the slam dunk, in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward,
through the basket whilst touching it.
Another shot that is becoming common
[citation needed]
is the "circus shot". The circus shot is a low-
percentage shot that is flipped, heaved, scooped, or flung toward the hoop while the shooter is off-
balance, airborne, falling down, and/or facing away from the basket. A back-shot is a shot taken
when the player is facing away from the basket, and may be shot with the dominant hand, or both;
but there is a very low chance that the shot will be successful.
A shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an air-ball. A
particularly bad shot, or one that only hits the backboard, is jocularly called a brick.
Main article: Rebound (basketball)
The objective of rebounding is to successfully gain possession of the basketball after a missed field
goal or free throw, as it rebounds from the hoop or backboard. This plays a major role in the game,
as most possessions end when a team misses a shot. There are two categories of rebounds:
offensive rebounds, in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change
possession, and defensive rebounds, in which the defending team gains possession of the loose
ball. The majority of rebounds are defensive, as the team on defense tends to be in better position to
recover missed shots.
See also: Assist (basketball)
A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. Most passes are accompanied by a step
forward to increase power and are followed through with the hands to ensure accuracy.
A staple pass is the chest pass. The ball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's
chest. A proper chest pass involves an outward snap of the thumbs to add velocity and leaves the
defence little time to react.
Another type of pass is the bounce pass. Here, the passer bounces the ball crisply about two-thirds
of the way from his own chest to the receiver. The ball strikes the court and bounces up toward the
receiver. The bounce pass takes longer to complete than the chest pass, but it is also harder for the
opposing team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation). Thus, players often use the
bounce pass in crowded moments, or to pass around a defender.
The overhead pass is used to pass the ball over a defender. The ball is released while over the
passer's head.
The outlet pass occurs after a team gets a defensive rebound. The next pass after the rebound is
the outlet pass.
The crucial aspect of any good pass is it being difficult to intercept. Good passers can pass the ball
with great accuracy and they know exactly where each of their other teammates prefers to receive
the ball. A special way of doing this is passing the ball without looking at the receiving teammate.
This is called a no-look pass.
Another advanced style of passing is the behind-the-back pass which, as the description implies,
involves throwing the ball behind the passer's back to a teammate. Although some players can
perform such a pass effectively, many coaches discourage no-look or behind-the-back passes,
believing them to be difficult to control and more likely to result in turnovers or violations.


A U.S. Naval Academy ("Navy") player, left, posts up a U.S. Military Academy ("Army") defender.
Main article: Dribble
Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously with one hand, and is a requirement for a player
to take steps with the ball. To dribble, a player pushes the ball down towards the ground with the
fingertips rather than patting it; this ensures greater control.
When dribbling past an opponent, the dribbler should dribble with the hand farthest from the
opponent, making it more difficult for the defensive player to get to the ball. It is therefore important
for a player to be able to dribble competently with both hands.
Good dribblers (or "ball handlers") tend to bounce the ball low to the ground, reducing the distance of
travel of the ball from the floor to the hand, making it more difficult for the defender to "steal" the ball.
Good ball handlers frequently dribble behind their backs, between their legs, and switch directions
suddenly, making a less predictable dribbling pattern that is more difficult to defend against. This is
called a crossover, which is the most effective way to move past defenders while dribbling.
A skilled player can dribble without watching the ball, using the dribbling motion or peripheral
vision to keep track of the ball's location. By not having to focus on the ball, a player can look for
teammates or scoring opportunities, as well as avoid the danger of having someone steal the ball
away from him/her.
Main article: Block (basketball)
A block is performed when, after a shot is attempted, a defender succeeds in altering the shot by
touching the ball. In almost all variants of play, it is illegal to touch the ball after it is in the downward
path of its arc; this is known as goaltending. It is also illegal under NBA and Men's NCAA basketball
to block a shot after it has touched the backboard, or when any part of the ball is directly above the
rim. Under international rules it is illegal to block a shot that is in the downward path of its arc or one
that has touched the backboard until the ball has hit the rim. After the ball hits the rim, it is again
legal to touch it even though it is no longer considered as a block performed.
To block a shot, a player has to be able to reach a point higher than where the shot is released.
Thus, height can be an advantage in blocking. Players who are taller and playing the power forward
or center positions generally record more blocks than players who are shorter and playing the guard
positions. However, with good timing and a sufficiently high vertical leap, even shorter players can
be effective shot blockers.
At the professional level, most male players are above 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and most women
above 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). Guards, for whom physical coordination and ball-handling skills are
crucial, tend to be the smallest players. Almost all forwards in the men's pro leagues are 6 feet
6 inches (1.98 m) or taller. Most centers are over 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) tall. According to a
survey given to all NBA teams, the average height of all NBA players is just under 6 feet 7 inches
(2.01 m), with the average weight being close to 222 pounds (101 kg). The tallest players ever in the
NBA were Manute Bol and Gheorghe Mureşan, who were both 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 m) tall. The
tallest current NBA player is Hasheem Thabeet, who stands at 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m). At 7 feet
2 inches (2.18 m), Margo Dydek was the tallest player in the history of the WNBA.
The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues at 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m).
short players have thrived at the pro level. Anthony "Spud" Webb was just 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m)
tall, but had a 42-inch (1.07 m) vertical leap, giving him significant height when jumping. While
shorter players are often not very good at defending against shooting, their ability to navigate quickly
through crowded areas of the court and steal the ball by reaching low are strengths.
Variations and similar games
Main article: Variations of basketball

Schoolgirls shooting hoops among the Himalayas in Dharamsala, India.

A basketball training course at the Phan Đình Phùng High School, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Variations of basketball are activities based on the game of basketball, using common basketball
skills and equipment (primarily the ball and basket). Some variations are only superficial rules
changes, while others are distinct games with varying degrees of basketball influences. Other
variations include children's games, contests or activities meant to help players reinforce skills.
There are principal basketball sports with variations on basketball including Wheelchair
basketball, Water basketball, Beach basketball, Slamball,Streetball and Unicycle basketball. An
earlier version of basketball was Six-on-six basketball played until the end of the 1950s. Horseball is
a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a
high net (approximately 1.5m×1.5m). The sport is like a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball.
There is even a form played on donkeys known as Donkey basketball, but that version has come
under attack from animal rights groups.

Perhaps the single most common variation of basketball is the half-court game, played in
informal settings without referees or strict rules. Only one basket is used, and the ball must
be "cleared" – passed or dribbled outside the three-point line each time possession of the
ball changes from one team to the other. Half-court games require
less cardiovascular stamina, since players need not run back and forth a full court. Half-court
raises the number of players that can use a court or, conversely, can be played if there is an
insufficient number to form full 5-on-5 teams.
Half-court basketball is usually played 1-on-1, 2-on-2 or 3-on-3. The latter variation is
gradually gaining official recognition as 3x3, originally known as FIBA 33. It was first tested
at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau and the first official tournaments were held at
the 2009 Asian Youth Gamesand the 2010 Youth Olympics, both in Singapore. The
first FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championships
were held in Rimini, Italy in 2011, with the
firstFIBA 3x3 World Championships for senior teams following a year later in Athens. The
sport is highly tipped to become an Olympic sport as early as2016.

There are also other basketball sports, such as:
 21 (also known as American,cutthroat androughhouse)

 42
 Around the world
 Bounce
 Firing Squad
 Fives
 H-O-R-S-E
 Hotshot
 Knockout
 One-shot conquer
 Steal The Bacon
 Tip-it
 Tips
 "The One"
 Basketball War.
 One-on-One, a variation in which two players will use only a small section of the court
(often no more than a half of a court) and compete to play the ball into a single hoop.
Such games tend to emphasize individual dribbling and ball stealing skills over shooting
and team play.
Wheelchair basketball
Wheelchair basketball, created by disabled World War II veterans,
is played on specially
designed wheelchairs for the physically impaired. The world governing body of wheelchair
basketball is the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
Water basketball
Water basketball, played in a swimming pool, merges basketball and water polo rules.
Beach basketball
A modified version of basketball, played on beaches, was invented by Philip
Beach basketball is played in a circular court with no backboard on the goal, no
out-of-bounds rule with the ball movement to be done via passes or 2½ steps, as dribbling is
next to impossible on a soft surface.

