The Basics of Basketball

Basketball is a game played between two teams of five players on each side, abiding by a fixed set of rules. Players must pass the ball around to other team members, either by dribbling or passing it, in order to score points by shooting baskets through a hoop attached to a raised platform called a backboard. Players are also allowed to steal the ball from other players by jumping over them or by tipping it to a teammate. The most important skill in basketball is controlling the ball, which can be practiced through a variety of exercises including drills that require players to dribble around stationary objects.

The game of basketball can be a lot of fun, and it can even lead to competitive play, either on an informal basis with friends or in official competition organized by a club. The game can be played with as few as two people (although officially, games must be made up of at least 10 players). Informally, the game may also be played with three-on-three, two-on-two, or one-on-one.

A basketball court is a rectangular area with a hoop at each end, attached to a backboard. The hoop is elevated about 4 feet (10.16 m) above the floor, and there are lines on the ground marking the three-point line arc and the free throw line. A field goal scored from anywhere outside the arc in the opposition’s half is worth three points; a field goal made inside this arc is worth two points.

There are several rules of basketball that help to maintain a level playing field and ensure the safety of the participants. These rules include man-to-man defense, zone defense, and the halfcourt and fullcourt rules. The rules of basketball also prohibit illegal body contact, such as charging, blocking, holding, pushing, and illegal screening. A personal foul can result in a player taking free throws or losing possession of the ball.

To shoot a basket, a player must take a running leap towards the hoop while extending his or her dominant arm. The arm is held stationary for a moment after the jump to allow backspin to be put on the ball, which increases the chances that it will go through the hoop when it reaches it. The follow-through is also very important, as it helps the shot to be a success and prevents the ball from rebounding off of the backboard or the rim.

The quickest way to improve your basketball game is by practicing. In addition to drills that focus on handling the ball, it is important to learn how to properly set a clean pick or screen for your teammates. A clean pick is when you use your body to block a defender with another teammate while they’re moving. Make sure to practice setting your picks with a partner to get comfortable with the technique before trying it against opposing players. You should also try to shoot a few lay ups with both your right and left hands, as this will force you to perfect your footwork for each hand.