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Understanding The Rules Of Basketball
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The rules of basketball has changed drastically since its creation in 1891. During this time, dribbling wasn't legal, 3 consecutive fouls counted as goal for the opposing team, the 3 second rule didn't exist, and the list goes on. With over 120 years in the making, the rules of basketball today are more evolved and detailed oriented. The rules are straightforward, so you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand them. With experience, knowing them will be your second nature.

First things first, each team is assigned a basket at the start of the game. During the tip-off, one player from each team comes to center court (normally the tallest player in the starting lineup). They are positioned with their backs towards the basket his team will defend. Once the referee toss the ball in the air, it’s his job to attempt to tip the ball to a teammate to start the first possession of the game.

The team on offense is the team in possession of the ball. Their goal is to score via putting the ball in the basketball hoop. Jump shots, lay ups, and dunks are basic offensive methods of scoring a basket.

On defense, the team without the ball, objective is to prevent the offense from scoring. Stealing the ball, deflecting passes, contesting/blocking shots, taking charges, and getting rebounds are ways of getting their job done.

After each possession, the team previously on offense immediately switches to defense.

The end of a possession is marked by a basket scored, or a team awarded the ball for a particular foul or violation committed.

Types of violations:

Walking/Traveling - taking 2 or more steps without dribbling the ball; moving pivot foot illegally before dribbling or after picking up his dribble.

Carrying/palming - continuing to dribble the ball after allowing it to come to rest in 1 or both hands.

Double Dribble - Dribbling the ball with 2 hands, or picking up your dribble and proceeding to dribble again.

Held ball - when 2 or more players gain possession of the ball; the referee awards the ball to either team

Back-court - on offense, after the ball is advanced a crossed the half court line, the ball cannot go pass that line again. If so, the ball is awarded to the other team, unless the defense deflected the ball pass it.

Goal-tending - is interference with a shot while it is on its way down, after touching the backboard, or in the cylinder over the rim. The shot will count unless it’s offensive interference.

Time restrictions - these can vary from state to state and at different levels. Having 10 seconds to advance the ball pass half court after an inbound; or, having 5 seconds to inbound the ball are a few examples. These violations will cost your team a possession.

Types of fouls:

Personal Fouls - any contact aim to gain an advantage on his opponent, such as hitting, pushing or holding.

Personal Foul Penalties - can cost a team a possession and/or allow the opposing team an opportunity to score 1, 2, or 3 points. Fouling a player in the act of shooting is an example of a scoring opportunity. Another example, is on offense, an illegal screen will result in the referees awarding the ball to the opposing team.

Charging – when an offensive player pushes or runs over a defensive player.

Blocking – when a defensive player fails to establish position in an attempt to get a charge called on an offensive player driving to the basket.

Flagrant Foul - are violent contact with an opponent; results in free throws and possession of the ball

Intentional Foul - making contact with a player with no attempt to steal the ball.

Technical Foul - arguing, foul language, and negative gestures are examples of what can get a player or coach a technical.

As you can see, basketball rules are fairly simple. They are a major component in the structure of basketball. Believe it or not, they can be the difference in winning or losing. For instance, picking up too many fouls in a game can award your opponents easy points and/or extra possessions. No one wants to loose due to a technicality. That would really suck. It’s devastating to the players as well as fans.

Street Talk

Very Informative article Todd. Well written and easy to understand.

  about 9 years ago
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