Beach basketball has grown to a very popular, widespread competitive sport. 15
Annual World Championships have been organized.
Dunk Hoops
Dunk Hoops (aka Dunk Ball) is a variation of the game of basketball, played on basketball
hoops with lowered (under basketball regulation 10 feet) rims. It originated when the
popularity of the slam dunk grew and was developed to create better chances for dunks with
lowered rims and using altered goaltending rules.
Slamball is full-contact basketball, with trampolines. Points are scored by playing the ball
through the net, as in basketball, though the point-scoring rules are modified. The main
differences from the parent sport is the court; below the padded basketball rim
and backboard are four trampolines set into the floor which serve to propel players to great
heights for slam dunks. The rules also permit some physical contact between the members
of the four-player teams.
Streetball is a less formal variant of basketball, played on playgrounds and in gymnasiums
across the world. Often only one half of the court is used, but otherwise the rules of the game
are very similar to those of basketball. The number of participants in a game, or a run, may
range from one defender and one person on offense (known as one on one) to two full teams
of five each. Streetball is a very popular game worldwide, and some cities in the United
States have organized streetball programs, such as midnight basketball. Many cities also
host their own weekend-long streetball tournaments.
Unicycle Basketball
Unicycle basketball is played using a regulation basketball on a regular basketball court with
the same rules, for example, one must dribble the ball whilst riding. There are a number of
rules that are particular to unicycle basketball as well, for example, a player must have at
least one foot on a pedal when in-bounding the ball. Unicycle basketball is usually played
using 24" or smaller unicycles, and using plastic pedals, both to preserve the court and the
players' shins. In North America, popular unicycle basketball games are organized.

Spin-offs from basketball that are now separate sports include:
 Korfball (Dutch: Korfbal, korf meaning 'basket') started in
the Netherlands and is now played worldwide as a mixed
gender team ball game, similar to mixed netball and
 Netball (formerly known as Women basketball but now
played by both males and females), a limited-contact team
sport in which two teams of seven try to score points
against one another by placing a ball through a high hoop.
Social forms of basketball

Typical privately owned basketball hoop
Basketball has been adopted by various social groups, which
have established their own environments and sometimes their
own rules. Such socialized forms of basketball include the
 Recreational basketball, where fun, entertainment and
camaraderie rule rather than winning a game;
 Basketball Schools and Academies, where students are
trained in developing basketball fundamentals, undergo
fitness and endurance exercises and learn various
basketball skills. Basketball students learn proper ways of
passing, ball handling, dribbling, shooting from various
distances, rebounding, offensive moves, defense, layups,
screens, basketball rules and basketball ethics. Also
popular are the basketball camps organized for various
occasions, often to get prepared for basketball events,
and basketball clinics for improving skills.
 College and University basketball played in educational
institutions of higher learning.
 This includes National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) intercollegiate basketball.
 Disabled basketball played by various disabled groups,
such as
 Bankshot basketball,

 Deaf basketball,
 Wheelchair basketball, a sport based on basketball
but designed for disabled people in wheelchairs and
considered one of the major disabled sports practiced.
 Ethnic and Religion-based basketball: Examples of
ethnic basketball include Indo-Pak or Russian or Armenian
leagues in the United States or Canada, for example, or
Filipino expatriate basketball leagues in the Gulf or the
United States. Religion-based basketball includes, most
notably, church-related Christian basketball leagues,
Jewish, Muslim and Hindu basketball leagues, and so on.
or denominational leagues like Coptic, Syriac/Assyrian
basketball leagues in the United States or Canada.
 Gay basketball played in gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in gay
basketball leagues. The sport of basketball is a major part
of events during the Gay Games, World
Outgames and EuroGames.
 Midnight basketball, a basketball initiative to curb inner-
city crime in the United States and elsewhere by keeping
urban youth off the streets and engaging them with sports
alternatives to drugs and crime.
 Mini basketball played by underage children.
 Maxi Basketball played by more elderly individuals.
 Prison basketball, practiced in prisons and penitentiary
institutions. Active religious basketball missionary groups
also play basketball with prisoners. Some prisons have
developed their own prison basketball leagues. At times,
non-prisoners may play in such leagues, provided all home
and away games are played within prison courts. Film
director Jason Moriarty has released a documentary
relating to the sport, entitled Prison Ball.
 Rezball, short for reservation ball, is the avid Native
American following of basketball, particularly a style of play
particular to Native American teams of some areas.
 School or High school basketball, the sport of basketball
being one of the most frequently exercised and popular
sports in all school systems.
 Show basketball as performed by entertainment
basketball show teams, the prime example being
the Harlem Globetrotters. There are even specialized
entertainment teams, including
 Celebrity basketball teams made of celebrities
(actors, singers, and so on.) playing in their own
leagues or in public, often for entertainment and charity
 Midget basketball teams made up of athletes of short
stature offering shows using basketball;
 Slamball offered as entertainment events.
Fantasy basketball
Main article: Fantasy basketball
Fantasy basketball was inspired by fantasy baseball.
Originally played by keeping track of stats by hand, it was
popularized during the 1990s after the advent of the Internet.
Those who play this game are sometimes referred to as
General Managers, who draft actual NBA players and compute
their basketball statistics. The game was popularized
by ESPN Fantasy Sports,, and Yahoo! Fantasy
Sports. Other sports websites provided the same format
keeping the game interesting with participants actually owning
specific players.
The Physics of Basketball
Ironically, physics in basketball is fairly irrelevant. Instead the physics in basketball is simply interesting
to people who really try to break down the art of shooting, passing, and dribbling. What I mean is that
the “physics” in basketball is a product of a person’s memory. A person has a kinesthetic memory in how
they remember how they shot from where and with a certain amount of velocity. This is achieved by
hours of practice and playing. Basketball then becomes more of a series of reflexives behaviors and
playing on instinct. However, understanding the physics of basketball can be very beneficial to a teacher
of the game. Specifically, understanding the physics behind shooting, passing, and dribbling the
basketball are the most beneficial and critical.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of the physics of basketball is seen in the shot. There are two main
points of emphasis on shooting the basketball: the shot itself and the spin on the ball. First of all let’s
establish two different types of shots the jump shot and the lay up. For the jump shot, there is little
horizontal movement because the jump shot deals more with vertical movement. The ball itself is
pushed off of his or her finger tips and the force and angle is applied upon release. Jeff Hornacek, NBA
player, uses a different type of jump shot. He uses more of a running jump shot. Therefore, in the case
of his jump shot there is more of a horizontal movement and a lesser amount of the vertical movement.
“By not pushing the shot toward the basket, he doesn’t add velocity to the ball. Rather, allowing his
running speed that he is traveling to be the horizontal velocity” (Kentridge). The running jump shot is a
fairly rare type of shot used by players. The lay up, however, is a shot based more on momentum. “The
velocity on the ball is the sum of the shooters speed and the balls speed” (Flores 2) so on the case of a
lay up the ball doesn’t need as much force and is basically dropped into the basket, especially in a dunk.
For anyone interested in knowing the required angle and velocity of a shot from anywhere on the court
within 78 feet from the basket they can go to the website
Shooting a Free Throw
Let us now look specifically at a free throw. A free throw, just like any other shot, has the best chance of
going in the more arc the shot has. When the ball comes straight down it makes the rim seem bigger
than when a shot has more of a straight trajectory. Therefore, the most ideal shot would be one that
comes nearly straight down into the basket; however, when shooting that type of shot it is nearly
impossible to aim. Rick Barry, former NBA player, was an advocate of shooting a “granny” or underhand
shot as his free throws. He shot his free throws underhand and for his career shot around 80 percent.
He believes that more professional players, for example Shaquille O’Neal, that shoot a poor free throw
percentage should shoot a granny shot even though it looks really goofy. Another advantage of the
underhand shot is that it minimizes the drift of the ball. “The trick to keeping the ball moving along a
single plane toward the basket lies in ‘minimizing the x-axis motion’… In other words you have to keep
your elbows tucked in” (Rist). The underhand shot allows a player to have a lot more control over their
shot. The traditional overhand shot requires movement from the wrist, elbow, and shoulder to make it
easier for a person to shoot the ball with more error. However, despite all of these positive attributes to
an underhand shot both Rist and Barry acknowledge that asking a professional player, or any player,
would make them look “kind of stupid” (Rist).
The spin on the ball and its significance can be a fairly surprising topic to most people. The spin used on
a shot during its time in the air is really irrelevant. The spin really only comes into use when the ball hits
either the rim or the backboard. “The effects of air resistance of the ball are so small because of small
velocities, so spin of a shot in air is not useful. What spin is useful for is for a better chance of the ball
going in if the ball hits the rim” (Kentridge). Obviously, once the ball hits the backboard the velocity of
the ball changes. Backspin on the ball will allow the ball to continue in a vertical path allowing the ball to
have a greater chance of going in. “The backspin, after contact with the back rim or board, will result in a
change in velocity opposite to the spin direction, changing an equal-angle rebound into a velocity more
toward the net” (Willis). A ball without backspin will more than likely just bounce off the rim or
backboard and will have a significantly lesser chance of going in. Another aspect of the importance of
spin is that it transfers energy. “With the spin on a shot, some of the energy is transferred to the basket.
This transfer of energy is from friction. When the spinning ball hits the rim, more energy is transferred”
(Kentridge). One argument showing that physics isn’t really that important to basketball dealing with
backspin is that “The backspin is mostly a calibration for the shooter to produce and reproduce the same
shot. This is sometimes referred to by sports sciences and biosciences as muscle memory” (Cull).
Another aspect of basketball where calculating the physics can be interesting lies in passing. The idea of
catching a pass can be analyzed using the equation m*v = F*t or F= (m*v)/t. In using this idea the greater
the time is the lesser the force will be and thus the pass will be a lot easier to catch and not drop.
The idea of catching the perfect pass comes from the laws of motion
and energy. If the ball is initially received with the elbows slightly bent
the arms should be allowed to absorb the force of the on coming
basketball and the ball should end up being caught close to the chest.
This can be more easily explained in physics with the help of a couple
simple formulas. It is known that in physics that the mass of an object
multiplied by the velocity of the object equals the liner momentum of
the object. It is also known that the momentum divided by the time it
takes the object to impact is equal to the net force the object will have
upon impact. In other words by the player catching the ball with arms
extended and slightly bent elbows and allowing their arms to slow down
the ball before hitting their chest they are increasing the time it takes
the ball to impact. Since the momentum is divided by the time in the
formula discussed above increasing the time will make the net force
smaller when the ball is received into the chest. This will result in a nice
soft reception of the basketball and smaller chance that the ball will be
dropped. Flores
The art of passing the ball and receiving the ball shouldn’t be a very complicated process. Basically, as
long as a person tries to catch the ball with their arms slightly bent it will be much easier as the person
will be able to reduce the force by increasing the time of the pass.
Another important part of the game of basketball is dribbling the basketball. Obviously, a ball with more
air in it will bounce higher than a ball that has no air in it. “The more air pressure a basketball has inside
it, the less its surface will bend or deform during a bounce, and the more its original energy will be
stored in the compressed air inside. Air stores and returns more energy than the material that the ball is
made from” (Willis). Another way to look at dribbling the ball can be concerned with the potential and
kinetic energy the ball has. When the ball is held the ball has potential energy. Upon its release to the
floor, the potential energy converts to kinetic energy. “As the ball hit’s the floor the kinetic energy is
stored as elastic potential energy. Because of this elastic energy the ball and the floor dent” (Flores).
Miscellaneous Information
Of course there are other miscellaneous pieces of basketball related to physics too. For example, the
shoes must have good traction. Good traction means that the coefficient of friction between the shoe
and the floor must be high. Also, a player uses static friction when planting their foot. This static friction
allows a player to stop and turn without sliding across the floor because the static friction is greater than
the sliding friction (Willis). A misconception that some people have is that great athletes seem to have a
way of defying gravity and gliding in the air. However, all players fall at the same rate and the fact that
they look like they are gliding is merely an illusion usually done by players extending their arms at the
peak of the jump, bending their legs, and the fact that they are stopped by the rim but their legs
continue “gliding” all allowing for this illusion to occur.
The physics used in basketball can be very educational and fun. However, it is not very practical as some
other applications of physics. It is not very practical for a person to stop and calculate the angle, velocity,
and position from which they shoot in order to consistently make a shot. Players instead rely on a
kinesthetic memory built on repetition. However, for a real student of the game breaking down the
pieces of the game into the physical reasoning can be extremely valuable. Often times coaches will
present these physics applications without even realizing it and almost always without mentioning
anything in the realm of physics. As much as the physics of basketball seems unimportant and ludicrous
to calculate the principles are in fact very present and very valuable to a player without them even
knowing they are doing physics.

