Basketball Basics: Rules, Techniques, and Positions

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Basketball Basics

Basic Rules

  • Players dribble, pass, and shoot a ball on a court.
  • Two teams of five players compete.
  • Points are scored by shooting the ball through the hoop.
  • Baskets count two or three points, free throws count one point.
  • Games have four quarters, typically 10 minutes each (12 in the NBA).
  • Play starts with a jump ball at center court.
  • Teams switch sides at halftime.
  • Tie games go into overtime periods.

Court and Player Positions

  • Each player has a designated position based on their height and skills.
  • Teams typically have two guards, two forwards, and one center.
  • The tallest player usually plays center, medium-height players play forward, and the shortest players play guard.

The Triple-Threat Position

This fundamental stance allows you to quickly dribble, shoot, or pass. Hold the ball on one side of your chest, away from the defender, and position your body between the ball and the defender.

Dribbling Techniques

Dribbling involves a push-pull arm movement with fingers forming a cup shape around the ball. Control the ball with your fingers, not your palms, and keep your non-dribbling hand up for protection.

Control Dribble (Low Dribble)

Use this dribble when the defender is close. Keep the ball low, around knee level or lower, to make it difficult for the defender to steal.

Speed Dribble (High Dribble)

Use this dribble when you need to move quickly. Extend your dribbling arm fully, pushing the ball out in front of your body at waist level for comfortable running.

Passing Techniques

Two-Handed Chest Pass

This is the most effective pass. Place your hands on either side of the ball and push it outward from your chest, extending your arms.

Bounce Pass

This pass is useful for getting the ball past defenders but is slower. It can be done with one or two hands. For a two-handed bounce pass, execute it similarly to a chest pass but bounce the ball off the floor on its way to the receiver.

Baseball Pass

Effective for long passes. Hold the ball high above and to the side of your head, then throw it with a quick wrist snap.

Shooting Technique

As you begin your shot, shift your weight forward onto the toes of your front foot. Push the ball with your legs and then your arms. As the ball leaves your hand, snap your wrist to create backspin for a soft shot.

The Lay-up

  • Choose the side you will shoot from (right or left).
  • Dribble and shoot with your right hand if you're on the right side, and vice versa.

Lay-up from the Right Side

  1. At the three-point line, step forward with your right foot.
  2. Hold the ball in your right hand and take two large steps toward the basket.
  3. About 1.5 meters from the basket, jump off your left foot.
  4. Throw the ball with your right hand towards the top corner of the backboard. The ball should hit the backboard and go through the net.

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