Basketball is a ball game and team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules. Since being developed by James Naismith as a non-contact game that almost anyone can play, basketball has undergone many different rule variations, eventually evolving into the NBA-style game known today. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.[1]


Equipment of the game


Rules of the game

Rules of basketball



Foul – Violation of the rules other than a floor violation, generally when a player attempts to gain advantage by physical contact. Penalized by a change in possession or free-throw opportunities.


Violation  – An infraction of the rules other than a foul, such as traveling or a three-second violation.

  1. touching the ball or any part of the basket while the ball is on the rim of the basket or within the cylinder extending upwards from the rim
  2. reaching up through the basket from below and touching the ball, be it inside or outside the cylinder
  3. pulling down on the rim of the basket so that it contacts the ball before returning to its original position.
  1. To dribble the ball with two hands at the same time
  2. To dribble, stop, and then begin to dribble again
  1. Touching the ball in the backcourt after it has entered the frontcourt and was not last touched by the other team.
  2. Failure to bring the ball from the backcourt into the frontcourt within the allotted time of 8 seconds in the NBA (previously 10) and 10 seconds elsewhere. Note that in NCAA women's play, this violation did not exist until the 2013–14 season.

Penalties and bonuses

Penalties – For infractions of the rules, a team is penalized by bonuses being rewarded to the opposing team.

Game play



Basketball positions
Basketball positions

Basketball position – general location on the court which each player is responsible for. Players are generally described by the position (or positions) played, though the rules do not specify any positions. Positions are part of the strategy that has evolved for playing the game, and terminology for describing game play.

Primary positions

Tweener – a player who is able to play two positions, but is not ideally suited to play either position exclusively, so he/she is said to be in between. A tweener has a set of skills that do not match the traditional position of his or her physical stature. Tweeners include:


Coach –



  1. A play in which a shooter is fouled while making a two-point shot and then makes the resulting free throw. See also and one.
  2. When a shooter is fouled while taking but missing a three-point shot and then makes all three free throws. This is rare.


Basketball moves – individual actions used by players in basketball to pass by defenders to gain access to the basket or to get a clean pass to a teammate.

Blocking and footwork


Dribble – to bounce the ball continuously. Required in order to take steps with the ball.


Pass – (v) To throw the ball to a teammate. (n) The act of passing.


History of basketball

History of basketball

History of the NBA

Main articles: History of the National Basketball Association and List of National Basketball Association seasons

Basketball Association of America (BAA)

National Basketball Association (NBA)

NBA seasons by team

Miscellaneous terms

Organized basketball

Leagues and governing bodies


Persons influential in the sport of basketball


See also: List of members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame § Contributors


See also: List of players in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame


See also: List of coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Variations and similar games

Player number variants

Play medium variants

Riding variants

Special interest group variants

Show basketball

Show basketball – Performed by entertainment basketball show teams, like the Harlem Globetrotters. Specialized entertainment teams include:

Alternate game forms

Basketball video games


Spin-offs from basketball that are now separate sports include:

See also


  1. ^ Borger, Julian (6 December 2008). "They think it's all over". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  2. ^ 2009-2011 Men's & Women's Basketball Rules Archived 2012-08-06 at the Wayback Machine Rule 4, Section 5, Article 2. Retrieved July 27, 2010
  3. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 11, Section I, a, b, f, and h. Retrieved July 27, 2010
  4. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 10, Section III, (2). Retrieved July 30, 2010
  5. ^ FIBA Official Basketball Rules (2010) Rule 7, Section 43.2.3 Retrieved July 30, 2010
  6. ^ FIBA Official Basketball Rules (2010) Rule 7, Section 43.3.1. Retrieved July 30, 2010
  7. ^ Struckhoff, Mary, ed. (2009). 2009-2010 NFHS Basketball Rules. Indianapolis: National Federation of High Schools. p. 31. Rule 4, Section 22
  8. ^ NBA Official Rules (2009-2010) Rule 11, Section I, f. Retrieved July 26, 2010
  9. ^ 2009-2011 Men's & Women's Basketball Rules Archived 2012-08-06 at the Wayback Machine Rule 4, Section 34, Article 1, a,b. Retrieved July 26, 2010
  10. ^ Rule 5 (Violations), Article 26. "Official Basketball Rules 2006". International Basketball Federation. 2006. Archived from the original (pdf) on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
  11. ^ Jenkins, Lee (13 May 2007). "Nellie Ball Energizes Warriors and Confounds Opponents". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  12. ^ Podcast
  13. ^ "Bankshot basketball website". Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  14. ^ Fantasy Basketball,, 30 January 2014, retrieved 30 January 2014