The Roles of Each Position in Basketball

Basketball is an ever popular sport where two teams, usually of at least five players each, play against each other on a flat rectangular court, with the main goal of shooting a basketball towards the hoop of the other team while preventing the other team from shooting the basketball at their rim. The game was created back when it was still known as basketball. Later on, with the popularity of professional basketball teams all over the world, the game was changed to what we know today as basketball. In the United States of America, this sport was modified to what we know today as basketball. Professional basketball players were then given recognition as “star players” or “writers”, with the very famous Michael Jordan being the most popular player who has ever played the game.


Basketball has many variations; the majority of basketball played in the United States and Canada involves at least two teams each having three players on the court. However, some basketball is played with only two teams. The games are usually played on a court that is ninety three feet long, with ten feet of basketball hoops. Sometimes, even three players on each team are on the court, making for forty three feet of basketball court space.

There are four primary positions in basketball: shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. The four players on the court play different positions than the traditional position of guard or small forward. Often times, the four players on the basketball court are split up into substitutes, with one player on the bench. This keeps the traditional positions separate and allows the coach to rotate players on the court depending upon the need, instead of having to keep an entire lineup for every game.

A shooting guard is typically the team’s point guard. His responsibility is to stop the other team from scoring easy baskets. Usually, the shooting guard plays the ball during the start of the play, providing great defense to help the other team. He does this by drawing double-teams and helping his team defend its goal. Because of his ability to defend the high post area of the paint, many coaches favor shooting guards over small forwards.

A small forward, on the other hand, is typically a shooting specialist who can score around the basket, rebound, or play defense. Many teams utilize a small forward as their focal point, with a shooting specialist on the bench to provide spacing. This position is often interchangeable depending on the style of basketball the team plays. Many smaller schools, such as junior colleges and universities, utilize a style of basketball where the ball is often shared between several players. This style of basketball makes it easier to find minutes for multiple players due to the fact that multiple players can fulfill their duties on the floor at once.

A power forward, also known as a shooting guard, is an important role on the floor for a team playing at the college level. These players can play both the offensive and defensive positions. Their primary duty is to play the ball on the wing and give their team many options in terms of offense and defense. They rarely play isolation positions, but instead often act as a playmaking presence near the basket where they will try to hit fadeaway shots and lay-ups. Many power forwards are athletic, streaky big men who can block shots, rebound, and play defense.