A basketball player can jump as much as 4 feet in the air (vertically). And the higher he
jumps the greater the hang time (the total time he is airborne), and the greater the time he
will appear suspended in mid-air during the high point of the jump.

Typically, there is a horizontal and vertical component in the jump velocity at take-off. The
magnitude of the vertical component of the velocity at take-off will determine the time the
player spends airborne (since gravity acts in the vertical direction and will act on the player
to bring him back down). Thus, the vertical component of velocity, after take-off, will
change with time.

The horizontal component of velocity remains constant throughout the jump since it is not
affected by gravity.

The figure below shows the typical trajectory a basketball player might travel as he makes a

You can visually see that almost half the hang time is spent near the top of the arc.

Using some mathematics one can calculate the time spent in the top part of the jump.

The following formula is used for linear motion with constant acceleration:

d = V
t — 0.5g(t)


d is the vertical jump distance

is the vertical component of jump velocity at take-off

t is time

g is the acceleration due to gravity, which is 9.8 m/s

Maximum jump height is reached at t = V

Using the above formula for d, the maximum height reached is
= (V

Now, set t = V
/(2g), this is half the time it takes to reach maximum height. Call this time

Using the above formula for d, the height reached during t
= 3(V

Now, calculate the following ratio:

= 0.75

This interesting result tells us that half the hang time is spent in the bottom 75% of the
jump. The remaining time is spent in the top of the jump (the top 25% of the jump). In
other words, half the jump time is spent in the highest 25% of the jump (the top part of the
arc). This explains why a basketball player appears to "hang" during the jump.

So, a player who can jump 4 feet vertically will have a hang time of around a second, with
half a second spent in the high part of the jump.

Physics Of Basketball — Backspin

Backspin is used by players to improve their chances of getting the basketball into the net.
When an object is spinning and bounces off something, it will have a tendency to bounce in
the direction of the spin. This is useful for players who bounce the ball off the backboard, or
the back of the net. The resulting bounce will more likely send the ball downwards into the
net. Without backspin the ball is more likely to bounce away from the net.

Physics covers all mass and motion, which is about all most sports are.

Ball and player motions all involve displacement, velocity, acceleration, and force vectors. This includes
'sub-motions' of hand, arm, leg, head and torso.

Player interactions involve relating inertia, motion, and force vectors. Charging and charging avoidance is
an excellent study of inertia and friction. Collisions are a complex study of mass, velocity, kinetic energy,
force, torsion (or torque?), energy transfer, etc.

Passing to a moving player involves adding vectors for the ball motion, the receiver motion, and motion of
potential blockers. On longer passes, gravity also becomes significant.

Goals and free throws involve trajectory under gravity, elastic collisions, components of reflection, and to
a lesser degree, fluid and rotational dynamics.

Player efficiency issues include light and optics, sound, heat transfer, volumn of air capacity and flow for
breathing, and even various body studies like muscle leverage and energy 'consumption'.

The list could go on for pages. There are a myriad of physics related studies, even down to
temperature/pressure/volumn relationships in the air in the ball or the interaction between popcorn pieces
airborne when a fan besomes over exhuberant.

