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 world's most popular and widely viewed sports.[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.

Basketball, netball, dodgeball, volleyball, and lacrosse are the only ball games which have been identified as being invented by North Americans[citation needed]. Other ball games, such as baseball and Canadian football, have Commonwealth of Nations, European, Asian or African connections. Although there is no direct evidence as yet that the idea of basketball came from the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame, knowledge of that game had been available for at least 50 years prior to Naismith's creation, in the writings of John Lloyd Stephens and Alexander von Humboldt. Stephens' works especially, which included drawings by Frederick Catherwood, were available at most educational institutions in the 19th century and also had wide popular circulations. In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith,[2] a Canadian-born physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School[3] (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 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,

the clock is stopped while the play is not active. on a court just half the size of a presentday Streetball or National Basketball Association (NBA) court. as manufacturing improved the ball shape. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. which incorporated rules from a children's game called "Duck on a Rock". and other team personnel such as assistant coaches. Teams also have a coach.[7] The first official game was played in a YMCA gymnasium on January 20. who oversees the development and strategies of the team. By 1897–1898 teams of five became standard. discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006. printed on both the front and back. so the ball merely passed through.however.[6] Naismith's handwritten diaries.24 m) in NBA games. 1892 with nine players.[35][36][37][38] Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. doctors and trainers. and NCAA rules[29][31][32] and 10 minutes in high school. so the bottom of the basket was removed. Naismith called the new game "Basket Ball". searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike. it had the additional effect of allowing rebound shots.[30] Teams exchange baskets for the second half. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls.6 m). Five players from each team may be on the court at one time.[30] Overtime periods are five minutes in length[29][33][34] except for high school which is four minutes in length. A successful shot is worth two points. but this proved impractical when spectators on the balcony began to interfere with shots. indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented. typically about two hours. introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s. Whichever team got the most points won the game. Typically. managers. [4] allowing the balls to be poked out with a long dowel each time. The peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were finally replaced by metal hoops with backboards. Players wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support.[28] College games use two 20-minute halves. Therefore. NBA.25 metres (20 ft 6 in) from the basket in international games and 23 feet 9 inches (7. A further change was soon made. statisticians. For both men's and women's teams. An association football was used to shoot baskets. the shot was made from 25 feet (7. Rules and regulations 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. Basketball was originally played with an association football.[5] The baskets were originally nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court. as many had failed before it. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket. A one-point shot can be earned when shooting from the foul line after a foul is made. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown. An attempt to score in this way is called a shot.[30] 15 minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA.[29] while high school varsity games use 8 minute quarters. and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle. team names. a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey with a clearly visible number. The time allowed is actual playing time. his team would gain a point. or three points if it is taken from beyond the three-point arc which is 6. unique within the team. players' names and. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. games generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time. outside of . Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Playing regulations Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA)[27] or 12 minutes (NBA). The game ended at 1–0.

