Basketball(1) | Basketball Positions | Referee


Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.[1] A regulation basketball hoop consists of a rim 18 inches (45.7 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.05 m) high mounted to a backboard. A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the hoop during regular play. A field goal scores two points for the shooting team if a player is touching or closer to the hoop than the three-point line, and three points (a "3 pointer") if the player is "outside" the three-point line. The team with more points at the end of the game wins, but additional time (overtime) may be issued when the game ends with a tie. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or passing it to a teammate. It is a violation (traveling) to walk with the ball, carry it, or to double dribble (to hold the ball and then resume dribbling). Various violations are generally called "fouls". Disruptive physical contact (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 or coach. A technical foul gives the opposing team a free throw. Basketball has evolved many commonly used techniques of shooting, passing, and dribbling, as well as specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures (player positioning) and techniques. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play "center", "small forward", or "power forward" positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills and speed play "point guard" or "shooting guard". While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, numerous variations of basketball have developed for casual play. Competitive basketball is primarily an indoor sport played on carefully marked and maintained basketball courts, but less regulated variations are often played outdoors in both inner city and rural areas.

Michael Jordan goes for a slam dunk at the old Boston Garden Highest governing body FIBA First played 1891, Springfield, Massachusetts, United States Characteristics Contact Contact Team members 10 to 12 (5 at a time) Mixed gender Single Categorization Indoor (mainly) or Outdoor (streetball) Equipment Basketball Olympic 1936


The first basketball court: Springfield College The first rules, court, and game

In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (YMCA) (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 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

The first official game was played in a YMCA gymnasium on January 20. The peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were finally replaced by metal hoops with backboards. and balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored. Fascinated by the new sport and the values it could teach.05 m) elevated track. she organized the first women¶s collegiate basketball game on March 21. and professional clubs quickly filled the void. however. other amateur sports clubs. it had the additional effect of allowing rebound shots. he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot (3. By 1897±1898 teams of five became standard. the shot was made from 25 feet (7. this peach basket retained its bottom. Naismith called the new game "Basket Ball".gymnasiums. when her Smith freshmen and sophomores played against one another. so the ball merely passed through. a physical education teacher. and it quickly spread through the USA and Canada.G. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game. The game ended at 1±0. The baskets were originally nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court. Surge in popularity Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States. A further change was soon made. Naismith's handwritten diaries. indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented. Spalding¶s first Women's Basketball Guide. colleges. on a court just half the size of a present-day Streetball or National Basketball Association (NBA) court. modified Naismith's rules for women. However. she went to Naismith to learn more about the game. In the years before World War I. within a decade it discouraged the new sport. Women's basketball Women's basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson. discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006. 1892 with nine players. as many had failed before it. Shortly after she was hired at Smith. it was well established at several women's high schools. allowing the balls to be poked out with a long dowel each time. his team would gain a point. Whichever team got the most points won the game. paving the way for the game we know today. 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. An association football was used to shoot baskets. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. 1893. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket. as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. In contrast with modern basketball nets. this proved inefficient. Her rules were first published in 1899 and two years later Berenson became the editor of A. so the bottom of the basket was removed. which incorporated rules from a children's game called "Duck on a Rock". By 1895. The .6 m). but this proved impractical when spectators on the balcony began to interfere with shots.

basketball had become a major college sport. knowledge of that game had been available for at least 50 years prior to Naismith's creation. Development of equipment and technique Basketball was originally played with an association football. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s. Stephens' works especially. Other ball games. which included drawings by Frederick Catherwood. In 1959. The hall of fame has people who have accomplished many goals in their career in basketball. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Early college basketball development Dr. referees and people who have contributed significantly to the development of the game. such as baseball and Canadian football. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. This league only lasted five years.first pro league. netball. dodgeball. Naismith himself later coached at the University of Kansas for six years.O. volleyball. and lacrosse are the only ball games which have been identified as being invented by North Americans. Basketball Hall of Fame founded By the 1950s. James Naismith was instrumental in establishing college basketball. before handing the reins to renowned coach Forrest "Phog" Allen. His colleague C. Its rosters include the names of great players. Although there is no direct evidence as yet that the idea of basketball came from the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame. as manufacturing improved the ball shape. Massachusetts. introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Historical antecedents Basketball. searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike. the National Basketball League. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown. Beamis fielded the first college basketball team just a year after the Springfield YMCA game at the suburban Pittsburgh Geneva College. was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote a less rough game. European. were available at most educational institutions in the 19th century and also had wide popular circulations. and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle. in the writings of John Lloyd Stephens and Alexander von Humboldt. site of the first game. Asian or African connections. have Commonwealth of Nations. a basketball hall of fame was founded in Springfield. thus paving the way for a growth of interest in professional basketball. Naismith's disciple Amos Alonzo Stagg brought basketball to the University . coaches.

