In honor of March Madness, I am writing a post on the rules of basketball. I played basketball in middle school, and I would say I was actually pretty good. I played for two years and even though I was short for the team, I was quick. When high school rolled around, I stayed the same height and couldn’t continue playing. However, I still retained some knowledge from playing basketball.
Basketball requires players to score points by getting the ball in the basket. There is an offense and defense. The defense tries to stop the offense from scoring points and the offense is the team with the ball at the moment. This is the way a court is set up:
There are basically three ways to score:
1. A player can score one point if they are fouled (a player on the opposing team makes an illegal move on another player not on their team) and they can shoot from the free throw line twice to try to get two extra points. If they make the ball in one basket, they get one extra point. If they make the ball in both baskets, they get two extra points.
2. A player can score an automatic two points if they make a basket inside the three-point line. Then the ball goes to the other team.
3. A player can score an automatic three points if they make a basket outside of the three-point line. Then the ball goes to the other team.
There are ten players on a court at one time, five from each team. The five players are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, and the center.
The point guard brings the ball up the court to the basket and shoots to make a basket or passes it to another player. The shooting guard is typically the best perimeter shooter on the team (meaning they can shoot from outside the three-point line). Their goal is to get the ball from other players to shoot it, although this isn’t always possible if they are being blocked by a player on the opposing team. The small forward is able to shoot from the perimeter and inside the perimeter. They are considered the all-purpose player on the team. The power forward must be able to catch passes and shoot near the basket. They have to be strong and quick to fend off defensive players. The center is usually the tallest player on the team, so they are usually the ones who dunk the ball. They are able to grab offensive rebounds easier.
There are several ways to get violations, but too many to explain. I don’t even know a lot of them myself. However, it is important to know that if a player commits six fouls in an NBA game (five in a college basketball game), they “foul out” and have to sit out the rest of the game. If you do want to know the fouls and violations players can get, here is an official list from the NBA website.
That is pretty much all you need to know to be able to get through a game of basketball. If you want to know more on how to actually play the game, Howcast has some great YouTube videos related to basketball that are easy to understand. I’ve included one at the bottom of this post. I hope you are able to understand basketball a little better after reading this and I hope you enjoy watching the game!