Most courts have wood flooring. The ball is out of bounds if touches or crosses over a boundary line. The ball must stay within the court. one or two umpires (referred to as referees in the NBA) and the table officials.North America.5 feet (106.5 inches (74. This is in contrast to other sports such as football. player substitutions. scoreboard(s).5 inches (72. For college. alternating possession arrows. rectangular surface with baskets at opposite ends. A regulation basketball court in international games is 28 metres (91. for televised games.7 cm) in diameter with an attached net affixed to a backboard that measures 6 feet (182. For men. there are a total of three referees on the court. the official basketball size is 28. In the NBA and NCAA the court is 94 feet (28. The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee (referred to as crew chief in the NBA).2 ft) wide.9 cm) in circumference (size 7. They generally last no longer than one minute (100 seconds in the NBA) unless. rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running). score sheets. If women are playing.9 cm) inside the baseline. individual and team fouls. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each teams scoring. Competitive levels require the use of more equipment such as clocks. The basket is a steel rim 18 inches (45. the top of the rim is exactly 10 feet (305 cm) above the court and 4 feet (121. or a "295 ball") and weighs 22 ounces (624 g).0 cm) wide. sponsors are printed on the uniforms. are allowed. the NBA. clock stoppages requested by a coach (or sometimes mandated in the NBA) for a short meeting with the players. and tennis . tapped. An outdoor basketball net.7 cm) high and 2 feet (61. thrown. the official ball is 29. a commercial break is needed. usually constructed from maple planks running in the same direction as the longer court dimension. 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.9 cm) by 3. volleyball. A limited number of time-outs. and the shot clock.7 cm). and whistle-operated stop-clock systems. Violations The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot. Equipment Traditional eight-panel basketball The only essential equipment in a basketball game is the basketball and the court: a flat. While variation is possible in the dimensions of the court and backboard.7 m) by 50 feet (15. or a "285 ball") with a weight of 20 ounces (567 g). and many high schools. The white outlined box on the backboard is 18 inches (45.[39] The name and logo of the home team is usually painted on or around the center circle. passed between players. the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds forfeits possession.9 ft) long and 15 metres (49. The size of the basketball is also regulated. team possession arrow.2 m). timekeeping. and one basket is at each end of the court. or touches a player who is out of bounds. At almost all levels of competition.4 cm) in circumference (size 6.

however. No player may touch the ball on its downward flight to the basket. when any part of the ball is in the cylinder above the basket (the area extended upwards from the basket). This violation is known as "basket interference". 30 seconds in NCAA women's and Canadian Interuniversity Sport play for both sexes. If a teammate of the shooter goaltends or commits interference. The calling of fouls can vary between games. nor be struck with the fist. Main articles: Personal foul (basketball) and Technical foul. can be charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. such as by arguing with a referee or by fighting with another player. A player's hand cannot be under the ball while dribbling. In addition. doing so is known as carrying the ball. the basket is cancelled and play continues with the defensive team being given possession. These are most commonly committed by defensive players. a violation called double dribbling. a reset of the shot clock (with some exceptions in the NBA). by considering whether an unfair advantage was gained). but no limit in NCAA women's play). which is attempted from a line 15 feet (4. Blatant fouls with excessive contact or that are not an attempt to play the ball are called intentional fouls (or flagrant . or "key") (3 seconds).6 m) from the basket. or receive one or more free throws if they are fouled in the act of shooting. depending on whether the shot was successful. once having established ball control in the front half of the court. holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds). A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship. the basket is awarded and the offending team gets the ball. The referee may use discretion in calling fouls (for example. The ball-handler may not move both feet without dribbling. One point is awarded for making a free throw. the other team can choose any player to shoot) and varies among leagues. Fouls The referee signals that a foul has been committed. 10 seconds in NCAA men's play and high school for both sexes. or. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again. The ball may not be kicked. or when the ball is outside the cylinder. leagues and even among referees. and remaining in the restricted area below the foul line (the lane. There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in FIBA and the NBA. an infraction known as traveling. unless the ball has no chance of entering the basket (goaltending). A team. if committed by the defense. A violation of these rules results in loss of possession. An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through physical contact is illegal and is called a foul. before attempting a shot (24 seconds in FIBA and the NBA. no player may touch the ball while it is on or in the basket. These rules are designed to promote more offense. sometimes making fouls controversial calls or no-calls. unlike a personal foul. they can be committed by offensive players as well. Repeated incidents can result in disqualification. nor may he dribble with both hands or catch the ball in between dribbles. may not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. The penalty involves free throws (where. if the player reaches through the basket and touches it. If a defensive player goaltends or commits basket interference.(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. and 35 seconds in NCAA men's play).