the U. that body would change its name to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Alberta. including Wellesley. Vassar. 1896. On February 9. which was affiliated with University of Minnesota. And in 1926. The same year. They posted a record of 522 wins and only 20 losses over that span. In 1905. March 21. In 1905. Women's basketball development was more structured than that for men in the early years. and had to remain single. enjoyed great success as coach at the University of Kentucky. The Grads' players were unpaid. Early women's basketball development In 1891. The International Women's Sports Federation (1924) included a women's basketball competition. colleges. ending in a 2±1 Stanford victory. The Grads toured all over North America. Stanford women played Berkeley.S. 1928. the Amateur Athletic Union backed the first national women's basketball championship. Columbia University. . complete with men's rules. These rules called for six to nine players per team and 11 officials. in 1924. while Adolph Rupp. Mount Holyoke and Sophie Newcomb College (coached by Clara Gregory Baer) women began playing basketball. including the University of Chicago. resulting in the creation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). The Edmonton Grads. women's basketball was not an official Olympic sport until 1976. The School of Agriculture won in a 9±3 game. frequent injuries on the football field prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to suggest that colleges form a governing body. the first intercollegiate 5-on-5 game was played at Hamline University between Hamline and the School of Agriculture. the game had spread to colleges across the country. the University of Utah and Yale University began sponsoring men's games. the University of Minnesota. The Grads also shone on several exhibition trips to Europe. the University of California and Miss Head's School played the first women's interinstitutional game. the Executive Committee on Basket Ball Rules (National Women's Basketball Committee) was created by the American Physical Education Association. without overly emphasizing skills of individual players. however. The Grads' style focused on team play. 1932. By 1895. In 1901. Dartmouth College. 37 women's high school varsity basketball or state tournaments were held by 1925. 9-on-9. a touring Canadian women's team based in Edmonton. Berenson's freshmen played the sophomore class in the first women's intercollegiate basketball game at Smith College. a student of Naismith's at Kansas. and were exceptionally successful. and won four consecutive exhibition Olympics tournaments. and Bryn Mawr. operated between 1915 and 1940.of Chicago. funding their tours from gate receipts. In 1910. and 1936. as they met any team which wanted to challenge them. 1893. The first intercollegiate women's game was on April 4. 1895. Naval Academy.

Ad from The Liberator magazine promoting an exhibition in Harlem. By 1938.The first women's AAU All-America team was chosen in 1929. . Early American professional and barnstorming teams Teams abounded throughout the 1920s. the score was 7±7 at the end of regulation play. Drawing by Hugo Gellert. There were hundreds of men's professional basketball teams in towns and cities all over the United States. Women's industrial leagues sprang up throughout the United States. A good turnout of spectators watched the game. March 1922. using men's rules. Ontario on February 6. including Babe Didrikson of the Golden Cyclones. Leagues came and went. producing famous athletes. which competed against men's teams. Players jumped from team to team and teams played in armories and smoky dance halls. when McGill University visited Queen's University. the women's national championship changed from a three-court game to two-court game with six players per team. First Canadian interuniversity game The first Canadian interuniversity basketball game was played at the YMCA in Kingston. McGill won 9±7 in overtime. and little organization of the professional game. and the All American Red Heads Team. Barnstorming squads such as the Original Celtics and two all-African American teams. and a ten-minute overtime period settled the outcome. the New York Renaissance Five ("Rens") and (still in existence as of 2010) the Harlem Globetrotters played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours. 1904.

Today virtually every high school in the United States fields a basketball team in varsity competition Basketball's popularity remains high. College basketball was rocked by gambling scandals from 1948 to 1951. basketball quickly became the ideal interscholastic sport due to its modest equipment and personnel requirements. The tournament started out as a mostly Midwest affair but grew.002. most United States high schools were far smaller than their present day counterparts. The first national championship for NCAA teams. Indiana and Kentucky are particularly well known for their residents' devotion to high school basketball. Partially spurred by an association with cheating. was organized in 1938. the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in New York. which still exists as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament. which took the nation by storm during the 1920s. The most serious effort was the National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament at the University of Chicago from 1917 to 1930. the critically acclaimed film Hoosiers shows high school basketball's depth of meaning to these communities. U. when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in match fixing and point shaving.American national college championships The first men's national championship tournament. 1.S. The event organized by Amos Alonzo Stagg and sent invitations to state champion teams. the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball tournament. the NCAA national tournament would begin one year later. commonly called Hoosier Hysteria in Indiana. high school basketball Before widespread school district consolidation. National championships There is currently no national tournament to determine a national high school champion. The states of Illinois.797 boys and girls represented their schools in interscholastic basketball competition. In the 2003±04 season. dominating Indiana basketball and earning national recognition. according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. During the first decades of the 20th century. the popularity of high school basketball was unrivaled in many parts of America. the NIT lost support to the NCAA tournament. Perhaps the most legendary of high school teams was Indiana's Franklin Wonder Five. both in rural areas where they carry the identification of the entire community. In 1929 it had 29 state champions. Faced with opposition from the National Federation of State High School Associations and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools that bore a threat of the schools losing their accreditation the last tournament . was organized in 1937. In the days before widespread television coverage of professional and college sports. 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.

