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All About Basketball

Updated on June 24, 2011


Basketball is an aggressive and fast team sport, usually played indoors on a court.


The objective of the game is to throw the ball through the hoop, which hangs at a particular height of 10 feet above the ground.


Each team contains five players on the court at any one time, with up to five substitutes sitting on the side line.

Basic Rules

The game begins with the ball being thrown up by the referee. Two players, standing in the center circle, jump for it and try to pass it to one of their team players. Players pass the ball to one another or run with the ball while dribbling it on the ground. The aim is to basket the ball in the opponent’s basket.

Referees control the game. No hitting or pushing to halt the opponents is permitted. If a player commits more than five fouls, he is sent off the court for the rest of the game.

The game is played on a rectangular floor called the court with a hoop at both ends. If one team puts the ball into play behind the mid-court line, it has ten seconds to get the ball over the same. If it doesn't, the ball is provided to the defense. Once the offensive team gets the ball over the mid-court line, it can no longer hold possession of the ball in the area at back. If it does, the ball is given to the defense.

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Click to Enlarge

Points System

Each successful throw gives two points, except for throws outside the three point line (3 points), or for free throw penalties (one point).

If a basket or field goal is away from the three-point arc then that basket gives three points. Free throws are provided to a team according to some rules involving the number of fouls made in a half and/or the type of foul made. Fouling a shooter always results in two or three free throws being awarded to the shooter, depending upon where he was and 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 has been gained during a half. Once that number is reached then the player who was fouled is provided with a '1-and-1' opportunity. If he succeeds in his first free shot, he gets a second attempt. Similarly, if he misses the first throw, the ball is live on the rebound.


There are various types of fouls but few important among them are mentioned here:

Personal Fouls: Personal fouls include any type of illegal physical contact.

  • Pushing

  • Elbowing

  • Fighting

  • Slapping

  • Reaching in

  • Punching

  • Holding

  • Hitting

  • Illegal pick – when an offensive player is moving. When an offensive player sticks out a limb and makes physical contact with the opponent

Charging: It occurs when a player runs into an offensive player by a defensive player. The ball is given to the team on which the foul was made.

Blocking: It is an illegal physical contact to stop progress of the opponent, in order to steal the ball.

Technical Foul:  Both players or a coach can make this type of foul. It is about the 'manners' of the game. It is related to the obscene language or gestures, and even indulging into an argument or technical details regarding filling in the scorebook inappropriately or improper behavior during warm-ups.

Flagrant Foul: It involves, violently hitting with an opponent. This type of foul includes hitting, punching and pushing. It results during free throws and retaining possession of the ball after free throws.

Time Division

It is a fast tempo game. Each game is divided into 4 sections of 10 minutes. The players get rest between the intervals but the gap after 2nd and 3rd interval is longer, particularly for refreshing and warming up. If the score is tied at the end then overtime intervals of various lengths (mostly of five minutes) are played until a winner emerges.

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Click to Enlarge

Ball & Court Dimensions

The ball is spherical with a circumference of 75-78 cm, and weighs 600-650 grams.

Basketball court is the area for playing that consists of a rectangular floor with baskets at either end. In professional or organized basketball, especially when played indoors, it is usually made up of a hardwood with shiny surface. It has a length of 28m with a width of about 15m.

All lines are drawn with white color and the visible length is almost 5 cm. Other indoor areas include suspended plastic interlocking tiles. Outdoor areas used include plastic interlocked tiles with asphalt or similar materials. Moreover, in basketball, hoop is 18” in diameter with a height of 10 feet.


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      kiriah9 4 years ago

      I love basketball