The Basics of Basketball


Basketball is a sport in which players compete to score points by shooting a ball through a basket. There are five players on each team, and the game is played four quarters or halves of eight to 12 minutes. The game requires a lot of running and physical activity, so professional players are extremely fit. The skills necessary to excel in the sport include dribbling, passing, and shooting.

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a physical education professor. He wanted to create an indoor game that would keep his gym class active during the winter. He used a peach basket and a few basic rules to develop basketball. Today, the sport has grown into an international phenomenon, with a professional men’s league, women’s league, and many high school, college, and professional teams.

To pass a basketball, a player must hold the ball in one hand and dribble it with the other while avoiding defenders. A good passer should be able to dribble without looking at the ball, using his or her peripheral vision to maintain control. The ball must never go out of bounds, and a player who does so will forfeit possession to the opposing team. There are a few key rules that every player should know, including:

When shooting a basket, it is important to have precise aiming and to use the whole body to generate power. The most common shots are jump shots, which require the player to leap into the air and throw the ball upwards toward the basket. A successful jump shot should be high enough to clear the rim and the backboard. A successful slam dunk, on the other hand, requires the player to be in motion while throwing the ball downward through the basket.

The player who shoots the most baskets during a game wins. Each basket is worth two points unless made from behind the three-point line, which is worth three points. Players who are fouled while attempting a basket receive one free throw.

While a player is in possession of the ball, he or she may only take a maximum of two steps before passing, shooting, or starting a dribble. If a player takes more than this amount of steps, the referee will signal a violation and call a foul. Players also must avoid grabbing an opponent or knocking their forearm, as these actions are considered a technical foul.