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 nonshooting fouls for that period. This is called shooting "one-and-one". and two centers or two guards. and one center were used. During the first five decades of basketball's evolution. If a team exceeds 10 fouls in the half. When a team shoots foul shots. a foul resulting in ejection is called a disqualifying foul. while in leagues other than the NBA. along with a second shot if the first is made. or to rebound. one guard. but sometimes plays more actively power forward: plays offensively often with their back to the basket. After a team has committed a specified number of fouls. In the US college and high school games. the opposing team must wait for the completion of the second shot before attempting to reclaim possession of the ball and continuing play. more specific positions have evolved. replacing one of the forwards or the center with a third guard. On some occasions. such a foul is referred to as flagrant. if a team reaches 7 fouls in a half. Common techniques and practices Positions (Basketball positions in the offensive zone) Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever. it is said to be "in the penalty". 5.) If a team misses the first shot of a two-shot situation. The above descriptions are flexible. guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense small forward: often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and dribble penetration. the opposing team is awarded one free throw. they have evolved as part of basketball.fouls in the NBA). The most commonly interchanged positions are point guard and shooting guard. (Some scoreboards also indicate the number of fouls committed. two forwards. to protect the basket closely (on defense). Since the 1980s. namely: 1. teams will choose to use a three guard offense. especially if both players have good leadership and ball handling skills. two forwards. . On scoreboards. the number depending on the league. 2. plays under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-to-man defense) center: uses height and size to score (on offense). the opposing team is awarded two free throws on all subsequent fouls for the half. point guard: usually the fastest player on the team. In FIBA. nor may they try to regain possession until the last or potentially last free throw is in the air. 3. 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: creates a high volume of shots on offense. 4. the opponents may not interfere with the shooter. on defense. on defense seeks rebounds and steals. 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.

The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat arguable. by standing in the defender's way such that the teammate cuts next to him." Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket. and more jump shots have been taken as a result. However. and it also allows the player to elevate over the defender. Players often try to put a steady backspin on the ball to deaden its impact with the rim. A player will then allow the ball to rest on the fingertips of the dominant hand (the shooting arm) slightly above the head. This provides much greater power and range. The jump shot is taken while in mid-air. known as a follow-through. and positions. . but generally coaches recommend a proper arch. zone defenses are sometimes used in particular situations or simply to confuse the offense with an unexpected look. Shooting Player releases a short jump shot. teams played with more "isolation". Since teams play more teamwork. Defensive and offensive structures. the point guard is usually responsible for indicating which play will occur. usually the point guard or shooting guard. The ball is typically shot by jumping (though not always) and straightening the shooting arm. typically used for free throws. with neither foot leaving the floor. each player is assigned to guard a specific area of the court. A legal attempt by an offensive player to stop an opponent from guarding a teammate. In a zone defense. In a man-to-man defense. The two most common shots that use the above described setup are the set shot and the jump shot. Players may shoot directly into the basket or may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket. it is these that a coach normally requests a time-out to discuss. as it is intuitively easier to understand and avoids mismatches between players who play different positions. On court. each defensive player guards a specific opponent. There are two main defensive strategies: zone defense and man-to-man defense. Failure to release the ball before the feet return to the ground is considered a traveling violation. ball movement has evolved with the game. teams tend to play with more teamwork. with the other hand supporting the side of the ball. In the 1990s and early 2000s. The shooting arm. Man-to-man defense is generally preferred at higher levels of competition. while her defender is either knocked down. fully extended with the wrist fully bent is held stationary for a moment following the release of the ball. The set shot is taken from a standing position.Strategy The strategies also evolve with the game. Offensive plays are more varied. in which a player sets a pick and then "rolls" away from the pick towards the basket. Teams that had one superstar would let one player. are more emphasized in higher levels in basketball. The "Center" position has evolved to become more of a taller "Small Forward" position. The two plays are combined in the pick and roll. Teams almost always have several offensive plays planned to ensure their movement is not predictable. is a screen or pick. run most of the offense while the other four offensive players get out of his/her way. these allow the quick passes and teamwork which can lead to a successful basket. Nowadays. Methods can vary with players and situations. A quick movement by an offensive player without the ball to gain an advantageous position is a cut. Screens and cuts are very important in offensive plays. Typically a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. normally involving planned passes and movement by players without the ball. or trying to "take a charge. when the ball is released near the top of the jump.

