Basketball is a fast paced, athletic sport that includes running, jumping, shooting the ball and dribbling it too. Because of the variety of the game, anyone can play regardless of their ability or height. Not all basketball players are tall, or athletic, but it does help!
Games are most often split into four quarters of 10 minutes, but this can vary. In the NBA, they prefer to play four 12 minute quarters instead. College Basketball in America is played with two 20 minute halves.
The ball itself can vary depending on the age and gender of the people playing, with a size 4 basketball being around 25” in circumference for young players of 8 years and under all the way up to a size 7 ball of 29.5” for adult men.
Each game begins with a tip off where the referee throws the ball upwards and one member of each team jumps together to try and knock the ball to their team. To move the ball around the court, players can pass from one player to another, or dribble by bouncing the ball while walking or running.
If a team can get the ball through their opponent’s basket from inside the three-point arc, they get two points. Any shots scored from beyond the three-point arc are worth three points. If a player is fouled when shooting and awarded free throws, these count for one point each.
Whenever a team has control of the ball, they have 24 seconds to attempt a shot at the opponent’s basket. This is called the shot clock and it stops teams from just holding onto the ball for the entire game.