Understanding the Game Player Positions Center: position closest to the basket and usually the tallest player on each team Offense: The center’s goal is to get open for a pass and to shoot. They are responsible for blocking defenders (picking/screening), which opens other players up for driving to the basket. Centers are also expected to get offensive rebounds and put-backs. Defense: The center’s main responsibility is to keep opponents from shooting by blocking shots and passes in the key area, also known as “the paint”. They are also responsible for defensive rebounds. Forward: a forward may be called upon to play under the goal, or to operate in the wings and corner areas Offense: Forwards are responsible to get free for a pass, take outside shots, drive for goals, and rebound. Defense: Responsibilities include rebounding and preventing drives to the goal. Guard: Guards should excel at dribbling fast, seeing the court, shooting, and passing. For some it is their job to bring the ball down the court and set up offensive plays (point guard), while others work to make baskets in a variety of ways on the court (shooting guard) Offense: Dribbling, passing, and setting up plays are a guard’s main responsibility. They need to be able to shoot from the perimeter and drive to the goal. Defense: A guard is responsible for stealing passes, challenging shots, boxing out, and preventing drives. Need to Know Terms Backcourt violation: Once the offense has brought down the ball across the mid court line, they can’t go back across the line during possession. Double dribble: dribbling the ball with both hands on the ball at the same time or picking up the ball after a dribble, then dribbling it again. Blocking: illegal personal contact resulting from a defender not establishing position in time to prevent an opponent from driving to the basket. Carrying: When a player dribbles the ball with his hand too far to the side of or under the ball. Charging: an offensive foul that is the result of a player pushing pr running over a defensive player Flagrant foul: violent contact with an opponent (hitting, kicking, punching); also known as a technical foul Held ball/Jump ball: when two or more opposing players gain possession of the ball at the same time. In order to avoid a prolonged and/or violent tussle, the referee stops the actions and awards the ball to one of the teams based on a rotating basis. Intentional foul: when a player makes physical contact with another player with no reasonable effort to steal the ball. Personal foul penalties: if a player is shooting while being fouled, they are awarded two free throws if the shot doesn’t go in, but only one free throw if the original shot was made. Three free throws are awarded if the player is fouled while shooting for a three-point goal and they miss their shot. If the player is foul and makes the shot, they are awarded one free throw. If fouled while not shooting, or on the floor, the ball is given to the team the foul was committed upon. That team will inbound the ball near the spot of the foul. If a team commits seven or more fouls in the game, one and one occurs. The player that was fouled is awarded one free throw. If they make the first free throw, a second is awarded. This is called Bonus. Double Bonus occurs when the opposing team has committed ten or more fouls. The fouled player will receive two free throws. Technical Foul: a player, coach, or fan can commit this type of foul. It does not involve player contact or the ball, but is instead about the manners of the game (foul language, obscenity, obscene gestures, arguing a call). The foul results in two free throws for the opposing team and the ball will be given to them to inbound after. Time restrictions: A player passing the ball inbounds has five seconds to do so. If he/she does not, then the ball is awarded to the other team. Other time restrictions: A player being guarded may not have the ball for longer than five seconds Offensive players may not stand in the key/lane for longer than three seconds Walking/traveling: Taking more than a step and a half without dribbling. This may also result with the player with the ball moves their pivot foot once they have stopped dribbling the ball. This results in a turn over.