A better question might be:
"How is physics NOT used in basketball"

Other "areas of science or scientific principle" include biology, chemistry, math, medicine, and a bunch of
social sciences from ethics to philosophy.

p.s. It is interesting to note how MUCH of these complex physics calculations are performed automatically
in the trained/experienced persons brain.

Basketball Science: The
Physics of Bounce
by Christopher Monfette | 1 Comments
Connect a Million Minds would like to extend our appreciation to Science Buddies for
contributing this special blog on the science of basketball.
When it comes to engaging students with science, technology, engineering, and math,
starting where they are and with what they enjoy can help ignite student interest. To
encourage more students to explore hands-on science projects, Time Warner Cable has
teamed up with Science Buddies to support the development of exciting new sports science
project ideas that help students learn more about science related to the sports they love. A
new Science Buddies basketball project idea challenges students to experiment to find out
what's going on, scientifically, when you dribble a ball.
Hands-on Hoop Science
For a student who loves basketball, a project on column chromatography may or may not
fuel the same kind of enthusiasm as a project related to the science of shooting three-
pointers. Can you turn love of the game into a challenging and educational science project?
Absolutely! Thanks to quality, scientist-authored project ideas at Science Buddies, students
can tackle classroom or science fair project assignments by exploring angles of science
related to popular sports like basketball, football, golf, figure skating, baseball, cycling, and
auto racing.
From the physics of projectile motion to the science behind trajectory and the role gravity
plays on the movement, speed, and path of a ball, students who love basketball can find
plenty of science questions to ask and answer through hands-on science experimentation.
When it comes to basketball, mastering the basics is key. There is a reason star shooters
spend time throwing free throw after free throw from the line, and a shooter's technique can
make a big difference in the percentage of shots made! Dribbling, too, is a critical skill. A
guard without great dribbling skills won't last long in the play making point guard position,
but is there really science involved in dribbling? Yes!
When Ball Meets Court
What happens when you drop a basketball? It bounces back. But how high does it bounce?
And what happens when it hits the ground the next time, on the second bounce? If there
wasn't a hand or some other force involved in pushing it down again, the second bounce
will be different from the first. The way a ball responds and moves is all about momentum
and energy. As the ball bounces, it appears to lose energy because some energy is
transferred. To keep the ball bouncing at a consistent height, a dribbler has to replace the
"lost" energy, over and over again, up and down the court.
But energy is never really lost. It just changes. So what happens to the energy in a dropped
basketball? The movement of a bouncing ball involves both potential and kinetic energy. As
the ball changes positions in its path to the floor and back up again, the energy changes
from potential to kinetic and back, but some of the energy changes forms and is transferred
out of the ball, decreasing the energy the ball had when it was first dropped. For example,
when the ball hits the court, it makes a sound--that sound is a result of a transfer of energy.
The court (or ground) also absorbs some of the energy from the impact of the ball--the
energy in the ball is transferred to the court. Another form of energy is heat energy. Does a
bouncing basketball lose energy because it creates heat as it bounces?
Putting It to a Dribbling Test
The "Basketball Physics: Where Does a Bouncing Ball's Energy Go?" sports science project
idea at Science Buddies helps students explore the question of thermal energy and a
bouncing ball by conducting a hands-on science experiment. Using an infrared
thermometer, students take multiple temperature readings of a basketball before and after
bouncing the ball 100 times in a row. What do you think the readings will show about the
relationship between thermal energy and the act of dribbling?
Depending on what students discover through their hands-on dribble tests, firsthand
understanding of the energy transfers and changes happening with a bouncing ball may
help improve overall ball handling skills—or at least give students new appreciation for the
dynamics of a bouncing ball!
Putting Science in Student's Hands—The Importance of Hands-on STEM Education
Science Buddies is a K-12 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting science,
technology, engineering, and math education for all students, at school, after school, and at
home with their families. The organization's award-winning website contains more than
15,000 pages of content, including more than 1,200 free scientist-authored Project Ideas in
32 areas of science, including classical areas like physics, chemistry, biology, and
astronomy and contemporary areas like robotics, biomedical technology, nanotechnology—
and sport science. Science Buddies believes strongly that matching students with a project
they will enjoy is key to increasing student interest in science. One of the organization's key
online tools, the Topic Selection Wizard, helps students discover science and engineering
projects that fit their individual interests.
Basketball Physics
Human Projectiles
Jumping for the ball, or leaping for a slam dunk, the human body follows the same laws of projectile
motion as do other objects.
Champion Basketballer Michael Jordan seemed to hang in the air forever when he went up for a
slam-dunk. Viewers would think that he is breaking some law of physics, but no, he is governed by
the same laws of physics as everyone else.
How high someone can jump depends on the force he uses to push on the floor when he jumps,
which in turn depends on the strength and power of the muscles of the legs. The harder and more
powerfully he pushes, the higher he goes and the longer he stays in the air.
To achieve a four foot leap vertically - a jump that is very high for a basketball player - the hang time
would be 1.0 seconds. Michael Jordan uses a few tricks to maximize his leaps, and make it seem
longer. When he dunks he holds onto the ball for extra time than most players, and actually places it
in the basket on the way down. He also pulls his legs up as the jump progresses making the jump
look more impressive. All this happens in less than one second.
Physics also plays a part in free-throw technique as well. When a spinning ball bounces, it always
bounces in the direction of the spin on the ball. A backspin on the ball tends to make it bounce
backwards into the basket. So the ball will tend to hold up if it first hits the front of the ring, or will be
directed down into the ring if it hits the backboard or back of the ring.

In theory, the free throw is a gift. The shooter shoots with no elbows thrown in his direction, no
seven-foot-tall man trying to block the shot, and no screaming crowd (unless he plays for the visiting
team). So what makes this solo shot so choke-worthy? In the spirit of March Madness, we break
down the anatomy of this seemingly simple shot.
Body Mechanics

"The lift that you have as a free-throw shooter starts from the feet," says Bruce Kreutzer, a shooting
specialist at the Mark Price Basketball Academy in Suwanee, Ga., who has been working with the
NBA and amateur players for 25 years. "The majority of players today use their upper body first,
which really throws off the rhythm."

When they step up to the line, players should align their body—toes, hips, and shoulders—directly
with the basket, Kreutzer says. Seems easy enough, but things soon become complicated. The
amount of bend in the knee needed to make a shot is directly proportional to a player's distance from
the hoop, and players often struggle to find the amount of bend that correlates with the right amount
of energy buildup. Too much energy and your shot is a brick off the backboard; not enough and it's
an air ball.

As a player prepares to shoot, the ball should be resting on the finger pads (that first roll of knuckles
just above your palms) and not the fingertips, Kreutzer says—"This way there's no snap, just a
rhythmic flop." In the release, the shooting arm and support arm should extend toward the basket.
The same goes for the rest of the body; the shooter's weight should be traveling forward in a
controlled calf-raise motion.
Debunking the Swish

North Carolina State University mechanical engineering professor Larry Silverberg, an avid baller
himself, set out to determine the physics behind the perfect free throw. With his colleague Chau
Tran, he co-wrote a software program to analyze three-dimensional computer-simulated free-throw

"If you take top athletes in any sport, most have a really hard time explaining what they're doing,"
Silverberg says. "By simulating millions of shots we could see patterns that tend to confirm best

Their extensive research allowed them to establish a few guidelines for the foul line: aim toward the
back of the rim with 3 Hz of backspin and at 52 degrees to the horizontal. Oh, and do all this at a
perfectly smooth and consistent speed.

Let's take the first piece of advice: Aim for the back of the rim. Despite what most people may think,
Silverberg found that aiming for the center of the basket actually decreases the likelihood of a
successful shot by almost 3 percent. Silverberg and Tran found that the sweet spot is actually 2.82
inches past the center of the hoop. You might make fewer "nothing but net" shots this way, as the
ball is more likely to hit the back of the rim and go in, but your overall shooting percentage will be

Second piece of advice: the backspin. Three Hz of backspin translates to three complete revolutions
of the ball before it reaches the hoop, and the reason you want this backspin is that it deadens the
ball, should it hit the rim or backboard during flight. In their simulations, Silverberg and Tran found no
additional advantage to more than three revolutions; plus, they found that players struggle to put
more backspin than this anyway.

