Mastering the Basics: Understanding Basketball Rules

Knowing the Basketball Rules

What is Basketball?

Basketball is an old team sport that has been played since 1891. The indoor sport soon gained popularity and today it is most popular in the USA. Every game has a set of rules and basketball is no different. The rules of the game however can be different depending on the level of the game. Professional basketball will have slightly different rules as compared to college basketball.  

How it is Played

The game is played by two teams and each has 12 players with 5 of them who play on the court at any given time. The objective is to throw the ball into the hoop or basket that is generally 10 feet high and the team must also prevent the opposing team from doing it. By throwing the ball in the basket you score points. The game starts from the center of the court when the referee throws the ball in the air. Both teams try to get hold of it and the team that gets the basketball is the offensive team while the other one is the defensive team. The ball is moved on a rectangular court by dribbling or passing it. The team that has the most points is declared the winner. The court is typically 8m in length and 15m in width. 

Rules of the Game

  • Scoring Rules

Shooting or scoring a field goal from the three-point line arc will get a  team three points also called the three-pointers. A two point shot or two-pointers is one when the field goal is scored from inside the three-point line. One point shots are the one that you get from free throws awarded to you when the opposition team fouls. 

  • Violations

Violation includes an illegal dribble. Players need to keep the ball bouncing against the floor with one hand constantly. Use of both hands is considered a foul. Even if you touch the ball twice before it bounces it is called a double dribble violation. And if you do that, the ball goes to the opponent team. Not releasing the ball within the specified time limits is also considered a violation.

  • Fouls

A personal foul is when there is illegal body contact with players from the other team. It includes blocking, charging, pushing and illegal guarding or screening. When a player plays foul five times in a game he is removed permanently from it and a substitute is given. Technical foul is one when the player abuses anyone or keeps arguing with the referee. It results in one free throw and the possession of the ball. More than one technical foul can result in removing the player from the game.  

When a team fouls five times in a specific period, the other team is given 2 free throws.

  • Time Rule

Once the player gets the ball they have 24 seconds to shoot or it results in giving the possession of the ball to the other team. When a player has the ball in their own half, there is only an 8 second time limit to move it to the frontcourt. The player with the ball has only 5 seconds to either pass or take the ball to the hoop. A player is allowed to be under the opponent’s rectangular key area under the hoop for only 3 seconds.