Basics of Basketball


Basketball is a team sport in which players advance a ball toward a basket on each end of a rectangular court by passing and dribbling. The team with the ball is called the offense; the defense tries to steal the ball, contest shots, deflect passes, and garner rebounds. Baskets are scored as points, and the first team to reach ten points wins. Various formats exist for how many points are awarded in a game, including some that award extra points for a field goal made outside the three-point arc and free throws.

Basketball requires significant skill to play well, including the ability to dribble and pass, shoot from range, and defend against opponents. It can be played with as few as two people, but official games require at least ten participants. In addition to practice, a good way for beginners to improve their skills is to join a local club where coaches can point them in the right direction and teach them the proper techniques.

The rules of basketball are designed to prevent injury and allow for safe play. The game is fast-paced and requires a lot of jumping, running, pivoting and twisting, so injuries are common. Players can protect themselves by warming up and stretching their muscles and joints before playing, as well as cooling down afterward. It’s also important to hydrate regularly to reduce the risk of dehydration.

When shooting a basket, the shooter holds the ball with one hand on each side of the hoop and the other hand gripping the top of the ball. The hand on the shooting side is placed higher than the other to create a “hezzy.” This allows the player to grip the ball in a more secure manner and shoot it with greater power. The player should extend the shooting arm fully to avoid a defender interfering with the shot. Ideally, the ball will be released when the elbow is directly above the eye at the moment of release. A bank shot is a shot that hits the backboard and rebounds into the hoop for a score. A shot that misses the rim and backboard completely is known as an air ball or brick, and it’s considered bad form to dribble or pass the ball after it has bounced off the backboard or hoop.

A time-out is an interruption of play during a game that gives the team the opportunity to discuss strategy or injury with the coach. The coach may also use a time-out to give the ball to another team member.

It is recommended that adults check with a doctor before starting to play basketball. The sudden stopping and starting of the game puts stress on joints such as the ankles and knees, and this can cause pain or injury. It’s also advisable to warm up and stretch before playing, as well as drink plenty of water throughout the game. It is also a good idea to combine basketball with other low-impact sports to reduce the chance of injury.