Basketball is played all over the world by both men and women. It is a very popular and rather strenuous sport. Thus, if an individual is looking for a good mental and physical workout, this is the game to take on. There are also several local and international leagues, and this brings the game to its current popularity.
The Basics of the Basketball Game
The two teams involved in the game comprise only five players at any given time on the basketball court. The reserves can number in any amount depending on the team’s capacity to retain such individuals. There are usually three referees, as the game is fast moving and it is not always possible for the only one referee to make accurate judgment. There are several positions to play from, and these include a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, power forward and a center.
The center position is usually taken up by the biggest players or the players that can jump the highest and rebound the best. This is usually where ball possession is determined early on in the game. Then comes the power forward, which is the next important position. This is where the block shots are best tackled.
The small forward is usually a fast player who has the ability to dribble, pass, shoot and score well. The small forward is also usually playing a defending position against the better players on the opposing team to ensure less chances of the opposing team passing the ball. Then there is the shooting guard who is usually good at scoring the goals through shooting free throws or any other time the ball is in position for a shot. The point guard is usually the main player in possession of the ball and the one that creates or facilitates the play as it unfolds. Moving around the court with the aim of trying to gain ball control is the prime way to ensure the game play goes according to the teams winning prospects.
Attire and Accessories for a Basketball Game
There are different items that make up the complete set of attire and accessories for basketball enthusiasts. The choices available are mind boggling, mainly due to the fact that most merchants try to capitalize on the popularity the sport has managed to gain. This is also due to the high profile players and teams that are often engaged in endorsing such items, thus generating interest in basketball attire and accessories.
Get the Right Gear
There are basic items that are essential to the individual intending to be involved in the basketball game. This includes apparel that consists of jerseys, t-shirts, shorts, socks and proper basketball shoes that are specifically designed for the game. The styles of shoes and other attire items vary greatly and ideally should only be purchased for their quality and comfort and nothing else. There are also a lot of safety accessories that should be used by the player as injury can occur in this mild contact sport. These options may include athletic supporters, athletic tales and bandages, back braces should there be a need to lessen the impact on an already sore back, knee and elbow braces and insoles which are especially helpful when it comes to cushioning landings from high jumps.
When it comes to equipment, there are also different items to consider, such as the basketballs, player accessories, various backboard systems, basketball hoops, nets and score boards. The shoes chosen are also very important as they help to keep the stability and the slipping factors in check. This is especially important as basketball is a swiftly played game and footwork plays an important role in the game and also contributes to a lot of injuries. Therefore, the appropriate footwear for the basketball session should be carefully chosen.
Overview of a Basketball Court
Although there can be slight variations to the marking and size of a basketball court, there are some aspects that are standard and will be followed accordingly. If there are any variations, they will predominantly waiver between the professionally used courts and the courts that are used at high schools and leisure courts.
The Design of the Court
The National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association courts are usually designed to measure 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. As for the Federation Internationale de Basketball courts for international play, it is slightly smaller at 92 feet long and 49 feet wide. The National Federation of State High School Associations has a different set of sizes that they adhere to which would be around 80 feet in length and 50 feet in width.
The free-throw lane is usually designed to the measurements of about 6 feet in radius. However, the NBA and the WNBA use a 16-feet wide radius for their free-throw lanes. The three point arc is 19feet,9 inches from the rim for NFHS and women’s NCAA game formats. As for the WNBA the measurement is 20 feet and 6 inches.
Another marking includes the center circle which is usually designed in a 12-feet diameter. However, this too varies on the level of the game being played. The difference would depend on the player, which can range from high school to professional leagues. The NBA and FIBA courts have “no charge” zones in the front of the basket and the NBA restricted zone is four feet from the center of the basket. As for the FIBA zone, it is usually 1.25 m from the center of the rim.
The Rules of a Basketball Game
As with every sport or game played, there are rules in place to govern the play. This is to ensure there is some level of uniformity for the overall way the game is played and enjoyed. Basketball is no different, as it too has a standard set of rules and guidelines that should be followed to ensure the game is well played and enjoyable.
Some Basic Rules
Basketball is played by two teams, and the idea behind the game is to score as many points as possible within the time-frame allotted. These points are scored when the ball is thrown into the opposing team’s basket. Each team consists of 12 players of which 5 players are usually on the court at any given time.
The following are some of the moves prevalent in the basketball game that are usually governed by a set of rules:
- When there is a case of personal contact such as holding a player back physically in an attempt to restrict their movements, the call will be made to allow the opposing team to take possession of the ball. This is also applicable when there is contact which is categorized as illegal guarding which is made from behind, again causing the opponent to falter in movements.
- Blocking and pushing are fouls that can have dire consequences, such as the referee giving possession of the ball to the opposing team or allowing free throws by the opposing team. Illegal screening is an attempt to slow down or stop the opponent from gaining control of the ball, and if this is done to impede the game in any way, the same rule applies and the referee can make a judgment call to give the ball to the opposing team. There are other moves such as hand-checking, charging and illegal use of hands, and all these contribute to penalties in one way or another.
