History & Object of the Game
2- The Essentials
(Offense & Defense, Scoring, etc.)
4- Court Diagram & Positions
of Basketball Terms
Field of Play
Basketball court dimensions vary
slightly by level. However, all basketball
courts have similar features:
Mid-court line: The offense
has 10 seconds to advance the ball
past the mid-court line and, once
past it, commits a backcourt violation
if it fails to keep the ball in the
Frontcourt: The half court
area where the offense accumulates
Backcourt: The half court
area where a team defends its basket.
Baseline: Line that defines
out-of-bounds at either end of the
court under each basket.
Sideline: The boundary marking
out-of-bounds on each side of the
Key: Rectangular area that
spans from the free throw line to
the baseline. Also called the lane.
A three-second violation is called
if an offensive player stays in the
key for three seconds or more.
Free-throw line: The line
from which a free throw is taken following
Three point line: An arc-shaped
line about 20 feet from the basket
(varies by level) behind which shots
are worth three points.
Basket: To score, the ball
must pass over and through an 18-inch
iron circle that is mounted 10 feet
off the ground to a wood or glass
rectangular backboard. A net hangs
below the basket to help determine
when a shot is scored.
Two teams of five players each are
on the court at all times, and everyone
plays both offense and defense. Players
are usually assigned to a unique position.
However, any lineup is acceptable,
and these specific roles do not have
to be filled at all times.
Usually the tallest player. Position
demands a lot of physical contact.
On offense, receives ball and shoots
close to the basket. Serves as the
last line of defense, blocking opponents
shots and rebounding their misses.
forward: Tall player who relies
on strength and toughness to control
activity in the lane. Frequently rebounds,
especially on defense. Has a decent
shot from short-range and scores many
points by rebounding missed shots
and quickly shooting them.
forward: Versatile and very athletic
player. Aggressively attacks the defense
by driving and cutting towards the
basket, but also has a consistent
guard: A tenacious defender with
an aptitude for stealing the ball.
On offense, serves as the secondary
ball handler and sharpshooter. Has
the ability to convert shots from
guard: Leader of offense who uses
superb passing and dribbling skills
to set up teammates for open shots.
Has a reliable jump shot and ability
to break down a defense by driving
into the lane.
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