the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed. Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone. The first game was played in Toronto. European stars Dirk Nowitzki and Dra en Petrovi and the three players who many credit with ushering the professional game to its highest level of popularity: Larry Bird. The National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament for Black High Schools was held from 1929 to 1942 at Hampton Institute. the American Basketball Association. The National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament was held from 1941 to 1967 starting out at Tuskegee Institute. the league has sixteen teams. crowd-pleasing forward Julius Erving. the NBDL. Canada between the Toronto Huskies and New York Knickerbockers on November 1. talent. The tournament did not invite minority schools or private/parochial schools. The last tournaments were held at Alabama State College from 1964 to 1967. The basis for the champion dwindled after 1954 when Brown v. As of 2008. Ontario. Today the NBA is the top professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity. the first dominating "big man". Earvin "Magic" Johnson. playmaker John Stockton. including George Mikan. The organizations said they were concerned that the tournament was being used to recruit professional players from the prep ranks.was in 1930. The NBA has featured many famous players. The National Catholic Interscholastic Basketball Tournament ran from 1924 to 1941 at Loyola University. Three seasons later. all-around stars Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. Following a pause during World War II it resumed at Tennessee State College in Nashville. . emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. An upstart organization. Georgetown and George Mason. ball-handling wizard Bob Cousy and defensive genius Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. the BAA merged with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Wilt Chamberlain. Board of Education began an integration of schools. more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. the NBA formed a developmental league. in 1949. In 2001. and level of competition. who originally played for the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters. salaries. The National Catholic Invitational Basketball Tournament from 1954 to 1978 playing at a series of venues at Catholic University. and Michael Jordan. National Basketball Association Main article: National Basketball Association In 1946. 1946.

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). It features 8 teams from around Australia and one in New Zealand. 1975. was the first season after the shift to the current summer season format (October±April).000) than both Major League Soccer (253.000) and the NHL (310. However. NBA commissioner David Stern said that in the bad economy. the league has recently taken steps forward. 2009 article. Nine teams from the MICAA participated in the league's first season that opened on April 9. the WNBA signed a contract extension with ESPN. The new television deal runs from 2009 to 2016. Diana Taurasi. such as the American Basketball League (1996-1998). have folded in part because of the popularity of the WNBA. Over the eight years of the contract. We're losing a lot of money amongst a large number of teams. playing a winter season (April±September) and did so until the completion of the 20th season in 1998. the then-FIBA recognized national association. In a March 12. Though it had shaky attendance figures. "the NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA. "millions and millions of dollars" will be "dispersed to the league's teams. Along with this deal. In June 2007. We're budgeting the WNBA to break even this year. several marquee players (Lisa Leslie. Other professional women's basketball leagues in the United States. This shift was an attempt to avoid competing directly against Australia's various football codes." The WNBA gets more viewers on national television broadcasts (413. . The 1998/99 season. Basketball in Australia Main articles: National Basketball League Australia and Women's National Basketball League The NBL is Australia's pre-eminent men's professional basketball league. The league commenced in 1979. which commenced only months later. Quezon City. Philippines. came the first ever rights fees to be paid to a women's professional sports league. and Candace Parker among others) have helped the league's popularity and level of competition. 1975 at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.Women's National Basketball Association Main article: Women's National Basketball Association The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) began in 1997." Philippine Basketball Association Main article: Philippine Basketball Association The Philippine Basketball Association's first game was played on April 9.732). The WNBA has been looked at by many as a niche league.

