What Is Basketball?
Basketball is played by two teams of five players. Players score points by throwing a ball through a hoop 10 feet above the ground. The team that scores the most points wins.
How the Game Is Played?
Players move the basketball by dribbling it or by passing it to another player. In university and professional basketball, teams have a limited time in which to try to score. Then the other team gets the ball.
Shooting the ball through the basket usually scores two points. The basket scores three points if the shooter is beyond a line on the court called the three-point line. A player gets to shoot one or more free throws after a foul by an opposing player. A successful free throw scores one point.
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Basketball is a fast-moving and high-scoring sport. It has exciting shots like the slam-dunk, when a player leaps high into the air and slams the ball through the hoop from above. A fadeaway is a shot taken while the player is moving backward, away from the basket. Another exciting play is the alley-oop —a pass way up near the basket. The player leaps and attempts to catch the pass and score before returning to the floor.
Who Is in The Game?
A team plays a basketball game with five players on the court. These players have different roles, or positions. The standard positions are two guards, two forwards, and one center. Different skills are required for each position.
- The center is usually a team’s tallest player. The center usually plays near the basket and shoots from there. When the other team has the ball, the center tries to block shots and rebound the ball when it doesn’t go into the basket.
- There are two kinds of guards. The point guard is usually the team’s best ball handler and passer. The shooting guard is often the highest scorer on the team. Guards shoot from near the basket and from the three-point line.
- There are also two kinds of forwards. A small forward is quick and nimble in getting to the basket. A power forward is strong and grabs rebounds—unsuccessful shots that bounce back. But any player may play anywhere on the court.
Each team is led by a coach. The coach plans the team’s strategy. Basketball involves teamwork. When a team has the ball, it tries to get a player open for a shot. When it doesn’t have the ball, a team tries to make an opponent miss a shot or lose control of the ball. One or more referees keep order. They make sure that rules are followed and play is fair.
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