Basketball basics

Basketball is a team sport, the aim of which is to throw the ball into the opponent’s basket from above, throw from anywhere in the field and prevent the opposing team from catching the ball and doing the same.

Hitting the basket may cost:

  • 1 point, awarded for free throws;
  • 2 points if the team scores from any point of the three-point line during the game;
  • 3 points if the ball is thrown into the basket beyond the three point line.

To win a game, your team must score more points than the opposing team in the allotted playing time, i.e. four periods (quarters) of 10 minutes each (with the game stopped the clock also stops). As the game cannot end in a draw, there are one or more additional periods of 5 minutes each until one of the teams wins. Teams are made up of 5 players plus 5 reserves and can make an unlimited number of substitutions. You can follow the latest developments in basketball here

Basketball rules

The referee tosses the ball in the centre circle between the two opposing players, who bounce and try to knock it over to their partner outside the circle. After each successful throw-in attack, the opposing team shall toss the ball to a team-mate from outside the basket. After a foul, the offending team shall throw in the ball from the touchline at the boundary line nearest to the place of infringement. 

Basketball is played with the hands and the ball may be passed, thrown, kicked, rolled or dribbled in any direction. It cannot be carried or hit intentionally. While a team is in control of the ball, it must make a shot within 24 seconds. The team must extend the ball into the front court within 8 seconds. A player may not keep the ball longer than 5 seconds in the penalty area, including dribbling, passing or attacking. In addition, a player must not stay in the opponent’s restricted area for more than 3 seconds in a row.

There are three types of fouls:

  • A personal foul is a penalty for rude personal contact with an opponent. It is committed by a player pinning, holding, pushing, stepping on, tripping or hitting an opponent. The player committing the foul must signal by raising one hand. If a player commits more than 4 personal fouls or a more serious foul, he is immediately disqualified. After a foul has occurred against a player, play shall be restarted by the opponent throwing the ball in from outside the touchline. Fouls occurring against a player during the action of a free throw shall result in one free throw if the throw is successful, two free throws if the throw is unsuccessful, three free throws if the offence was committed outside the three-point line. 
  • A technical foul is an offence applied for disrespectful treatment of players, referees, provocative gestures, delay of game, resulting in two penalty shots for the other team.
  • A foul (disqualification) is a serious foul. The offending team is awarded one or more penalties.

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