Learn how basketball is played (if you do not already know)!

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It was first played in the US in 1891!

  • It is played with two teams of five people on a rectangular court, which usually has parquet flooring with two opposing baskets at a height of 3.05 meters (10 feet) above the ground.
  • Players are allowed to touch the ball only with their hands, but it is not an offense if it touches any other part of the body (except the legs).
  • The objective of the teams is to shoot the ball through the hoop as many times as possible during the 40 minutes of the match.
  • The team that will score more points is the winner.
  • Depending on which team has the ball, players play either defensive or offensive. The time taken before progressing the ball past halfway is 8 seconds, while the time before attempting a shot is 24 seconds.
  • There are limits placed on the steps a player may take without dribbling, which commonly results in an infraction known as traveling. Nor may a player stop his dribble and then resume dribbling. A dribble that touches both hands is considered stopping the dribble, giving this infraction the name double dribble. In both cases, the ball goes to the opposing team.
  • Each match lasts 4 periods of 10 minutes.
  • Each coach has the right to call his players to give them instructions. This is called time-out and during this time the match is interrupted for 1 minute while the players are gathering for instructions.
  • On the parquet there is the three-point line, which defines the value of each shot. A field goal scores three points for the shooting team if the player shoots from behind the three-point line, and two points if shot from in front of the line. A team can also score via free throws, which are worth one point, after the other team is assessed with certain fouls.
  • The most popular place names in basketball are the following:
    • Point guard (usually the fastest player in the team)
    • Shooting guard
    • Small forward
    • Power forward
    • Center (uses height and size to score)

* There are many variations of this sport regarding times and the information listed above is not the same for all competitions.