Petr Novicky of Czechoslovakia The International Basketball Federation was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations: Argentina. Olympic games Munich 1972 Kre imir osi of Yugoslavia (blue shirt) vs. Argentina. Brazil and Australia rivaling the American squads. The Women's National Basketball League began in 1981. the first FIBA World Championship for Women was held in Chile. The United States' dominance continued with the introduction of their Dream Team. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976. Three years later.A few players including Luc Longley. Greece. played outdoors. Romania and Switzerland. Portugal. In 1950 the first FIBA World Championship for men was held in Argentina. However. Pros in the Olympics FIBA dropped the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1989. whose team has won all but three titles. Andrew Gaze. behind Yugoslavia. Latvia. was thus "FIBA". The United States defeated Canada in the first final. the first loss in a controversial final game in Munich in 1972 against the Soviet Union. the organization only oversaw amateur players. becoming poster figures for the sport in Australia. At this time. with developing programs elsewhere. A team made entirely of NBA players finished sixth in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis. Italy. This competition has usually been dominated by the United States. derived from the French Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. the United States suffered its first Olympic loss while using professional players. Czechoslovakia. International basketball XX. other national teams started to beat the United States. In the 2004 Athens Olympics. New Zealand and Spain. Canada with teams such as the Soviet Union. which were held in Montreal. Chris Anstey and Andrew Bogut made it big internationally. professional players played for the first time in the Olympic Games. and in 1992. Men's Basketball was first included at the Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics. and being . Shane Heal. Germany. falling to Puerto Rico (in a 19-point loss) and Lithuania in group games. although a demonstration tournament was held in 1904. Its acronym.

Only one member of either team was American. a drop of 12 per cent in shooting percentage and a 30 per cent drop in Player Efficiency Rating. reestablishing themselves as the dominant international team behind the "Redeem Team". International stars in the NBA Worldwide. Linas Kleiza of Lithuania and the Toronto Raptors. and Pero Cameron of New Zealand. Gasol. The 2002 team featured Nowitzki. After the disappointments of 2002 through 2006. In 2006.S. which won gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey despite featuring no players from the 2008 squad. the U. The only players on either team to never have joined the NBA are Cameron and Papaloukas. Lithuanians Arvydas Sabonis and ar nas Mar iulionis and German Detlef Schrempf. the United States advanced to the semifinals but were defeated by Greece by 101± 95. and Hedo Türko lu of Turkey and the Phoenix Suns. John Hollinger of ESPN has analyzed foreign players' performance in the NBA and his research suggests that players moving from the Euroleague to the NBA experience. basketball tournaments are held for boys and girls of all age levels. Yao. The only non-NBA player was Serbia's Milo Teodosi . a 31% increase in their assist rate. the other members were Anthony. Luis Scola of Argentina and the Houston Rockets. regrouped. an increase of 18% in their rebound rate. The global popularity of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. in the World Championship of Japan. including Croatians Dra en Petrovi and Toni Kuko . Players from all six inhabited continents currently play in the NBA. and the so-called "B-Team". a 25 per cent drop in scoring rate. Globalization of basketball The all-tournament teams at the 2002 and 2006 FIBA World Championships. Serbian Vlade Divac. on average. It eventually won the bronze medal defeating Lithuania. The all-tournament team from the 2010 edition in Turkey featured four NBA players² MVP Kevin Durant of Team USA and the Oklahoma City Thunder. namely Carmelo Anthony in 2006. In the bronze medal game it beat team Argentina and finished 3rd behind Greece and Spain. demonstrate the globalization of the game equally dramatically. Top international players began coming into the NBA in the mid 1990's.eliminated in the semifinals by Argentina. Ginobili also made the 2006 team. Ginobili. respectively held in Indianapolis and Japan. his Spanish teammate Jorge Garbajosa and Theodoros Papaloukas of Greece. which won gold at the 2008 Olympics. Peja Stojakovic of Yugoslavia (now of Serbia). . finishing behind Argentina and Italy.

outside of North America. Rules and regulations Measurements and time limits discussed in this section often vary among tournaments and organizations. Fifteen minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA. one or two umpires (referred to as referees in the NBA) and the table officials. while high school varsity games use 8 minute quarters. printed on both the front and back. games generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time.25 metres (20 ft 6 in) from the basket in international games and 23 feet 9 inches (7. statisticians. An attempt to score in this way is called a shot. a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey with a clearly visible number. a commercial break is needed. with Serbia (then known as Yugoslavia) winning in 1998 and 2002 and Spain in 2006. are allowed. and many high schools. The time allowed is actual playing time. the NBA. Five players from each team may be on the court at one time. A successful shot is worth two points.24 m) in NBA games. managers. Players wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. international and NBA rules are used in this section. for televised games. clock stoppages requested by a coach (or sometimes mandated in the NBA) for a short meeting with the players. who oversees the development and strategies of the team. Teams exchange baskets for the second half. and NCAA rules and 10 minutes in high school. Overtime periods are five minutes in length except for high school which is four minutes in length. Teams also have a coach. Therefore. Typically. NBA. 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. team names. unique within the team.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. Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. sponsors are printed on the uniforms. Playing regulations Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA) or 12 minutes (NBA). doctors and trainers. College games use two 20-minute halves. players' names and. For both men's and women's teams. the clock is stopped while the play is not active. or three points if it is taken from beyond the three-point arc which is 6. They generally last no longer than one minute (100 seconds in the NBA) unless. A onepoint shot can be earned when shooting from the foul line after a foul is made. there are a total of three referees on the . typically about two hours. and other team personnel such as assistant coaches. For college. A limited number of time-outs. The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee (referred to as crew chief in the NBA).

