Play

BE Involved in basketball! You want to be involved in basketball, or you already are and just can’t get enough. Well in this section you will find an overview of how, where and what ways you can play and we’ll talk you through the basic rules. We will also point out where you can find more information if you need it.

Where do I start?
The game is traditionally a team sport and the aim is to score more points than the opposing team by getting a ball in the opposing hoop. This can be done by throwing the ball from any part of the court, with either one, or both of your hands.

The great thing about basketball is, although it’s a team sport when competing, you can practice on your own, with one friend or a whole bunch of people. All you need is a ball and a hoop and you’re ready.

The basics of the game
A full size hoop is 10ft tall, and for children under 12 years old, there is an adjusted height of 8 ft tall.

Shots from open play count as two points, unless they are released from outside the 'three point arc' (the semi circle!) which means they are worth three.

You can have up to 12 players on a team, but only five are allowed on court at any one time in a traditional game.

There is also a 3 on 3 version of the game if you want to grab a bunch of your friends and head down to your local court to play. The principle is the same – just with less people! This is getting really popular as a form of basketball because it’s so easy and simple.

There are usually four quarters of 10 minutes that make up a whole game.

If your team has the ball, you must try a shot at the hoop in 24 seconds. If you don’t, then the ball must be given to the other team and the clock starts again for them to get down the other end of the court and shoot themselves.

Positions
All players can go everywhere on court, so the five positions on a team can become quite flexible. It’s unlikely you’ll get one of each position in one each team though, so don’t worry if you can’t fill a spot – you can all do everything! For a detailed breakdown of the positions, and for more information check out our how to play section.

Players with Disabilities

Here at Basketball England, we’re really committed to providing anyone who wants an experience in basketball with the opportunity to get involved and progress to whatever level they aspire to.

If you’re interested in playing basketball, or know someone that has a disability and wants to get started or progress in the game - click here for more details.