Much like other sports, the main objective is to outscore the opposing team with more baskets made through shots that can be worth two or three points depending upon the place the shot is attempted. There are also one point shots that can be made when a foul is completed and the shot is attempted from the foul line.
With a setup similar to American football, you’ll find a game broken into four quarters though the time limits are 10 or 12 minutes depending on the association playing. If the game should go into overtime, these are made up of 5 minute periods that continue until there is a victor. Most games last longer than the time allotted to them since they have stops throughout much like football, typically prolonging the game to roughly two hours rather than just an hour at most.
Each team has a total of eleven players with only five each on the court at any given time. Each player can distinguish their teammates based on the uniformity of their shorts and jersey, marked by the player’s number that’s printed on both front and back of the jersey. Since ankle support is necessary, players are required to wear high-top sneakers to prevent injury.
As for those regulating the game, you’ll find a main referee, an umpire or two, and a set of officials at a table. The table officials are responsible for handling the scores, the time, fouls, substitutions, and the shot clock.
This sport has the least amount of equipment needed since all you need is a court and a ball. The court needs to be rectangular with baskets situated at the opposite ends, which is typically 91.9 to 94 feet in length and 49.2 to 50 feet in width. Maple flooring is the norm in the construction of these courts with the planks facing the same direction. As for the baskets, they are made from steel with an 18 inch diameter for the rim with a net that’s attached to a backboard with dimensions of 6 feet by 3.5 feet. There can be seen a white outline on the backboard that’s 18 inches high and 24 inches wide. Ten feet from the ground is where most will find the rim of the basket and four feet from the baseline. Like other sport balls, basketballs are often regulated to 29.5 inches in circumference for men with a weight of 22 ounces. Women typically have a smaller ball due to smaller hand size.
Violations can happen within the game especially when the ball leaves the court, causing a forfeiture of possession by the team with the last touch; other ways include hitting the boundary line or touching something outside that line. Traveling and carrying a ball also create violations within the game. Traveling happens when a player takes one step too many without dribbling while carrying happens if a player’s hand moves to the bottom of the ball while in play. Other violations include kicking the ball, using a fist to strike the ball, goaltending, and even holding onto the ball too long in a certain area or within a certain position. Fouls can also take place on the court when contact is deemed too physical or can be called through technical fouls.
There are five main positions on the court that include point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. While these positions aren’t necessarily called by these names in every aspect of gameplay, they do have their place within the game since they all aid in the scoring of baskets to outscore the other team. While there are two main strategies for the defense of the ball, the offense has more plays that can help in achieving more baskets for the team.
Within these strategies and player positions, you’ll find that the main focus is on shooting the ball, rebounding the ball, passing the ball, dribbling the ball, and blocking the ball. With each of these actions, you’ll find that each has its importance within the game as the offensive team works on passing and dribbling the ball to a point where a player can shoot the ball in an attempt to complete a basket. At the same time, the defense is looking to block those passes and shots along with catching the ball on the rebound should it not succeed in its attempt. Each of these actions can carry its own set of violations and fouls depending on the movements made by one player or another on either team and the call made from the referee upon seeing this violation or foul.
As the game of basketball continues through each period, the ultimate goal is to outshoot the other team and/or out-block the other team to victory.