Useful Tips to Avoid Fouls
Unfortunately, today in the arena of various games, there is a need to address the issue of fouls which is becoming more apparent, as the quest to win becomes more desperate. To keep the integrity of any game intact, there is often the need to redefine these fouls and their accompanying penalties in the hope of maintaining some credibility within the game frame.
In a basketball game, there are two main categories of fouls which in most instances are quite clear-cut and easy to call. The two kinds are personal fouls and the technical fouls. The personal foul is identified by direct body contact made with the opponent during play, while the technical foul is a violation of the administrative and ethical rules of basketball. A personal foul is rather simple in its identification and avoidance tactics which basically require the player to avoid any sort of contact such as charging, pushing, holding, tripping or any other form of impediment to the opposing team in a physical form.
The technical foul however is a little more complex in both its identification and consequences. However, in the interest of avoiding such technical foul predicaments, the individual will have to steer clear of infractions like failing to supply the lineup to the scorers, having more than five players inside the court, overdoing your timeouts and dirty tactics to delay the game. There is also the need to restraint oneself from cussing at the referees no matter what the call on the game is. This also includes the restraint of any display of hostility and threatening body stances. Holding the ball for more than two steps from a running position without dribbling will also be called a foul, thus delivering consequences.
Polish Your Shooting Skills
As with most games, the idea is to score as many points as possible to seal a win. The same applies to the game of basketball; the more shots made, the higher the score, thus establishing the win.
Practice Your Shot
When it comes to scoring points in basketball, the shooting skills of the team are of prime importance. Without mastering this, it will be difficult to score any points and impossible to beat the opponent. The following are some tips on how to polish your shooting skills that are so pivotal to the game:
- Confidence is the first and most important element to be present in the shooter to ensure good and confident skills are displayed. This can only be achieved by a lot of practice, until the shooting skill becomes almost second nature.
- Using the biggest muscles, which are the leg muscles, to power the shot is also something to be mastered. As the jump is executed, the power it generates in the lift-off motion will give the individual the shooting motion which is evident in releasing of the ball at the peak of the jump.
- Ensuring proper ball flight control is another important skill to master. Keeping your eye on the rim of the net, the individual should be able to hold the release long enough to provide proper rotation on the ball for the shot to be well executed.
- The ideal shooting range is also to be mastered.
Defense Strategies that Work
Having good defense strategies is as important as having all the other aspects that are positive contributing factors to ensuring victory. When it comes to defense strategies for basketball, there are quite a few to choose from and master.
Have a Useful Defensive Strategy
The following are some of the most popular defense strategies, often used for the better play and higher scoring shot possibilities:
- As much as possible, all the opponent’s shots should be contested. However, to avoid the danger of a foul being called, the individual would need to ensure the proper way to contest the shot is exercised, and this would include staying on the feet position facing the shooter until the shooter is airborne, and then attempt to get a hold of the ball.
- It is often possible to read the body movements before they are executed. This would be a good advantage to master, as the individual would be able to read the probable shots and movements beforehand and counter these movements advantageously.
- There is also the art of forcing the offense either right or left and this can be effectively done with a few simple moves. By placing the left foot forward, about a foot away from the offense, you dictate the movement of the offense, which would have to be in the opposite direction in order to avoid being tripped. This gives the individual valuable insight as to the next movement of the opponent.
- On the ball defense is also another effective move to master. By keeping between the opponent and the scoring basket, the individual will be able to guard the ball from successfully reaching the net. Here again, observation of the midsection will help the individual read the next movement of the opponent and counter act it.
Winning the Game with Rebounding
Being able to maintain some level of consistency of ball possession will help in creating higher percentages of being able to score more goals. Therefore, it would be in the best interest of the team to ensure that they are in the position to have more opportunities to take more shots.
The following are some reasons why rebounding has a significantly profound effect on the game and winning:
- The more obvious reason would be that it gives the team more chances to take shots and less for the opposing team to score. This is because the team will get a chance to take an extra shot which could win them 3 points and keep the ball away from the opposing team.
- Excellent rebounding will in fact provide the team with considerably higher chances of shooting percentages. Being in the put-backs from close in position usually constitutes higher percentages of the shot actually going into the net. It can also facilitate a defensive rebound ending in a good outlet pass and a fast breaking score, while the opposing team is still getting its wits together.
- The rebounds can also be worked to cause the opposing team to run in to trouble with more fouls. This is especially caused by the defensive plays they would have to use. Excellent rebounding will also get the team more free throws in line.
- Being able to harness more rebounding possibilities will also mean the team is able to have some good maneuver moves that will ensure the ball in play is within their favor. This is ideal for the defensive end of the court. However all these would require some level of focused practice to ensure the rebounding does not eventually work against the team instead.
Whether you are experienced in the game of basketball or you are just starting out, you should take these tips into consideration. The sport of basketball is quite exciting and can offer many benefits to the player. Just remember that practice makes perfect and nobody starts off as a super star. With patience and devotion, you will surely master this fun sport. Start learning these techniques now and impress your friends with your new winning attitude towards basketball.