Finally, the angle: Without a protractor in your sneakers, it might be difficult for players to execute a
launch angle of exactly 52 degrees. The shorthand version that Silverberg tells players, then, is to
shoot the ball so that it's about 2 inches below the top of the backboard at its highest point.

"Imagine you drew a line from where the ball is released to the hoop—that's the angle from the
horizontal," he says. "A good way to visualize this is aiming pretty close to the top of the backboard
at the top of [the ball's] trajectory."

Of course, this is a loose rule, in part because basketball players vary wildly in height. Silverberg and
Tran came up with the 52 degrees rule for a six-foot-six player, so the angle would be different for a
seven-foot center, a six-foot-six point guard, or a five-foot-eight insurance salesman playing with
buddies on the weekend.

But of all the parameters of the free throw, maintaining a constant speed is the most important but
also the most difficult, Silverberg says. Unlike the geometric conditions, backspin and speed are
variables that rely on the shooter's ability to maintain a consistent motion—arguably the most difficult
aspect of any shot.
Noah's Arc

Football players watch endless game film; baseball players in a hitting slump head to the video room
to see what's amiss with their swing. And basketball players can watch video of their free-throw
attempts with a full statistical analysis of each shot.

John Carter, CEO of Noah Basketball, is one of the people bringing big data to basketball. He
developed a little device called Noah that analyzes the arc of the ball once it leaves a player's hands,
computing its angle of entry into the basket and spitting out this number in real time so that shooters
can adjust their arc accordingly. For a free throw, entry-angle perfection is around 43 degrees. And,
unlike the launch angle, which varies with player height, the entry angle is the same for all shooters.

"If a player shoots flat, the hole closes up," Carter says. "There's a sweet spot in the mid forties
where you can have a little bit of variation in the arc, but the ball goes in at almost the same distance
from back of rim every time."

Noah devices have compiled statistics for thousands of free-throw shots, confirming what
Silverberg's simulations showed. Even though an entry angle of about 50 degrees corresponds to a
perfect swish, the Noah data showed that players' overall shooting percentage started to decrease at
above 45 degrees. So great shooters hit the back of the rim more often than they swish.

Why Is Basketball Safety Important?
Fortunately, very few basketball injuries are life threatening. Some (like broken bones, concussions,
and ligament tears) can be quite serious, though. And while playing through the pain might seem
noble, it can lead to serious muscle and joint problems over time.
Sprained ankles are the most common basketball injuries, but jammed or broken fingers, bruises,
bloody or broken noses, and poked eyes are all too common as well. When playing outdoors,
abrasions (particularly to the palms and fingers) are always a risk.
Indoor ball presents its own hazards in the form of walls and bleachers, and players are bound to
collide going after loose balls and rebounds wherever they play.
Gear Guidelines
If you've got two people, a ball, and a basketball hoop, you've got just about everything you need for
a basketball game. But this doesn't mean you don't need to pay attention to what you wear, especially
on your feet.
Before you take the court, take steps to protect yourself by always wearing the following:
 Basketball sneakers. The right shoe can go a long way toward reducing ankle, foot, and leg
injuries. For added ankle support, some players choose to play in high-top sneakers, but low-rise
shoes will suffice. All basketball shoes should have a sturdy, non-skid sole and should be the right
size and securely laced at all times while playing. Never play basketball in open-toed shoes, clogs,
or heels (it sounds ridiculous, but it's been known to happen).
 Athletic support. If you're a guy, you don't have to wear a protective cup unless your league
requires it or you choose to, but you'll appreciate having a good athletic supporter when you're
running down the court or jostling under the net. Girls should consider a good sports bra, and
many players of both sexes choose to wear supportive athletic shorts beneath their basketball
 Mouthguard. Some youth leagues may require players to wear a mouthguard. If yours doesn't,
you should strongly consider wearing one anyway to guard against broken teeth and injuries to the
 Other gear. Players who wear glasses, and many who wear contacts, will want to use protective
eyewear made of shatterproof plastic. Players with prior injuries can benefit from fitted knee,
ankle, or wrist braces to support their joints while playing.
Where to Play
Since basketball can involve anywhere from two to 10 players, it can be played in small spaces as
easily as giant arenas. Driveways, playgrounds, gyms, and barnyards are all potential courts and
present basketball players with an ever-changing variety of surfaces.
Regardless of where you choose to play, you should always inspect the court before you start and
make sure it is free of debris, particularly broken glass (ouch!) and loose gravel. The court surface
should also be free of any cracks, holes, or irregularities that could lead to sprained or twisted ankles.
If you're going to play outside at night, be sure the court is well lit and in a safe area. Indoor courts
should give you plenty of distance between the edges of the court and any walls, bleachers, or other
obstacles. Basket stands and any walls near them should be well padded and properly secured. Store
extra equipment like balls, gym bags, and other gear where they won't interfere with players going
after loose balls.
Before Tip-Off
As with many sports, basketball requires running, jumping, and other athletic movements. Staying in
good shape year-round will not only make you better at these actions, it will help reduce your risk of
injury and improve your stamina so you can play harder for longer periods of time. Be sure to get
plenty of exercise before the season starts, and eat healthy foods.
Warm up and stretch before you start playing. This doesn't mean just shooting a few hoops or
dribbling with both hands. Do some jumping jacks or run in place for a couple of minutes to warm up
your muscles before stretching. Dynamic stretching uses many muscle groups in a sport-specific way,
so ask your coach about stretches to add to your warm-up. It's a good idea to stretch after a game or
practice, too.
Practice shooting, dribbling, layups, and running the court before you try to duplicate these
maneuvers during a game. Knowing how to do what you want to do will make your movements less
awkward and less prone to injury. And naturally, know the rules and how to play safely before you
compete against other players.
During Game Play
Once the ball is put in play, things will start to move quickly on the court. Know where your
teammates and any opponents are at all times. This will help you avoid potentially painful collisions.
Fouling other players will not only hurt your team and possibly land you a seat on the bench, it's also
a very common source of injuries. Play within the rules, with no shoving, tripping, or holding, and
always obey the officials. Never deliberately or flagrantly foul another player.
If you get tired during the course of a game, ask to come out for a while to catch your breath, and be
sure to stay well hydrated. Heat-related illness and dehydration are risks, particularly on hot days or
sunny, outdoor courts.
If you feel pain in any of your joints or muscles, stop playing right away. Don't resume playing until
the pain goes away or you get clearance from a doctor.
Lastly, know where the ball is at all times. This may seem obvious, but many players get hurt by
being hit with the ball when they aren't looking. Basketballs are hard enough to easily break a nose or
a finger.
Excessive Play
With summer AAU programs, school and church leagues, travel teams, camps, and all-star games to
choose from, lots of guys and girls spend the whole year playing basketball. This can lead to more
than just burnout. Strains and sprains, tendonitis, growth plate injuries, and stress fractures can get
very painful and debilitating if untreated.
Always tell a coach or parent if you're feeling any pain, and never ignore any tweaks, spasms, or
discomfort you feel while playing. Ignoring overuse injuries will only make them harder to recover
from in the long run.
If you have any concerns that you're playing too much basketball, work with your parents and coaches
to try to reduce your schedule.
A Few Other Reminders
 If it's on-court and serious, find a ref. You probably won't need adult supervision for games of one-
on-one or two-on-two in your driveway or a pickup game at the playground, but full-court, five-on-
five basketball is a different story. Be sure a responsible adult — be it a coach, parent, or referee
— is on hand for any games like that.
 Make sure first aid supplies and someone who knows how to use them are readily available at the
courts where you play.
 Don't chew gum, toothpicks, or have anything in your mouth while playing basketball. They could
present a risk of choking.
 Don't get involved in a fight with other players or teammates. This will not only get you kicked out
of any sanctioned basketball game, it will also increase your likelihood of injury.
Finally, get out there on the court and have fun working on your skills and leading your team to
victory. With a little forethought and some common sense and etiquette, you can keep things safe and
stay injury-free and in the game. Next thing you know, that'll be you hitting the shot at the buzzer to
win the Final Four or the NBA championship.
Basketball Safety Rules