The white outlined box on the backboard is 18 inches (45. scoreboard(s).9 cm) by 3. the top of the rim is exactly 10 feet (305 cm) above the court and 4 feet (121. In the NBA and NCAA the court is 94 feet (28. Equipment Traditional eight-panel basketball The only essential equipment in a basketball game is the basketball and the court: a flat.9 cm) inside the baseline. At almost all levels of competition. Competitive levels require the use of more equipment such as clocks. and whistle-operated stop-clock systems.7 cm) high and 2 feet (61. alternating possession arrows.court. player substitutions. and the shot clock. The name and logo of the home team is usually painted on or around the center circle. team possession arrow. and one basket is at each end of the court.2 ft) wide.7 cm) in diameter with an attached net affixed to a backboard that measures 6 feet (182. it is considered important for the .2 m). timekeeping.0 cm) wide. score sheets. An outdoor basketball net. usually constructed from maple planks running in the same direction as the longer court dimension. A regulation basketball court in international games is 28 metres (91.5 feet (106. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each teams scoring. Most courts have wood flooring. The basket is a steel rim 18 inches (45.7 m) by 50 feet (15. rectangular surface with baskets at opposite ends.7 cm).9 ft) long and 15 metres (49. individual and team fouls. While variation is possible in the dimensions of the court and backboard.

nor be struck with the fist. thrown. or a "295 ball") and weighs 22 ounces (624 g). A violation of these rules results in loss of possession. once having established ball control in the front half of the court. and 35 seconds in NCAA men's play). the official ball is 29. an infraction known as traveling. rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running). passed between players. This is in contrast to other sports such as football. and remaining in the restricted area below the foul line (the lane. The ball may not be kicked. if committed by the defense. but no limit in NCAA women's play). For men. The ball-handler may not move both feet without dribbling. volleyball. a reset of the shot clock (with some exceptions in the NBA).9 cm) in circumference (size 7. 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. A player's hand cannot be under the ball while dribbling. If a defensive player goaltends or commits basket interference. 10 seconds in NCAA men's play and high school for both sexes. If a teammate of the shooter goaltends or commits interference. nor may he dribble with both hands or catch the ball in between dribbles. the official basketball size is 28.5 inches (72. doing so is known as carrying the ball. There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in international and NBA. A team. the basket is awarded and the offending team gets the ball. the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds forfeits possession. or "key") (3 seconds). If women are playing. or.4 cm) in circumference (size 6. or when the ball is outside the cylinder.5 inches (74. tapped. or touches a player who is out of bounds. The ball is out of bounds if touches or crosses over a boundary line. Violations The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot. The size of the basketball is also regulated. . These rules are designed to promote more offense. a violation called double dribbling. if the player reaches through the basket and touches it. The ball must stay within the court. 30 seconds in NCAA women's and Canadian Interuniversity Sport play for both sexes. holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds). This violation is known as "basket interference". before attempting a shot (24 seconds in the NBA. or a "285 ball") with a weight of 20 ounces (567 g). the basket is cancelled and play continues with the defensive team being given possession. No player may touch the ball on its downward flight to the basket. In addition. no player may touch the ball while it is on or in the basket.basket to be of the correct height . may not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. unless the ball has no chance of entering the basket (goaltending).a rim that is off by just a few inches can have an adverse effect on shooting. when any part of the ball is in the cylinder above the basket (the area extended upwards from the basket).

