Basketball is a sport that has captivated audiences across the globe for decades, and it continues to do so even today. At its core, basketball is a game of skill, strategy, and teamwork. However, there are many rules that govern how the game is played. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 51 rules of basketball.
1) The ball must be spherical in shape.
2) The circumference of the ball should be between 28.5-29 inches.
3) The weight of the ball should be between 20-22 ounces.
4) There are two teams consisting of five players each on the court at any given time.
5) Each team has one designated captain or leader who can communicate with referees during play stoppages.
6) The goal posts are located at either end of the court and measure ten feet in height.
7) A basket made from metal rings and nylon nets hang from each goal post.
The next set of rules deals with how the game starts:
8) Prior to tip-off, both teams line up facing each other along the centerline on their respective sides of half-court.
9) A referee tosses up a jump ball between two players nominated by opposing captains or coaches to begin play (tip-off).
10) After scoring a goal or inbounding after out-of-bounds violations, play resumes via inbound passes.
The following set pertains to gameplay itself:
11) Offensive players cannot remain stationary inside the key area for more than three seconds without dribbling or passing away from it before returning again if desired
12). A player may not touch his/her own pass until another player has touched it first
13). A player may not double dribble; they must only use one hand while dribbling
14). Players cannot push off opponents while driving towards their baskets
15). It’s illegal for an offensive player to charge into a defender who has established position
16). Players may not kick the ball intentionally; doing so will result in a turnover
17). It is a violation to dribble with two hands simultaneously or when holding the ball against one’s body.
18) The team that scores more points at the end of game time wins.
The next set pertains to specific violations:
19) Traveling refers to moving without dribbling or taking too many steps while carrying the ball
20). A player cannot carry, palm, or hold the ball while dribbling and must only use fingertips
21). An offensive player may not stand in front of or impede a defensive player’s movement. This is called blocking.
22) Goal-tending refers to interfering with an opponent’s shot as it approaches (once it reaches its highest point).
23) Out-of-bounds occurs when any part of a player touches anything outside the boundaries of play.
24) A backcourt violation occurs when an offensive team member crosses into their own half-court after having already crossed into their opponents’ court.
The following rules pertain specifically to fouls:
25) Personal fouls refer to illegal physical contact made by one player toward another. In most cases, this results in free throws for opposing teams.
26) Technical fouls are assessed for unsportsmanlike conduct such as cursing at referees or other players on either side.
27) Flagrant fouls are severe offenses that can lead to ejection from games and possible suspensions.
28) Intentional fouls occur when a player purposefully contacts another player intending harm
29). Allowing for three seconds inside key area after making contact with someone before being charged with creating space
The next set describes how substitutions work:
30) Substitutions can take place during dead-ball situations such as timeouts, free throws, jump balls and other stoppages in play.
31). Each team has 5 players on the court at any given time.
32). If a player is injured during play, he/she may be substituted but can only return to play in the next quarter.
33) Substitutions must be made within 10 seconds after a referee’s signal or during halftime.
The following set pertains to timeouts:
34) Each team is allowed six timeouts per game (including overtime periods).
35) A timeout can last up to 60 seconds and are often used for strategic purposes such as organizing plays or resting key players.
Now let’s move onto violations specific to free throws:
36) Free throws are awarded when a player is fouled while shooting or when their opponent exceeds the allotted number of team fouls in a half.
37). Foul shots are taken from the free-throw line, which lies 15 feet away from the basket.
38). Players are not allowed inside the lane until after they release their foul shot
39). Foul shots count for either one point or two points depending on whether it was attempted within or beyond three-point range
The next set pertains specifically to travelling:
40) A player cannot take more than two steps without dribbling
41). When making contact with another player, that counts as first step, so even if you don’t dribble you have already used one step
42). After receiving an inbound pass, a player has five seconds to start moving towards his/her own basket before being called for traveling.
Let’s now look at some rules specific to jump balls:
43) Jump balls occur when two opposing players simultaneously gain possession of the ball
44). The referee tosses up ball between them and whoever gains control retains possession of it.
45). Possession alternates between teams each time a jump ball occurs.
The following set involves violations regarding backcourt:
46) Once an offensive team member crosses into their opponents’ court; they cannot go back into their own court with the ball
47). A team must advance the ball over half-court within 10 seconds after taking possession of it.
Now let’s take a look at some rules regarding blocking:
48) To establish position, a player must be in place before an opponent makes contact.
49). The defender’s feet may not move during an offensive player’s attempt to drive through them.
50) Offensive players are not allowed to use their arms or elbows to create space
Finally, we have some rules related to scoring:
51) A field goal made from inside the three-point line counts for two points, whereas one made beyond it counts for three.