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Basketball Made Easy

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
 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
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
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