The Basics of Basketball

Basketball is a team sport in which players move the ball down the court toward a basket. The team with the ball is called the offense, while the team without the ball is called the defense. The offense tries to score by shooting the ball into the basket, and the defense tries to steal the ball, contest shots, deflect passes, and garner rebounds. A basket made inside the three-point arc is worth two points, while a free throw is worth one point.

The game was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. He was a physical education teacher at the time. Naismith wrote the basic rules of the game in 1892, and he taught it to his students at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania) and the University of Iowa.

A basketball is a rubber ball with a hoop attached to each end. The hoop is elevated to about waist height, and the basket is slightly larger than a regulation soccer ball. The court is divided into two main areas by a midcourt line. A player must not go back into the other team’s half of the court after gaining possession of the ball. This is known as a backcourt violation.

Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling), and by passing it to a teammate. Players can also shoot the ball into a basket, either by making a layup or jumping to make a jump shot. A missed shot that hits the rim or backboard is called an air ball.

There are a number of rules that govern how the game is played, including restrictions on how long a player can spend in the area directly in front of the basket, which is also known as “the paint” or “inside the key.” Offensive players may not camp out in this area for more than three seconds. If they do, they will be assessed a foul.

Other important basketball terms include the shot clock, which keeps track of how much time is left on a team’s chance to shoot, and the game clock, which tracks the amount of time that has passed since the beginning of the period, quarter, or game. In addition, there is a clock that tracks the number of fouls committed by both teams.

A player can be removed from the game for committing a foul or violating another rule, such as illegal physical contact. A technical foul is the most serious, and it results in a free throw for the opposing team. Other types of fouls can include a personal foul, illegal pick and screen, or an illegal block.

Basketball is a fast-paced, exciting sport that requires agility and strength. It can be especially challenging for adults, who should check with a doctor before playing. Practicing proper warm-up and stretching techniques can reduce the risk of injury. It is also important to be well hydrated while playing. In addition, a proper diet is crucial for a healthy and fit body.