Check Out These A - Z Basketball Terms.
the last pass to a teammate that leads directly to a field goal; the scorer must move immediately toward the basket for the passer to be credited with an assist; only 1 assist can be credited per field goal.
the rectangular structure, 6' x 3 1/2', to which the basket is attached.
the area from the midcourt line to the end line furthest from the offense's basket.
a shot where the ball is first bounced (or banked) off the backboard at such an angle that it then drops into the basket.
attached to the backboard, it consists of a metal rim 18" in diameter suspended 10' from the floor, from which a 15-18" corded net hangs, and through which points are scored; also used to refer to a successful field goal.
the successful deflection of a shot by touching part of the ball on its way to the basket, thereby preventing a field goal. .
a player's attempt to position his body between his opponents and the basket to get rebounds and prevent the opponents from doing so.
the circular area at mid-court from which jump balls are taken.
an offensive foul which occurs when an offensive player runs into a defender who has established position.
a player's ability to see everything on the court during play - such as where his teammates and defenders are set up - which enables him to make better choices in passing; the best point guards possess this.
when a ball handler dribbles the ball across his body from one hand to the other.
the act of preventing the offense from scoring; the team without the ball.
a rebound of an opponent's missed shot.
when two teammates join efforts in guarding a single opponent.
Dribble or dribbling:
when a player repeatedly pushes, pats, taps or bats the ball toward the floor with one hand to cause the ball to bounce back up to either of his hands; used to advance the ball or keep control of it.
Drive to the basket:
to move rapidly toward the basket with the ball.
when a player close to the basket jumps and strongly throws the ball down into it; an athletic, creative shot used to intimidate opponents.
it is a violation if a player vigorously or excessively swings his elbows, even if there is no contact; it is a foul if contact is made, and an automatic ejection if that contact is above shoulder level.
also called the run-and-shoot offense, it begins with a defensive rebound by a player who immediately sends an outlet pass toward midcourt to his waiting teammates; these teammates can sprint to their basket and quickly shoot before enough opponents catch up to stop them.
when the ball enters the basket from above during play; worth 2 points, or 3 points if the shooter was standing behind the 3-point line.
the 2 players on the court for a team who are usually smaller than the center and bigger than the guards; often a team's highest scorers.
actions by players which break the rules but are not floor violations; penalized by a change in possession or free-throw opportunities; see personal foul or technical foul.
the painted area bordered by the end line and the foul line, outside which players must stand during a free-throw; also the area an offensive player cannot spend more than 3-seconds at a time in.
the line 12' from the backboard and parallel to the end line from which players shoot free-throws.
an unguarded shot taken from the foul line by a player whose opponent committed a personal or technical foul; it is worth 1 point.
when defenders start guarding the offense in the backcourt.
shows how much time remains in each of the four 12-minute quarters of an NBA game or two 20-minute halves of a college game.
the 2 players on each team who are the smallest on the court; they usually handle setting up plays and passing to teammates closer to the basket.
the act of following an opponent around the court to prevent him from getting close to the basket, taking an open shot or making easy an pass, while avoiding illegal contact.
Half-court or set offense:
when a team takes the time to develop a play in its frontcourt, such as the give-and-go or a screening play; opposite of fast break.
High percentage shot:
a shot that is likely to go in the basket, such as a layup.
an imaginary area outside either side of the foul lane at the free-throw line extended.
In the paint:
being in the foul lane area which is painted a different color.
the area within the end lines and sidelines of the court; also the act of bringing the ball into this area by means of a throw-in.
2 opposing players jump for a ball an official tosses above and between them, to tap it to their teammates and gain possession; used to start the game (tip-off) and all overtime periods, and sometimes to restart play.
a tactic used by the team that is leading near the end of the game to keep the ball from its opponents to prevent them from scoring while using up time off the game clock; also called freezing.
the area at each end of the court consisting of the foul circle, foul lane and free-throw line; named for the shape it had years ago.
a shot taken after driving to the basket by leaping up under the basket and using one hand to drop the ball directly into the basket (layin) or to bank the ball off the backboard into it (layup).
an imaginary area outside either side of the foul lane close to the basket.
the defensive style where each defensive player is responsible for guarding one opponent.
any pairing of players on opposing teams who guard each other.
the team with possession of the ball.
a rebound of a team's own missed shot.
the crew chief, referee and umpire who control the game, stop and start play, and impose penalties for violations and fouls.
a free-throw attempt awarded for certain violations that earns the shooter a 2nd attempt only if the first is successful.
Out of bounds:
the area outside of and including the end lines and sidelines.
shots taken from the perimeter.
Overtime or OT:
the extra period(s) played after a regulation game ends tied.
when a passer throws the ball to a teammate; used to start plays, move the ball downcourt, keep it away from defenders and get it to a shooter.
the player who passes the ball to a teammate.
any quarter, half or overtime segment.
the area beyond the foul circle away from the basket, including 3-point line, from which players take long-range shots.
contact between players that may result in injury or provide one team with an unfair advantage; players may not push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent; these are also counted as team fouls.
refers to a defender who has been successfully prevented from reaching the ball handler by an offensive screen.
the foot that must remain touching the floor until a ball handler who has stopped dribbling is ready to pass or shoot.
to be holding or in control of the ball.
in college, used to determine which team's turn it is to inbounds the ball to begin a period or in a jump ball situation.
the position of a player standing in the low post or high post.
when a player grabs a ball that is coming off the rim or backboard after a shot attempt; see offensive rebound and defensive rebound.
the list of players on a team.
Screen or screener:
the offensive player who stands between a teammate and a defender to gives his teammate the chance to take an open shot.
a player who takes a shot at the basket.
the distance from which a player is likely to make his shots.
2 boundary lines that run the length of the court.
the best substitute on a team; usually the first player to come off the bench to replace a starter.
when a player's shoulders are facing the basket as he releases the ball for a shot; considered good shooting position.
the 5 starters who begin a game.
a player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court.
a player who can play both the guard and forward positions.
each personal foul committed by a player is also counted against his team; when a team goes over the limit, its opponent is awarded free-throw opportunities.
Technical fouls or Ts:
procedural violations and misconduct that officials believe are detrimental to the game; penalized by a single free-throw opportunity to the non-offending team (2 free-throws and possession in college).
a 2-point field goal followed by a successful free-throw.
a field goal worth 3 points because the shooter had both feet on the floor behind the 3-point line when he released the ball; also counts if one foot is behind the line while the other is in the air.
when play is temporarily suspended by an official or at the request of a team to respond to an injured player or discuss strategy; there are full timeouts (100 or 60 seconds in NBA, 120 seconds in WNBA, 75 or 60 seconds in college) and 20-second timeouts (30 seconds in college).
the initial jump ball that starts the game.
the shift from offense to defense.
a floor violation when the ball handler takes too many steps without dribbling; also called walking.
when the offense loses possession through its own fault by passing the ball out of bounds or committing a floor violation.
the side of the court away from the ball.
Rebounding the ball on the side of the court away from the ball.
a defense where each defender is responsible for an area of the court and must guard any player who enters that area; compare with man-to-man defense.