Guide To Playing Basketball

Basketball is a team sport that is played between two teams. The goal or objective of the game is to shoot the basketball into the hoop. The players advance the ball by bouncing it and running along with it. The basketball ball is passed between the players while reaching the hoop. On the other side, the offense team will use a variety of shots to steal the ball from the dribbling player. 

It was first played in December 1891. A Canadian professor of physical education introduced an indoor game while he was trying to keep the gym class active on a rainy day. He introduced it where the teammates were supposed to pass the ball to each other and score the points by tossing the ball into a basket. The basket was mounted on the wall. Basketball started as an indoor game and now it is an international and professional game. 

Basics Of the Game 

Basketball is a two-team sport with 5 players on each team. The team that is having possession of the ball is called offense and the other team is called defense. The game is played on a rectangular court with a ring system and a hoop. A hoop is also known as a basket that is set up on both ends of the court and 10 feet above the ground.

When the game begins, one player is at the center of the court from both teams. The referee tosses the ball up and the player to reach the ball first will tip it to his/her teammate. It is called a tip-off. If a team scores the basket from outside the 3-point arc, the team will be awarded 3 points. 

If a player scores a basket inside the 3-point arc, 2 points will be awarded to the team. When a player is on the free-throw line, 1 point is awarded to the team. 

Player Positions


The center players are usually the tallest in the team. The position of the center players is near to the basket. 

  • Offensive: In an offensive team, the role of the center is to pass or to shoot. Also, they are responsible for blocking the defenders. It allows the other players to drive to the basket for a goal. Center players are there to get some offensive put-backs and rebounds. 
  • Defensive: In a defensive team, the centers are there to stop the opponents from shooting. They can do this by blocking the shots and passing in the key area. 


Forwards are the second tallest players on the team. Forwards can be called to play under the hoop. Also, they are supposed to play in corner and wing areas. 

  • Offensive: In an offensive team, the forwards are there to get free for a pass. They have to take the outside shots, drive for the goal and rebounds. 
  • Defensive: In a defensive team, their main goal is to stop the goal and rebounding. 


The shortest players in the team are positioned as guards. They should be fast enough for dribbling and passing while seeing the court. Their main goal is to set up the offensive players by bringing the ball down the court. 

  • Offensive: In an offensive team, they have to dribble, pass, and set up offensive players. 
  • Defensive: In the defensive team, they steal the pass, prevent the drive to the hoop, and boxing out the ball. 

Basic Rules of The Game

There are some basic rules to play the basketball game. These rules will help you to understand the basketball game. 

  • If the ball is put in the play behind the mid-court line by the offensive team, there is a 10-second rule to bring the ball over the mid-court line. If the offensive team is not able to do so, the ball will be given to the defense team. 
  • Once the ball goes over the mid-court line by the offensive team, it no longer can be possessed behind the mid-court line. If it happens, then the defense team gets the ball. 
  • The offense team dribbles the ball to the basket for scoring points. The defense team steals the ball by using different shots such as garner rebounds, deflect passes, contest shots, jump shot, dunks, etc. 
  • When the offense team makes a basket, they score a point, two points, or three points. After the basket, the ball is given to the defense team. 
  • If the basket is made outside the three-point arc, then three points are awarded to the team.
  • A free throw awards one point to the scoring team. 
  • Free throws are awarded to the team according to the number of fouls done by the opposing team. 
  • If a shooter player is fouled by an opposing team member, two or three free throws are given to the shooter. Now it depends on the spot of the foul. If the shooter was beyond the three-point arc, he will get three free shots. 
  • Other types of fouls do not award free throws. Only if there is a certain number of accumulated fouls, known as team fouls. 
  • If the defined number of fouls made by the defense team is reached, the offense team player gets a 1-and-1 opportunity. In this case, the player will get the first free throw. If he baskets the ball, he gets another one, otherwise, the ball is free for the rebound. 
  • The game is divided into sections. There are two halves at all levels. At the college level, each half is of 20 minutes, high school and below the halves are divided into quarters. Each quarter is played for 6 or 8 minutes. 
  • At the professional level, the quarters are played for 12 minutes. 
  • If the score is tied, extra minutes are given for one team to win. 
  • At halftime, the teams switch their goals. 

Fouls Of the Game

Basic Rules of The Game

Other than stealing the ball from the opposing team, some fouls can help you to get the ball. But only if the opposing team makes a foul or violation. 

Personal Fouls and Penalties

A personal foul occurs due to illegal physical contact with the other player such as hitting, holding, slapping, pushing, illegal pick, or screen. There are penalties to each foul as following:

  • Three free throws are awarded to the offensive player who is fouled by the defensive player while shooting for a three-point basket or goal. If the player shoots for a three-point goal and makes it even fouled, the players get one free throw.
  • If inbounds are fouled when they are not shooting, the ball is given to the team upon whom the foul was committed. The ball is given to the player at baseline and out of bounds. The player is having only 5 seconds to pass the ball back on the court. 
  • If the defense team or offense team has made 7 fouls or more, then the player who was fouled is awarded one free throw. If he makes a basket, he is awarded another one. 
  • If the defense team or offense team has made 10 fouls or more, the fouled player gets two free throws. 


This foul is done by an offensive team player when he runs or pushes a defensive player. The ball is given to the team at whom the foul was made. 


It is an illegal personal contact that results in the defender not able to establish the position in time to block the opponent’s drive for the basket. 

Flagrant Foul

Violent and illegal contact with the opponent. It can include punching, kicking, and hitting. As a result, the other team is awarded free throws and possession of the ball after free throws. 

Intentional Foul

If there is no reasonable effort by a defensive team player for stealing the ball, it is an intentional foul. 

Technical Foul

A technical foul can be due to obscenity, foul language, obscene, and argument. It is about the manners of the game. 

Violations Of the Game

Violations Of the Game

There are some violations of the game that you need to avoid for better gameplay. 

Traveling or Walking

If you are not dribbling the ball and you are taking a step and a half while carrying the ball, it is traveling. If you move your foot after you have stopped dribbling, it is traveling. 

Carrying or Palming

It happens when you dribble the ball with your hand far from the side or if your hand is under the ball while dribbling. 

Held Ball

If one or two players get hold of the ball for a long time and keep it holding, the referee gives the ball to one team or the other. 

Basketball Guide – Learn to Get into Basketball Team

If you are willing to join your basketball team in high school or college, you must learn the basic rules, play, fouls, violations, etc. If you know the basics, you can learn better by watching the basketball team playing on the court. This guide to playing basketball will help you to get into the team of your high school or college.