Being safe on the court means having the awareness to
stop playing if you’re in pain or feeling too tired. Most
basketball injuries heal quickly if they’re treated properly
during their early stages. However, injuries can linger
throughout a season and cause long stretches of missed
playing time if they’re not addressed as soon as possible.
Therefore, the most important safety rule in basketball is to
seek medical attention and get rest at the first sign of injury.
Common Injuries
Nobody likes to miss time due to injuries, yet many players
forget to take simple and proper precautions that reduce the
risk of injury. Knowing what types of injuries are most
common makes it easier to protect your body. The most
common basketball injuries are:
 Ankle sprains
 Knee sprains and tendonitis
 Jammed fingers
 Broken wrists
 Concussions
Most injuries are the result of sudden contact with another player or the ball. Accidents like awkward landings, abrupt
changes of direction, and being hit by the ball are difficult to avoid. However, many injuries are preventable if you
follow the appropriate safety rules.
Avoid Overuse
Players with past injuries or who’re coming back from recent injuries should wear braces, wraps, or mouthguards to
prevent aggravation. Also, players who wear glasses should invest in sports goggles to protect their eyes.
Many injuries are the result of prolonged stress on a specific area of the body. Knee and ankle injuries most often
stem from overuse, and should be rested immediately. It’s often a difficult call for a player to make; improvement on
the court requires repetition, so taking time off can seem like an unthinkable sacrifice.
However, overuse compromises your body’s ability to recover and rebuild muscle tissue worn down from practice and
games. A good training program emphasizes rest and getting plenty of sleep, so that your body can regenerate from
Wear the Right Gear
A basketball player is nothing without the right pair of shoes. Basketball shoes should fit snugly and provide support,
while still allowing enough flexibility to cut and sprint. Post players usually benefit the most from high-top sneakers
that brace the ankle to help prevent sprains and rolls.
Be Self-aware
Maybe the most important safety rule is to be aware and to take precautions when you’re not feeling quite right. Many
players create injuries by working through pain or playing when they’re not 100 percent healthy.
After playing for a long enough time, you should know the best conditions for your body to excel on the court without
getting hurt. You should:
 Know your ideal body weight: If you’re over or under your ideal weight, take it easy and work gradually into the
right playing shape.
 Stay hydrated: Always drink water before, during, and after games. This is especially important during the summer
when playing outside in the heat.
 Don’t overextend your workout: Work with coaches and teammates to understand the length of time a practice or
personal workout should last. Work out twice a day and concentrate on varying your regimen instead of
overextending an individual workout.
Call Fouls
Since basketball’s a physical game, it’s critical that players
use the right techniques to play fairly and minimize the risk
of getting hurt. A great way to do this is to call fouls in a
scrimmage as they would be called during any organized
Elbows, trips, pushes, and moving screens should always
result in a foul call and a change of possession or foul
shots. This teaches beginning players the rules of the game
while also maintaining a safe environment on the court.
If there aren’t any coaches or supervisors present, ask an
odd man out to officiate. Players can also agree to call fouls
themselves on the honor system. To ensure the safety of
the players, fouls must always be called as soon as they’re
Flexibility & Strength
It’s important to stretch before and after practices and games. For organized teams, this should always be a
requirement for getting on the court. Proper stretching alleviates the strain on joints and ligaments. Cool-down
stretching reduces lactic acid build-up in muscles and enables faster recovery times.
Hot Tip: Leg Stretches
Properly stretching the muscles around the knee and ankle takes five minutes and can save months of lost time due
to injury. For this reason, every professional basketball player takes at least five minutes to stretch before every
practice and game.
Nobody’s immune to joint injury, but everyone can reduce the risk. Building strength around the joints in your core
and upper body makes you more durable. In addition, it can speed up recovery time if injuries do occur.
If you participate in an organized league, both flexibility exercises and strength training should be part of your workout
regimen. It doesn’t take much time, and there are numerous benefits.
Coaches Must be Accountable
As supervisors on the floor and in the locker room, it’s important that coaches maintain proper safety guidelines for
their players. They should be sure that every player is taking the right precautions, wearing the appropriate gear, and
getting the right type and amount of exercise.
In addition, coaches should monitor each of the following:
 The condition of basketball equipment: A coach or supervisor should inspect the practice equipment, personal
gear, and even the court itself to ensure that they’re ready for use.
 The length of practices: Practices and training sessions should be limited to specific periods of time, and should
never go over for any reason.
 The level and ability of players: Players should not be matched up against older or physically stronger opponents.
 Warm-up and cool-down activities: Coaches must provide players with adequate time and instruction to stretch,
warm up, and cool down during practice.
 Physical conditioning: Only the players who’re in adequate physical condition should participate in scrimmages and
game. Practice activities should be geared toward increasing player conditioning without overworking them.
Nobody’s Invincible
It’s natural for players to think that injuries are more likely to occur to someone else, and that stepping onto the court
is the best way to maintain proper physical condition. However, nobody’s immune to the hazards of the game.
Taking the right safety precautions becomes easy when they’re followed regularly and turned into healthy habits.
Each of the methods mentioned above takes a minimal amount of time and can be easily incorporated into a training

Safety Rules for Basketball
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2013 | By Steve Silverman
The noncontact rules in basketball make sure nobody
puts a vulnerable player in jeopardy. Photo Credit Basketball player shooting the ball image by patrimonio designs
Many people think of basketball as a noncontact sport. However, anyone who has ever fought for a
rebound under the backboard knows that is not the case. When it comes to player safety, there are
several precautions that players and teams must take to ensure the health of the individuals participating
in the game.
No player may swing his elbows in an attempt to secure the basketball, particularly when the player has
gathered a rebound. In addition to committing a personal foul if a player makes contact with an opponent
as a result of an elbow, a flagrant foul can be called if the referee believes the elbow was swung
recklessly or with the intent to injure. A player can be thrown out of the game or suspended depending on
the force and severity of the blow.
Vulnerable Players
Players who are up in the air and in a vulnerable position while shooting or rebounding are not in a
position to defend themselves. Players who hit or foul defenseless players can be ejected from the game.
This does not include a play where there is significant physical contact in which the defensive player is
trying to stop the shot. If the referee rules the defensive player was trying to hurt or injure and not trying to
defend, the player will be ejected from the game.
No players are allowed to wear neck jewelry, wrist jewelry or earrings while playing basketball. This is
done to protect the players and keep them from getting injured while playing. Players who attempt to
come into the game while wearing jewelry will be prevented by the referee until the jewelry is removed.

15 Basketball Safety Tips
For Coaches
There are many Basketball Safety Tips that all coaches should be aware of and properly
plan for. Anytime athletes participate in a sport, there is a chance for injuries to occur.
Basketball is no different. It actually ranks as one of the top injury-producing sports for
young athletes.

Having said that, I think it is important for all basketball coaches to have a thorough
knowledge of the various basketball safety issues they will encounter. This knowledge,
along with proper planning will help prepare the coach and ensure a safe basketball
experience for everyone involved!

By understanding and following the basketball safety tips below coaches will be
able to:
 Provide their players with a safe environment for practices and games.
 Provide first aid to their players for minor injuries.
 Protect themselves from any liability issues related to player injuries.

