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Basketball - rules and competitions

 

 

Basketball is a team sport, the objective being to shoot a ball through a horizontally positioned basket to score points, while following a set of rules. Usually, two teams of five players play on a marked rectangular court with a basket at each width end. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports.

 

A regulation basketball hoop consists of a rim 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.0 m) high mounted to a backboard. A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket during regular play. A field goal scores two points for the shooting team if a player is touching or closer to the basket than the three-point line, and three points (known commonly as a 3 pointer or three) if the player is behind the three-point line. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but additional time (overtime) may be issued when the game ends with a draw. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or throwing (passing) it to a team mate. It is a violation to move without dribbling the ball (travelling), to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling (double dribble).

 

Numerous violations are called "fouls." Disruptive physical contact (a personal foul) is penalized, and a free throw is usually awarded to an offensive player if he is fouled while shooting the ball. A technical foul may also be issued when certain infractions occur, most commonly for unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of a player or coach. A technical foul gives the opposing team a free throw, and the opposing team also retains possession of the ball.

 

Basketball has evolved many commonly used techniques of shooting, passing, dribbling, and rebounding, as well as specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures (player positioning) and techniques. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play "center", "power forward" or "small forward" positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills and speed play "point guard" or "shooting guard".

 

 

Playing regulations

Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA) or 12 minutes (NBA). College games use two 20-minute halves, while United States high school varsity games use 8 minute quarters. 15 minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA, NBA, and NCAA rules and 10 minutes in United States high schools. Overtime periods are five minutes in length except for high school which is four minutes in length. Teams exchange baskets for the second half. The time allowed is actual playing time; the clock is stopped while the play is not active. Therefore, games generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time, typically about two hours.

 

Five players from each team may be on the court at one time. Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. Teams also have a coach, who oversees the development and strategies of the team, and other team personnel such as assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors and trainers.

 

For both men's and women's teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey with a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back. Players wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. Typically, team names, players' names and, outside of North America, sponsors are printed on the uniforms.

 

A limited number of time-outs, clock stoppages requested by a coach (or sometimes mandated in the NBA) for a short meeting with the players, are allowed. They generally last no longer than one minute (100 seconds in the NBA) unless, for televised games, a commercial break is needed.

 

The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee (referred to as crew chief in the NBA), one or two umpires (referred to as referees in the NBA) and the table officials. For college, the NBA, and many high schools, there are a total of three referees on the court. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each teams scoring, timekeeping, individual and team fouls, player substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock.

 

Positions

Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever, they have evolved as part of basketball. During the first five decades of basketball's evolution, one guard, two forwards, and two centers or two guards, two forwards, and one center were used. Since the 1980s, more specific positions have evolved, namely:

 

-  Point guard: usually the fastest player on the team, organizes the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time.
-  Shooting guard: creates a high volume of shots on offense, mainly long-ranged; and guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense.
-  Small forward: often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and dribble penetration; on defense seeks rebounds and steals, but sometimes plays more actively.
-  Power forward: plays offensively often with their back to the basket; on defense, plays under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-to-man defense).
-  Center: uses height and size to score (on offense), to protect the basket closely (on defense), or to rebound.

 

The above descriptions are flexible. On some occasions, teams will choose to use a three guard offense, replacing one of the forwards or the center with a third guard. The most commonly interchanged positions are point guard and shooting guard, especially if both players have good leadership and ball handling skills.

 

Shooting

Player releases a short jump shot, while her defender is either knocked down, or trying to "take a charge."
Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket, methods varying with players and situations.

 

Typically, a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. A player will rest the ball on the fingertips of the dominant hand (the shooting arm) slightly above the head, with the other hand supporting the side of the ball. The ball is usually shot by jumping (though not always) and extending the shooting arm. The shooting arm, fully extended with the wrist fully bent, is held stationary for a moment following the release of the ball, known as a follow-through. Players often try to put a steady backspin on the ball to absorb its impact with the rim. The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat controversial, but generally a proper arc is recommended. Players may shoot directly into the basket or may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket.

 

The two most common shots that use the above described setup are the set-shot and the jump-shot. The set-shot is taken from a standing position, with neither foot leaving the floor, typically used for free throws, and in other circumstances whilst the jump-shot is taken in mid-air, the ball released near the top of the jump. This provides much greater power and range, and it also allows the player to elevate over the defender. Failure to release the ball before the feet return to the floor is considered a traveling violation.

 

Another common shot is called the lay-up. This shot requires the player to be in motion toward the basket, and to "lay" the ball "up" and into the basket, typically off the backboard (the backboard-free, underhand version is called a finger roll). The most crowd-pleasing and typically highest-percentage accuracy shot is the slam dunk, in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward, through the basket whilst touching it.

 

Another shot that is becoming commonis the "circus shot". The circus shot is a low-percentage shot that is flipped, heaved, scooped, or flung toward the hoop while the shooter is off-balance, airborne, falling down, and/or facing away from the basket. A back-shot is a shot taken when the player is facing away from the basket, and may be shot with the dominant hand, or both; but there is a very low chance that the shot will be successful.

 

A shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an air-ball. A particularly bad shot, or one that only hits the backboard, is jocularly called a brick.

 

Basketball competitions

-  ABA Club Championship
-  Al Ramsay Shield
-  Ball4Real
-  Basketball at the Commonwealth Games
-  City Slam
-  FIBA All-Star Games
-  FIBA EuroCup All-Star Day
-  FIBA EuroStarsReebok Big Time
-  World Professional Basketball Tournament

 

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

 

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