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 sport.
A regulation basketball hoop consists of a rim 45.7 cm in diameter and 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 unsportmaslike 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.

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...


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.

court (4K)
court (4K)

Basketball Court.

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.

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A free throw.

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.

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                   Personal foul.

  • 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.
  • Penalty: A personal foul shall be charged against the offender.

Penalty if the foul is committed on a player not in the act of shooting:

a) The game will start with a throw-in by the non-offending team at the place nearest to the infraction.

b) If the offending team has committed more than 4 fouls, they’ll be penalised by two free throws instead of a throw-in.

Penalty if the foul is committed on a player in the act of shooting, that player shall be awarded a number of free throw(s) as follows:

a) If the shot from the field goal area is successful, the goal shall count and, in addition, one (1) free throw.

b) If the shot from the two-point field goal area is unsuccessful, two (2) free throws.

c) If the shot from the three-point field goal area is unsuccessful, three (3) 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. 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.

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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.


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.

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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 rebound.

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

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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.

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A. Playing area: the court
B. Backboard, hoop (ring), posts & ball.

A. Teams & substitutions.
B. Playing regultion (time).
C. Game´s regulation.
D. Personal fouls.



. Rectangle: 28m. long and 15m. wide.
. Free Zone: a minimum of 2m. wide on all sides and free from any obstructions.
. Free Playing space (from the ground to the ceiling): a minimum of 7m. in height.
. Centre circle: in the centre of the playing court with a diameter of 3,60m.
. Three-point area: 6,75m. From the centre of the basket (see more on picture).
. Zones (restricted areas): opponents are allowed in 3’’ at most.
. Rebound places: they’ll occupy alternating positions.
. Substitution zone: 5m. from the back line (out of the free zone).
. Other dimensions: see picture below.


1,80m. wide x 1,05m. high x 3cm. thick and 2,90m. from the ground
They must be placed at 1,20m. from the back line.
Inside the backboard, there must be a small black-lined rectangle:59x45cm.
q HOOPS (rings).
Inside diameter: 45cm.
3,05m. from the ground.
15cm. from the backboard.
Out of the free zone (at least 2m.).
Usually orange ones and have a diameter of 25cm.
Weight: 600-800gr.
Regulation pressure: drop from 1,80m. and rebound to 1,30-1,40m.



A team may consist of a maximum of 12 players (numbered from 1 to 18).
There must always be five players per team on the playing court.
The other players will be substitutes on the bench.
The numbers of the shirts will go from 4 to 15 (Nat. Fed. will allow some others).
Most common types of players: Point guard, Shooting guard, Small forward, Power forward and Center.
Substitutions: You can substitute freely in basketball. There is no limit to the amount of times a player can be taken out and put into a game.


Playing time: 4 periods of 10 minutes.
Intervals of play: 2 min. (1st-2nd, 3rd-4th) and 15 min. (half-time).
If the score is tied -> as many extra peiods as necessary to break the tie, without changing playing courts.
The clock wil go on only when the ball is live (is being played).
3 sec. rule: a player shall not remain in the opponents' restricted area for more than three (3) consecutive seconds.
5 sec . rule: a player cannot keep the ball in their hands for more than 5 seconds without passing, dribling, throwing the ball.
8 sec. rule: one team must take the ball into its frontcourt within eight (8) seconds.
24 sec. rule: one team must attempt a shot for a field goal within twenty-four (24) seconds.
Time-out: A time-out is an interruption of the game requested by the coach. They´ll be allowed only 1 minute. Two time- outs may be allowed to each team at any time during the first half; three during the second and one in the extra periods.
There is no allowed time for the substitutions. Substitutions shall be completed as quickly as possible.


Court´s side and basket: home team on the left side of the scorer´s table. They´ll chnage in the second half. Extra periods: same basket.
Jump ball: an official tosses the ball in the centre circle between any two (2) opponents. They´ll tap the ball after it reaches its highest point.
The ball will only be played with the hands. It may accidentally touch any part of the leg.
Travelling (walking-steps): it occurs when a player holding the ball illegally moves one or both of his feet. Also, to take too many steps without dribbling the ball.
Illegal dribbling: when the player uses both hands to dribble or dribbles a second time after coming to a stop and grabbing the ball.
Fumble: the player losses the ball and then regains control of it.
a) a goal from a free throw counts one (1) point.
b) a goal from the two-point field goal area counts two (2) points.
c) a goal from the three-point field goal area counts three (3) points.
Ball returned to backcourt: an attacking player returns the ball to their backcourt after overcoming the centre line.


A foul is an infraction of the rules concerning illegal personal contact: charging, blocking, ‘hooking’ (holding) an arm, pushing or hitting an opponent.
Penalty if the foul is committed on a player not in the act of shooting:
a) The game will start with a throw-in by the non-offending team at the place nearest to the infraction.
b) If the offending team has committed more than 4 fouls, they’ll be penalised by two free throws instead of a throw- in.
Penalty if the foul is committed on a player in the act of shooting, that player shall be awarded a number of free throw(s) as follows:
a) If the shot from the field goal area is successful, the goal shall count and, in addition, one (1) free throw.
b) If the shot from the two-point field goal area is unsuccessful, two (2) free throws.
c) If the shot from the three-point field goal area is unsuccessful, three (3) free throws.
Double foul: A double foul is a situation in which two (2) opponents commit personal fouls against each other at approximately the same time.
The game will resume this way:
a) A throw-in by the team who had the possession of the ball.
b) A jump ball if no one had the possession of the ball.
Unsportsmanlike foul: when you don´t want to play the ball and, instead, hit or push the opponent player causing excessive contact (hard foul).
The game will resume this way:
a) If not in the act of shooting: 2 free throws.
b) If in the act of shooting: 1, 2 or 3 free throws.
And a throw-in at the centre line.
Disqualifying foul: a very offensive behaviour by any member of the team. That member of the team will go to the dressing room and will be penalised in the same way as the unsportsmanlike foul.
Technical foul: to go against the ‘fair-play’ conception. 2 free-throws and throw-in from the centre line.
If a player commits 5 fouls, they´ll leave the court inmedaitely and will be substituted.

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