When a team shoots foul shots. the number depending on the league. A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship.Fouls The referee signals that a foul has been committed. . 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. which is attempted from a line 15 feet (4. The calling of fouls can vary between games. Repeated incidents can result in disqualification. Blatant fouls with excessive contact or that are not an attempt to play the ball are called intentional fouls (or flagrant fouls in the NBA). Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again. In FIBA. The referee may use discretion in calling fouls (for example. they can be committed by offensive players as well. depending on whether the shot was successful. or receive one or more free throws if they are fouled in the act of shooting. a foul resulting in ejection is called a disqualifying foul. the other team can choose any player to shoot) and varies among leagues. nor may they try to regain possession until the last or potentially last free throw is in the air. An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through physical contact is illegal and is called a foul. can be charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. while in leagues other than the NBA. such a foul is referred to as flagrant. the opponents may not interfere with the shooter. One point is awarded for making a free throw. the opposing team is awarded two free throws on all subsequent fouls for the half. unlike a personal foul. the opposing team is awarded one free throw. by considering whether an unfair advantage was gained). sometimes making fouls controversial calls or no-calls. such as by arguing with a referee or by fighting with another player. This is called shooting "one-and-one". The penalty involves free throws (where. if a team reaches 7 fouls in a half. along with a second shot if the first is made. however. These are most commonly committed by defensive players.6 m) from the basket. If a team exceeds 10 fouls in the half. In the US college and high school games. leagues and even among referees.

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).) If a team misses the first shot of a two-shot situation. On scoreboards. typically the player will be awarded one additional free throw for one point. In combination with a regular shot. one guard. receives two shots. During the first five decades of basketball's evolution. If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is successful. two forwards. this is called a "three-point play" or "four-point play" (or more colloquially. (Some scoreboards also indicate the number of fouls committed.After a team has committed a specified number of fouls. . it is said to be "in the penalty". receives three shots. 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. on the other hand. they have evolved as part of basketball. the opposing team must wait for the completion of the second shot before attempting to reclaim possession of the ball and continuing play. Common techniques and practices Positions Main article: Basketball position Basketball positions in the offensive zone Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever. A player fouled while attempting a three-point shot. then. A player fouled while attempting a regular two-point shot. 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.

but sometimes plays more actively 4. point guard: usually the fastest player on the team. two forwards. usually the point guard or shooting guard. center: uses height and size to score (on offense). The most commonly interchanged positions are point guard and shooting guard. in which a player sets a pick and then "rolls" away from the pick towards the basket. However. power forward: plays offensively often with their back to the basket. or to rebound. each player is assigned to guard a specific area of the court. Since teams play more teamwork. In the 1990s and early 2000s. The two plays are combined in the pick and roll. Screens and cuts are very important in offensive plays. especially if both players have good leadership and ball handling skills. Nowadays. organizes the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time 2. replacing one of the forwards or the center with a third guard. A legal attempt by an offensive player to stop an opponent from guarding a teammate. namely: 1. In a man-to-man defense. plays under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-toman defense) 5. A quick movement by an offensive player without the ball to gain an advantageous position is a cut. Teams that had one superstar would let one player. The above descriptions are flexible. and more jump shots have been taken as a result. The "Center" position has evolved to become more of a taller "Small Forward" position. teams will choose to use a three guard offense. ball movement has evolved with the game. teams tend to play with more teamwork. small forward: often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and dribble penetration. and one center were used. is a screen or pick. On some occasions. as it is intuitively easier to understand and avoids mismatches between players who play different positions. these allow the quick passes and . by standing in the defender's way such that the teammate cuts next to him. teams played with more "isolation". In a zone defense. to protect the basket closely (on defense). Offensive plays are more varied.and two centers or two guards. normally involving planned passes and movement by players without the ball. run most of the offense while the other four offensive players get out of his/her way. more specific positions have evolved. guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense 3. Man-to-man defense is generally preferred at higher levels of competition. zone defenses are sometimes used in particular situations or simply to confuse the offense with an unexpected look. each defensive player guards a specific opponent. Since the 1980s. shooting guard: creates a high volume of shots on offense. There are two main defensive strategies: zone defense and man-to-man defense. on defense seeks rebounds and steals. on defense. Strategy The strategies also evolve with the game.

the point guard is usually responsible for indicating which play will occur. when the ball is released near the top of the jump. fully extended with the wrist fully bent is held stationary for a moment following the release of the ball. This provides much greater power and range. The two most common shots that use the above described setup are the set shot and the jump shot. Shooting Player releases a short jump shot. with neither foot leaving the floor. On court. A player will then allow the ball to rest on the fingertips of the dominant hand (the shooting arm) slightly above the head. Players often try to put a steady backspin on the ball to deaden its impact with the rim. while her defender is either knocked down. . known as a follow-through. or trying to "take a charge. with the other hand supporting the side of the ball.teamwork which can lead to a successful basket. Methods can vary with players and situations. Typically a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. Failure to release the ball before the feet return to the ground is considered a traveling violation. The shooting arm. Teams almost always have several offensive plays planned to ensure their movement is not predictable. Players may shoot directly into the basket or may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket. and positions. and it also allows the player to elevate over the defender. typically used for free throws." Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket. Defensive and offensive structures. The ball is typically shot by jumping (though not always) and straightening the shooting arm. but generally coaches recommend a proper arch. The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat arguable. The jump shot is taken while in mid-air. it is these that a coach normally requests a time-out to discuss. are more emphasized in higher levels in basketball. The set shot is taken from a standing position.