Another shot that is becoming common is the "circus shot. The overhead pass is used to pass the ball over a defender. underhand version is called a finger roll). Good passers can pass the ball with great accuracy and they know exactly where each of their other teammates prefers to receive the ball. as the team on defense tends to be in better position to recover missed shots. or one that only hits the backboard. There are two categories of rebounds: offensive rebounds. This plays a major role in the game. A particularly bad shot. is jocularly called a brick. the passer bounces the ball crisply about two-thirds of the way from his own chest to the receiver. A staple pass is the chest pass. Here. Another advanced style of passing is the behind-the-back pass which. The crucial aspect of any good pass is it being difficult to intercept. and defensive rebounds. Another type of pass is the bounce pass. The ball is released while over the passer's head. falling down. A proper chest pass involves an outward snap of the thumbs to add velocity and leaves the defence little time to react. as it rebounds from the hoop or backboard. or flung toward the hoop while the shooter is off-balance.Another common shot is called the layup. Thus. Passing A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. This shot requires the player to be in motion toward the basket. The bounce pass takes longer to complete than the chest pass. straight through the hoop. but it is also harder for the opposing team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation). The most crowd-pleasing and typically highest-percentage accuracy shot is the slam dunk. or to pass around a defender. in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward." The circus shot is a low-percentage shot that is flipped. This is called a no-look pass. and/or facing away from the basket. in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change possession. The ball strikes the court and bounces up toward the receiver. believing them to be difficult to control and more likely to result in turnovers or violations. players often use the bounce pass in crowded moments. as the description implies. in which the defending team gains possession of the loose ball. heaved. The next pass after the rebound is the outlet pass. The ball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. airborne. The majority of rebounds are defensive. The outlet pass occurs after a team gets a defensive rebound. typically off the backboard (the backboard-free. Most passes are accompanied by a step forward to increase power and are followed through with the hands to ensure accuracy. involves throwing the ball behind the passer's back to a teammate. . Although some players can perform such a pass effectively. and to "lay" the ball "up" and into the basket. as most possessions end when a team misses a shot. A special way of doing this is passing the ball without looking at the receiving teammate. A shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an air ball. scooped. Rebounding The objective of rebounding is to successfully gain possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. many coaches discourage nolook or behind-the-back passes.

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. Main article: Dribble Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously with one hand. After hitting the rim the ball it is again legal to touch the ball even though it is no longer considered as a block performed. a defender succeeds in altering the shot by touching the ball. with good timing and a sufficiently high vertical leap. making it more difficult for the defender to "steal" the ball. or when any part of the ball is directly above the rim.Dribbling A U. a player can look for teammates or scoring opportunities. However. using the dribbling motion or peripheral vision to keep track of the ball's location. Good dribblers (or "ball handlers") tend to bounce the ball low to the ground. this is known as goaltending. making it more difficult for the defensive player to get to the ball. the dribbler should dribble with the hand farthest from the opponent. even shorter players can be effective shot blockers. a player pushes the ball down towards the ground with the fingertips rather than patting it. and is a requirement for a player to take steps with the ball. Good ball handlers frequently dribble behind their backs. It is also illegal under NBA and Men's NCAA basketball to block a shot after it has touched the backboard. left. height can be an advantage in blocking. Blocking A block is performed when. This is called a crossover. 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. Naval Academy ("Navy") player. after a shot is attempted. .S. Thus. it is illegal to touch the ball after it is in the downward path of its arc. A skilled player can dribble without watching the ball. posts up a U. To block a shot. which is the most effective way to move past defenders while dribbling. reducing the distance of travel of the ball from the floor to the hand. a player has to be able to reach a point higher than where the shot is released. Military Academy ("Army") defender. this ensures greater control. In almost all variants of play. By not having to focus on the ball. When dribbling past an opponent. and switch directions suddenly. To dribble. making a less predictable dribbling pattern that is more difficult to defend against. as well as avoid the danger of having someone steal the ball away from him/her. between their legs.S. It is therefore important for a player to be able to dribble competently with both hands.

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