Basketball Safety Tips & Guidelines

1. Coaches should require all players to have a preseason physical examination. This will
help determine if the athlete is in the proper physical health needed for basketball.
2. Coaches should have all parents sign an informed consent form. This states that the
parents are giving their child permission to participate in basketball and also be treated in
case of an injury. This form helps protect the coach, player, and parents.
3. Coaches should stress to the players and their parents the importance of proper nutrition.
They should provide guidelines for a healthy eating plan as well as proper water
4. Coaches should properly condition their players to help prepare their bodies for the game
of basketball. This would include proper stretching, running, and other aerobic activities.
Weight training can also be included for higher levels of competition.
5. Coaches should check the condition of the equipment, training aids, and basketball court
before practices and games begin. This should be done before any of the players step on
the court. Any damages to the equipment or court should be addressed immediately.
6. Coaches should always have their players match up against teammates that are similar in
size and physical maturity. One of the most common ways for smaller players to get hurt is
by being matched with teammates that are too big and strong for them.
7. Coaches should always be in a position to properly supervise their players during
practices and games. Obviously, coaches should never leave their players unattended on
the basketball court.
8. Coaches should keep accurate record of all their practice plans and game schedules. They
should document any injuries that may have occurred during those times. This will help
protect them from any liability issues.
9. Coaches should provide their players with proper warm-up activities at the beginning of
practices and games. These activities usually include running or jogging followed by
stretching. This will help loosen the players' muscles and prepare their bodies for action.
10. Coaches should provide their players with the proper cool-down activities at the end of
practices and games. These activities usually include a 5-10 minute jog or walk around the
court. This will settle the players' heart rate and help prevent any stiff or sore muscles.

More Basketball Safety Tips

11. Coaches should provide their players with an adequate amount of water before, during
and after practices and games. Proper hydration is an important key to keeping the players'
muscles loose and allowing them to perform at their highest level. Coaches should include
1-2 water breaks in their practice plans.
12. Coaches should properly plan their practices to ensure that the players are participating
in activities that are appropriate for their age and level of competition.
13. Coaches should constantly monitor and evaluate their players during practices and
games. They should watch for physical signs that might indicate a player is injured.
14. Coaches should have the proper training and certifications in first aid and CPR. This will
prepare them to deal with minor injuries and teach them the proper procedures for dealing
with major injuries.
15. Coaches should make sure they have proper liability insurance to protect themselves in
any player injury situations.
As I stated above, injuries do occur during basketball practices and games. As much as we
all wish they didn't happen - they are a part of the game. The best way of dealing with the
various basketball safety issues is to be aware of them and be properly prepared to deal
with them.
The basketball coaches that take the necessary steps to prepare themselves by following
the basketball safety tips above will be providing their players with a safe and enjoyable
basketball environment. While at the same time they will be protecting themselves from any
liability issues.

I hope you found these Basketball Safety Tips to be helpful and informative. Player safety
is a huge concern for everyone involved in the game of basketball.
It is the coach's responsibility to make sure that each player is provided with a safe
basketball environment and experience. The only way to do this is through proper
knowledge and planning.
If you need more valuable information on these basketball safety tips or other basketball
topics, I would suggest you purchase some goodbasketball books and videos. These will
provide you with a wealth of knowledge about the game of basketball.

Understanding basketball safety tips:
Basketball is a fast game with frequent and aggressive body contacts. Injuries are common so it is
important to be aware of basketball safety tips.
The number one basketball injury is overall ankle sprains.Basketball players tend to injure their
hands, ankles and knees most frequently.
Injuries while playing basketball are commonly caused by falls, player contact, awkwardlandings,
abrupt changes in direction and being hit by the ball
Basketball injuries related to overuse;
These are injuries that occur due to constant stress on a particular part of the body. Knee and
ankle injuries occur in this category. Jumper’s knee is one such injury in which there is a constant
throbbing or painful feeling in the area below the knee.
If one continues to play through pain, a potentially bad injury becomes much worse.
Acilles tendonitis is another overuse injury. Here, the leg tendon connecting the calf to the heel can
tear. Pain in the rotator cuff muscles is yet another overuse injury.
Other basketball injuries
This is another area where awareness of these safety tips needs to be quite high. Head concussion,
broken wrists, ankle sprains, jammed fingers tends to be traumatic i.e sudden and forceful.
Bodily collisions with great force can happen with either other players or with equipments such as
doorways, playing surface, walls, balls and benches. Loss of teeth is rare but still a risk. Minor cuts
and abrasions also occur all too frequently.
Basketball safety tips
Basketball injuries can be controlled by being aware of and implementing the following suggestions.
Be prepared and alert
Check yourself thoroughly for physical fitness. Maintain the proper weight for your size. This will
reduce injuries involving jumping and landing on your weight. Get sufficient sleep and maintain a
healthy diet. Warm up and stretch before playing and also cool down and stretch after playing.
Wear the right gear
Wear the right protective gear such as a mouthguard and proper court shoes. If you are more prone
to injuries, it is best to consult a doctor or physiotherapist about appropriatebracing or protective gear.
Make sure the environment is safe
Maintain a clean playing area. Remove hazards such as backpacks, stones, jackets, drinks and food off
the court to avoid slipping. Make sure that the backboards, their supports and walls are padded. Ensure
that baskets and boundary lines are not too close to walls and fixtures.
Understand yourself and basketball
Basketball safety tips also include knowing your fitness level and limits. It is also important that
everyone knows the rules and follows them. It is not fair to play in a situation where pushing, shoving
and other harmful acts are allowed.

It is also essential that the right techniques are used for passing, jumping, landing and shooting. The
proper and safe use of equipment should also be known to everyone. Players should drink plenty of
water before, during and after play and not play in extreme heat or wet conditions.
Basketball safety tips for fun
Basketball is a contact sport and injuries can happen. However, it is essential to keep it fun so that
there is no high pressure or stress. You must remember to stop playing if you are in pain or get hurt or
feel too tired. Most of the injuries respond well to treatment if treated at the early stages. Thus, the
best way is to seek medical attention and rest at the first sign of injury.

Learn Your Body
 Each person's body is different and there are limits to what any particular person can do. It is important that
basketball players understand what they are capable of doing on the basketball court. By practicing, players can
learn their bodies and what they are able to do on the court. This awareness will prevent players from hurting
themselves or other players during game play.
Learn the Game
 The game of basketball has rules and guidelines that govern how the game is played and officiated. These rules are
also intended to keep players safe while competing against others. If you aren't familiar with the rules of the game, it
is important that you begin by playing with experienced players who know the game.
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Keep in Shape
 One of the most important things you can do to stay safe on the basketball court is to keep yourself in good physical
condition. Since basketball can be very strenuous on your body, it is essential that players train by regular stretching,
running and lifting weights. Players who are in shape are less likely to become injured while playing.
Protective Gear
 There is protective equipment that can be worn during play to reduce the chances of injury. Mouth guards are
designed to protect a person from dental injury in basketball. Goggles can be worn as protective gear for the eyes.
There are also a number of braces that can be worn to help keep the ankles, knees, wrists and elbows protected.
Safe Playing Environment
 Whether you play indoors or outdoors, it is necessary to keep a clean playing area. Remove any hazards like dust,
rocks, food or drink that could potentially cause tripping or slipping. Make sure that baskets are a reasonable
distance from walls and, if necessary, pad walls that players might potentially crash into.

Law of Inertia
Isaac Newton's first law of motion states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in
motion tends to stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it. When a basketball player shoots, it
would appear that there is nothing to obstruct the ball. However, several external forces act upon the ball.
Were it not for these forces, the ball would continue to travel in its current direction. First, gravity acts
upon the ball to pull it down to earth. The athlete must judge the force of gravity by the weight of the ball
to be able to find the right line of trajectory so the ball arcs into the basket. Air also resists the ball in the
form of drag. While not noticeable indoors, wind can be a major factor during outdoor games.
Newton's second law states that acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the
mass of the object being accelerated, the more force needed to accelerate that object. The equation is
expressed as Force = mass x acceleration. In basketball, we see Newton's third law at work whenever a
player shoots or passes the ball. The basketball has mass, which means that the player must use the
appropriate amount of force when shooting or passing. Too much or too little force applied in relation to
the ball's mass and the ball will not go where intended. If a basketball were to be substituted with a
bowling ball, for instance, the players would need to use much more force to move the ball the same
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The third law of motion is that for every force, there is an equal reaction force in the opposite direction.
Action/reaction is what allows the athletes to make their way up and down the court. When the player
takes a stride, they put force into the floor. Because the floor has too much mass for the athlete to move
it, the force travels back to the athlete and propels him forward. Because the floor will apply an equal and
opposite reaction, whichever direction the athlete applies force will be opposite to the direction force is
applied back. If the athlete's foot pushes the floor behind them, the force from the floor (called ―ground
reaction‖) will propel the forward. If the athlete quickly applies force straight down, the ground reaction will
propel them straight up and allow the athlete to jump.
Sponsored Links
Law of Inertia
Isaac Newton's first law of motion states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in
motion tends to stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it. When a basketball player shoots, it
would appear that there is nothing to obstruct the ball. However, several external forces act upon the ball.
Were it not for these forces, the ball would continue to travel in its current direction. First, gravity acts
upon the ball to pull it down to earth. The athlete must judge the force of gravity by the weight of the ball
to be able to find the right line of trajectory so the ball arcs into the basket. Air also resists the ball in the
form of drag. While not noticeable indoors, wind can be a major factor during outdoor games.
Newton's second law states that acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the
mass of the object being accelerated, the more force needed to accelerate that object. The equation is
expressed as Force = mass x acceleration. In basketball, we see Newton's third law at work whenever a
player shoots or passes the ball. The basketball has mass, which means that the player must use the
appropriate amount of force when shooting or passing. Too much or too little force applied in relation to
the ball's mass and the ball will not go where intended. If a basketball were to be substituted with a
bowling ball, for instance, the players would need to use much more force to move the ball the same

