Basketball Rules, Equipments and Positions | How to Play Guide

Rules of Basketball

Basketball Rules

Basketball Rules | How to Play Basketball

Basketball is one of the most interesting games in the whole world where you need to be swift and defensive to put the ball in the basket and get a score. If you really want to know Basketball rules and how to play basketball then this article is a must-read for you.

History of Basketball

History of Basketball

In December 1891, a Canadian- American teacher, James Naismith, founded a new indoor sport named as Basketball. He was a physical education teacher at Springfield College in Massachusetts, United States. There was no indoor sport to keep the students busy in the winters until the discovery of Basketball. The supreme governing body of Basketball in FIBA (International Basketball Federation).

Basketball Rules and Regulations

Basketball is a sport of total of ten players and is an indoor game having two teams with five players on each side. Most basketball players compete on courts made from hardwood, which provides a smooth, unobstructed surface and a consistent bounce. Yet not all basketball courts feature the same playing surface. The court’s surface will depend largely on the needs of the specific court and its location, with varying materials needed for outdoor play. There are two vertical poles on the center of each end of the field with an attached basket at the top. A goal is scored when a team throws a shot in the opponent team’s basket. The team scoring the highest number of goals is the winner. People often want to know how to play Basketball to become a perfect player. Without knowing the Basketball rules and few tricks of this game you can’t master this sport.

Different Positions in Basketball

Basketball Positions

  • There are various positions in basketball such as Small Forward, Power Forward, Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Center, Swingman, Forward Center, Point Forward, Tweener, and Forward.
  • The center is usually the tallest player in the team, and he is positioned near the basket. He takes over the ball from the side and shoots it in the basket quickly. Center player plays offensive as well as defensive.
  • Power forwards are the next tallest players in the team. They play in the corners and are good at shooting the ball straight into the basket from a distance.
  • Small forwards are players who have an average height. They are also good at guarding up and plays defensively too.
  • Shooting guards are usually shorter than the center and forward players. They are fast-paced and good at passing the balls.
  • Point guard is the player who handles the ball most of the time on the court. He initiates the game by moving the ball and setting up offensive players. Usually, the shortest player in the team coordinates with all the team members.
  • Tweener is a player who is trained to play all the positions at the time. Although, he may lack all the physical characters of being in a particular position. Translation of tweener is ‘between.’
  • The Swingman is a player who can play either small forward or shooting guard whenever required. Now basketball will no more puzzle your mind.

Equipment of Basketball  

  • Ball


Basketball uses an orange-coloured inflatable leather ball. It has a rough surface which makes it easy to hold on to. The circumference of the ball is decided to be 29.5 inches in case of men’s tournament and 28.5 inches in case of women’s tournaments. Various other sizes are also used depending on the platform and players.

  • Basket


A basket is attached to the backboard. The basket is made of the net that is connected to the hoop of the backboard which measures 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter. Hoops are available in three forms according to space on the field. They are wall mount, portable and in-ground hoops.

  • Backboard

Basketball Backboard

There are three types of backboards available such as polycarbonate, acrylic and tempered glass. This prevents the ball from falling out of the court and makes it fall on the field every time a goal is missed out. The regulation size for a basketball backboard is 42″ tall x 72″ wide. However, a 48″ tall backboard is also permissible.

  • Court

Basketball court Diagram 

In the National Basketball Association (NBA), the court is 94 by 50 feet (28.7 by 15.2 m). Under International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules, the court is slightly smaller, measuring 28 by 15 meters (91.9 by 49.2 ft). In amateur basketball, court sizes vary widely.

Basketball Rules and Techniques

Rules of Basketball

Team Rule – There must be five players in each team, and those players will have the positions of shooting the guard, power forward, center, small forward and lastly point guard.

Shot Clock – The Shot clock is the amount of time given to the offensive players to shoot the ball. Earlier, players used to kill time bypassing balls to avoid the penalty. The shot clock was then invented to keep the game fast-paced. In NBA, 24 seconds of shot clock time is given whereas at college level game 35 seconds of time is given to the players.

The 5-second rule in basketball comes into play when you are closely guarded. When you are dribbling or holding the basketball and your defender is closely guarding you, you have 5 seconds to get by your man or pass or shoot the ball.

Regulation Time – In the NBA‘s, there are a whole four quarters which are twelve minutes long. In high school, each quarter runs for eight minutes whereas in college two halves are 20 minutes long.

Fouls – Three types of fouls exist in basketball. They are personal fouls, technical fouls, and flagrant fouls. Personal fouls are the ones where a player makes illegal contact with the opponent in any way. After five or six personal fouls, the player is disqualified. A technical foul is a foul which identifies unsportsmanlike conduct by the opponent. It is not about physical contact but the behaviour of the other team. The flagrant foul is divided into two parts. One type is defined as unnecessary contact by the opponent. The second type is defined as both unnecessary and excessive contact by the opponent. It mostly concerns violent players.

The ‘Kick ball’ rule states that if a player kicks the ball intentionally during the play, it’s a violation. Accidentally striking the ball with the foot is not a violation. If the violation is done by the offense, the opposing team gets to take the ball from the sideline nearest to the spot of the violation.

Score – One point is offered from scoring after a foul from a free throw line, two points are offered when scored from inside the three-point semi-circle, and three points are offered when scored from outside of the three-point circle and behind the line.

Dribbling Technique – Dribbling is the handling of a ball during the game. It is done by cupping the ball with your fingers without letting the palm touch it. Dribbling technique is the constant motion of grabbing the ball and bouncing it on the field while preventing other players from stealing it. Players are allowed to walk two steps after the ball is in their hands and not dribbling anymore. If they walk more than two steps without dribbling it results in the violation of rules.

Shooting Method – While shooting the ball in the basket, the shoulders should be width apart. The lead hand should come forward with flexing the elbow in the direction of the basket. The lead foot should come in front of the other leg and line up with the lead hand straight to the basket. Place your weaker hand on the side of the ball to provide some stability and focus.

Also Check: Top 10 Best Basketball players of All Time

If you aspire to know about Basketball rules and how to play basketball then these tips can surely guide you to be a good player of Basketball.

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