A staple pass is the chest pass. as it rebounds from the hoop or backboard. the passer bounces the ball crisply about two-thirds of the way from his own chest to the receiver. and to "lay" the ball "up" and into the basket. underhand version is called a finger roll)." The circus shot is a lowpercentage shot that is flipped. A shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an air ball. Most passes are accompanied by a step forward to increase power and are followed through with the hands to ensure accuracy. or one that only hits the backboard. is jocularly called a brick. The ball strikes the court and bounces up toward the receiver. The next pass after the rebound is the outlet pass. typically off the backboard (the backboard-free. Here. heaved. The outlet pass occurs after a team gets a defensive rebound. Rebounding The objective of rebounding is to successfully gain possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. or flung toward the hoop while the shooter is off-balance. in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change possession. This shot requires the player to be in motion toward the basket. The most crowd-pleasing and typically highest-percentage accuracy shot is the slam dunk. There are two categories of rebounds: offensive rebounds. . Another type of pass is the bounce pass. The ball is released while over the passer's head. Another shot that is becoming common is the "circus shot. The bounce pass takes longer to complete than the chest pass. in which the defending team gains possession of the loose ball. and defensive rebounds. airborne. in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward. as the team on defense tends to be in better position to recover missed shots. players often use the bounce pass in crowded moments. Passing See also: Assist (basketball) A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. falling down. straight through the hoop. The ball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. This plays a major role in the game. A proper chest pass involves an outward snap of the thumbs to add velocity and leaves the defence little time to react. A particularly bad shot.Another common shot is called the layup. scooped. The overhead pass is used to pass the ball over a defender. but it is also harder for the opposing team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation). or to pass around a defender. Thus. and/or facing away from the basket. as most possessions end when a team misses a shot. The majority of rebounds are defensive.

involves throwing the ball behind the passer's back to a teammate. Naval Academy ("Navy") player. making it more difficult for the defensive player to get to the ball. A skilled player can dribble without watching the ball. Although some players can perform such a pass effectively.The crucial aspect of any good pass is it being difficult to intercept. This is called a no-look pass.S. and switch directions suddenly. many coaches discourage no-look or behindthe-back passes. Good dribblers (or "ball handlers") tend to bounce the ball low to the ground. believing them to be difficult to control and more likely to result in turnovers or violations. this ensures greater control. Dribbling A U. making a less predictable dribbling pattern that is more difficult to defend against. A special way of doing this is passing the ball without looking at the receiving teammate. Military Academy ("Army") defender. between their legs. left. which is the most effective way to move past defenders while dribbling. Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously with one hand. as the description implies. By not having to focus on the ball. When dribbling past an opponent. using the dribbling motion or peripheral vision to keep track of the ball's location. To dribble.S. It is therefore important for a player to be able to dribble competently with both hands. a player pushes the ball down towards the ground with the fingertips rather than patting it. Good ball handlers frequently dribble behind their backs. making it more difficult for the defender to "steal" the ball. This is called a crossover. and is a requirement for a player to take steps with the ball. a . reducing the distance of travel of the ball from the floor to the hand. posts up a U. Good passers can pass the ball with great accuracy and they know exactly where each of their other teammates prefers to receive the ball. Another advanced style of passing is the behind-the-back pass which. the dribbler should dribble with the hand farthest from the opponent.

who stands at 7 feet 6 inches (2. The tallest players ever in the NBA were Manute Bol and Gheorghe Mure an. While shorter players are often not very good at defending against shooting. most male players are above 6 feet 3 inches (1. even shorter players can be effective shot blockers.29 m). with the average weight being close to 222 pounds (101 kg). Guards. a defender succeeds in altering the shot by touching the ball. However. Height At the professional level. height can be an advantage in blocking. with good timing and a sufficiently high vertical leap. or when any part of the ball is directly above the rim. this is known as goaltending. The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues at 5 feet 3 inches (1. while others are distinct games with varying degrees of basketball influences. for whom physical coordination and ballhandling skills are crucial. Almost all forwards in the men's pro leagues are 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) or taller. . According to a survey given to all NBA teams. Some variations are only superficial rules changes. a player has to be able to reach a point higher than where the shot is released. The tallest current NBA player is Yao Ming.01 m). it is illegal to touch the ball after it is in the downward path of its arc. To block a shot.31 m) tall. who were both 7 feet 7 inches (2. The shortest player in the NBA (and second shortest ever in the NBA) as of the 2009±10 season is Earl Boykins at 5 feet 5 inches (1. but had a 42-inch (1. tend to be the smallest players.65 m).player can look for teammates or scoring opportunities. 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.60 m).07 m) vertical leap. as well as avoid the danger of having someone steal the ball away from him/her.70 m). Blocking A block is performed when. Anthony "Spud" Webb was just 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall. Other short players have thrived at the pro level. It is also illegal under NBA and Men's NCAA basketball to block a shot after it has touched the backboard. contests or activities meant to help players reinforce skills. after a shot is attempted. Variations and similar games Variations of basketball are activities based on the game of basketball. giving him significant height when jumping. Thus.08 m) tall. Other variations include children's games. In almost all variants of play. the average height of all NBA players is just under 6 feet 7 inches (2. Most centers are over 6 feet 10 inches (2. using common basketball skills and equipment (primarily the ball and basket).91 m) and most women above 5 feet 7 inches (1. their ability to navigate quickly through crowded areas of the court and steal the ball by reaching low are strengths.