The third law of motion is that for every force, there is an equal reaction force in the opposite direction.
Action/reaction is what allows the athletes to make their way up and down the court. When the player
takes a stride, they put force into the floor. Because the floor has too much mass for the athlete to move
it, the force travels back to the athlete and propels him forward. Because the floor will apply an equal and
opposite reaction, whichever direction the athlete applies force will be opposite to the direction force is
applied back. If the athlete's foot pushes the floor behind them, the force from the floor (called ―ground
reaction‖) will propel the forward. If the athlete quickly applies force straight down, the ground reaction will
propel them straight up and allow the athlete to jump.
Sponsored Links

1st Law: The basketball will stay still unless someone picks it up and bounces it.

2nd Law: The basketball has a lot of momentum when you try to make a shot rather than when it is
coming back down out of the basketball hoop.

3rd Law: If you bounce the basketball down then it will bounce back up or if you throw the ball up then it
will come back down.
the 3 laws are :
1st law
A physical body will remain at rest, or continue to move at a constant velocity, unless an outside net force
acts upon it.
e.g. The hand holds the basketball - at rest. The ball bounces - outside force. The ball moves up and
down - constant velocity - gravity 9.81

2nd law
Rate of change of momentum is proportional to the resultant force producing it and takes place in the
direction of that force.
e.g from bouncing ball to aim and shoot the ball - momentum changes. Enter the ring - Resultant force.

3rd law
To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
e.g. After scoring and falls to the ground and bounce back = opposite action.

Remember a the principle of 90 degree triangle.
A right triangle has one 90°internal angle (a right angle). The side opposite to the right angle is the
hypotenuse; it is the longest side in the right triangle. The other two sides are the legs or catheti (singular:
cathetus) of the triangle.

Hypotenuse is the resultant force and the 2 sides are the directional force and the opposite force.
The Three Laws of Motion
The three laws of motion, as formulated by Sir Isaac Newton, give the overall context of the happenings
in a basketball game. The first law states that objects have a natural tendency to remain on course in
their path of motion; that is, without interference an object will continue moving along its current path.
The second law states that it takes more force to accelerate an object of greater mass; in other words,
more strength must be applied to change the motion of a heavier object. The third law states that every
action has an equal and opposite reaction, which means when you apply force to an object, that object
also applies force back at you. All actions in a basketball game can be seen in the context of these three
The Ball
The basketball, the center of the game, is almost continuously in motion. According to the first law, the
basketball is always moving in one direction, unless acted on by another force. Essentially, this tells us
that the ball is only being controlled by its environment: the players, the floor, the backboard. Unless in
contact with one of these forces, the ball will simply continue moving in one direction. The second law,
in combination with the fact that the basketball is one constant mass and weight tells us that the more
force applied to the ball, the faster the ball will accelerate, or travel. Stronger players can therefore
throw the ball faster. The final law of motion describes the bounce of the ball. Whenever the basketball
hits anything, that thing pushes the ball back. Because the third law states that the force is equal and
opposite, we can know that the ball will return in the direction whence it came and with a nearly
equivalent speed.
The Players
People themselves fall under the power of the laws of motion. The first law shows that basketball
players running in one direction on the court will have a tendency to remain moving in that direction. To
stop, they will need to apply force, both internally via muscles and externally via footwork. The force
that they apply to the floor in the attempt to stop will be returned to them, pushing them in the other
direction and effectually stopping their movement; this is what the third law tells us. The second law
shows us how the combination of mass and acceleration multiply to create a bigger force, which can
explain why heavy players such as Shaquille O’Neal are dangerous when moving fast.
Gravity is a force of downward acceleration that is constant throughout a basketball game. Acceleration
is the key force that causes the basketball to naturally move toward the floor, as shown by Newton’s
first law. The second law of motion shows that while gravity is a constant acceleration, adding a larger
mass to the equation still gives way to a larger force. For example, a hard ball bounce will apply
additional acceleration and force to an already downward-moving basketball.
The Floor
The floor, seemingly unimportant in the laws of motion as it does not move, is actually a significant
player in a game of basketball. This is true mainly because of the third law: an equal and opposite force
is applied to any force that makes contact with the floor. This is why balls bounce higher when they are
moving at a greater speed; the floor pushes the ball back. This is also why players get injured after
falling; in an intense basketball game, players fall with much force, which is in turn pushed back upon
the players’ bodies with an equal amount of force.
Newton’s First Law in Basketball
Newton’s first law is defined as any object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by a force or if an
object is in motion it will stay in motion until acted on by a force. Basketball is just that. From the
players to the ball itself, everything about the sport screams Newton’s first law. This blog is intended
to inform you on how this very important law of physics coincides with everyone’s favorite sport:

The basketball like any other ball is a projectile meant to be thrown or passed in various ways. One
way is shooting the ball. Shooting the ball consists of the player tossing the basketball high and hard
enough for the ball to reach inside of the basketball rim. This move applies to Newton’s first law
because when the ball is shot into the air by the player it is remaining in motion at a constant speed
until acted on by a force or another object like the backboard or another player blocking the shot.

Another way that basketball applies to Newton’s first law is the dribble. The dribble consists of the
player moving the ball down the court by bouncing it up and down. This shows Newton’s first law
because if you notice when you are dribbling the ball will rest in you hand for a moment until you push
the ball back down to the ground. The ground (acting as a mirror mimicking what you do) will do the
same exact thing to the ball. The ball will rest on the ground for a slight second until it bounces back
up into your hand. Repeat your dribble process until you have successfully made a pass or attempted to
shoot the ball.

A final way this law can be applied to basketball is the dunk. A dunk consists of a player slamming the
ball forcibly down into the hoop. This rather finesse move can be applied to Newton’s first law because
the rim is resting until the player pulls down on it while attempting a dunk. When the player lets go the
rim will go back into its original resting position.

These are only a few of many ways that Newton’s first law applies to basketball. Stay tuned and we
will talk about Newton’s second law next time.

Newton's Laws in Basketball
Newton's First Law:
Newton's First Law of Motion
Newton's first states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless another force acts upon it. This is
demonstrated in basketball in a variety of ways. When the basketball is thrown and traveling to the hoop, gravity is
acting upon it to pull it back down, holding its speed back and bringing down its height. Also, when the basketball
hits the backboard, it is abruptly stopped and bounced back. The picture on the right shows the down pull force of
gravity and the direction of the ball BEFORE it hits the backboard.

Newton's Second Law:
Newton's second law says that Force (F) is the Mass (M) times the Acceleration (A) of the object: F=MA. When
someone throws the basketball with, lets say 1 Newton, it will go farther if someone exerted the same amount of
force on something ten times heavier than the basketball.

Newton's Third Law:
Newton's third law describes that for every action, or force, there is both an opposite and equal REACTION. An
example of this is when the basketball hits the backboard. When it hits, one would observe that it bounces back. This
is because of Newton's third law.