Basketball is a team sport where two teams of usually five players each compete on a rectangular court. The main goal is to shoot a basketball about 9.4 inches (24 cm) in diameter through the defender’s hoop (a basket 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter mounted 10 feet (3.048 m) high to a backboard at each end of the court) while preventing the other team from shooting through their own hoop.
When a field goal is made from behind the three-point line, it’s worth three points instead of two. After a foul, time stops and the player who was fouled or who was supposed to shoot a technical foul gets one, two, or three free throws, each of which is worth one point.
At the conclusion of the game, the team with the most points wins. But if the score is tied when regular time is over, the game must go into overtime. Players move the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (called “dribbling”) or by passing it to a teammate, both of which take a lot of skill.
On offense, players can make a layup, a jump shot, or a slam. On defense, they can steal the ball from a player who is dribbling, block a shot, or intercept a pass. Rebounds are made when a missed shot hits the rim or backboard and bounces back into play. Lifting or dragging the pivot foot without dribbling, carrying, or holding the ball with both hands before beginning to dribble again is against the rules.
On each side, five people are given one of five positions. The center is usually the tallest player. The power forward is the second-tallest and strongest player, the small forward is a little shorter but more agile. And the shooting guard and point guard are the shortest players or the best at handling the ball. They make sure the offensive and defensive plays go according to the coach’s game plan (player positioning). People can play three-on-three, two-on-two, and one-on-one games in a casual setting.