an important benefit when many players want to play. The sport is like a combination of polo. and the ball must be "cleared" ± passed or dribbled outside the half-court or three-point line -each time possession of the ball changes from one team to the other. . Streetball and Unicycle basketball. One-on-One. Perhaps the single most common variation is the half court game. Half court games are also played when there is an insufficient number of players to form full 5-on-5 teams. Half-court games also raise the number of players that can use a court. Such games tend to emphasize individual dribbling and ball stealing skills over shooting and team play. 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. An earlier version of basketball was Six-on-six basketball played until the end of the 1950s. Water basketball. Half-court games require less cardiovascular stamina.There are principal basketball sports with variations on basketball including Wheelchair basketball. There are also other basketball sports like y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y 21 (also known as American. since players need not run back and forth a full court. Only one basket is used. Beach basketball. 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.5m×1. 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. Games using basketball skills and equipment include popular versions of the half-court game played in informal settings without referees or strict rules. rugby. Slamball. cutthroat and roughhouse) 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.5m).

rebounding. layups. practiced in prisons and penitentiary institutions. most notably. often to get prepared for basketball events. Active religious basketball missionary groups also play basketball with prisoners. y y y y y y y y y y Recreational basketball. a sport based on basketball but designed for disabled people in wheelchairs and considered one of the major disabled sports practiced. Basketball students learn proper ways of passing. Midnight basketball. Some prisons have developed their own prison basketball leagues. . 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. entertainment and camaraderie rule rather than winning a game.Social forms of basketball Basketball has been adopted by various social groups. Religion-based basketball includes. basketball rules and basketball ethics. dribbling. o This includes National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) intercollegiate basketball. World Outgames and EuroGames. lesbian. Also popular are the basketball camps organized for various occasions. Maxi Basketball played by more elderly individuals. Jewish. entitled Prison Ball. non-prisoners may play in such leagues. such as o Bankshot basketball o Deaf basketball. provided all home and away games are played within prison courts. At times. The sport of basketball is a major part of events during the Gay Games. and basketball clinics for improving skills. screens. Prison basketball. Gay basketball played in gay. Disabled basketball played by various disabled groups. shooting from various distances. church-related Christian basketball leagues. or Filipino expatriate basketball leagues in the Gulf or the United States. College and University basketball played in educational institutions of higher learning. Such socialized forms of basketball include the following. Mini basketball played by underage children. defense. Muslim and Hindu basketball leagues. where students are trained in developing basketball fundamentals. bisexual and transgender communities in gay basketball leagues. ball handling. where fun. Ethnic and Religion-based basketball: Examples of ethnic basketball include Indo-Pak or Russian or Armenian leagues in the United States or Canada. Basketball Schools and Academies. which have established their own environments and sometimes their own rules. Film director Jason Moriarty has released a documentary relating to the sport. Syriac/Assyrian basketball leagues in the United States or Canada. undergo fitness and endurance exercises and learn various basketball skills. etc. for example. or denominational leagues like Coptic. o Wheelchair basketball. offensive moves.

) playing in their own leagues or in public. short for reservation ball. School or High school basketball. singers. including o Celebrity basketball teams made of celebrities (actors. o Slamball offered as entertainment events. often for entertainment and charity events. the prime example being the Harlem Globetrotters. Show basketball as performed by entertainment basketball show teams. the style of play of Native American teams. There are even specialized entertainment teams.y y y Rezball. the sport of basketball being one of the most frequently exercised and popular sports in all school systems. in some areas. A monument to basketball in Vilnius . is the term used to describe the avid Native American following of basketball and. o Midget basketball teams made up of athletes of short stature offering shows using basketball. etc.

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