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Basketball Basic Rules & Regulations...A Simplified Way For You To Understand The Rules Of Basketball

Basketball basic rules explained in a simple, straightforward manner.


One of the most overwhelming and often neglected aspects of coaching basketball is understanding the rules of the game. As a new coach, it's important that you have a thorough understanding of the basic basketball rules that you will encounter every day. As obvious as that sounds, you would be amazed at how many basketball coaches actually overlook this critical part of their coaching responsibilities.



Let me ask you this...If you don't understand the basic rules of basketball, how can you teach them to your players? The answer is simple - "You can't."

In order for you to teach your players the skills and fundamentals of the game, you must first learn and understand the basic rules of basketball. This includes having a thorough knowledge of the various basketball fouls, violations, court dimensions and basketball referee signals.

Do yourself and your basketball players a huge favor…do not skip this step in the coaching process.

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Basketball Rules Simplified

I have compiled a list for you that includes some of the basic basketball rules you should definitely learn. Having an understanding of these basketball rules will enable you to effectively teach your players the skills and fundamentals of the game...and what they can and cannot do on the basketball court.

Basketball Basic Rules & Regulations

  • Two basketball teams play with five players on the court at one time.

  • Players should wear comfortable basketball shoes, athletic socks, loose fitting shorts and a shirt or jersey.

  • Each team tries to score by shooting the basketball through the hoop.

  • The basketball dimension is 29 inches around. Younger players and girls leagues use a modified size basketball.

  • The hoop is an 18-inch cylinder attached to the backboard and positioned 10 feet off the court.

  • The basketball court dimensions vary depending on the level of competition. Typically, a youth basketball court measures 74' long by 42'wide. While a high school basketball court measures 94' long (sometimes 84') by 50' wide.

  • There are various basketball court markings and lines that indicate certain game activities or restrictions. Some of the most common basketball court markings are Baseline, Center Circle, Free Throw Line, Midcourt Line and Sidelines.

  • Each team tries to prevent their opponent from scoring by stealing the basketball or blocking a shot.

  • The basketball moves down the court by either passing it to a teammate or dribbling it.

  • The game continues until a team scores a basket or the ball goes out of bounds. The opposite team would then gain possession of the ball.

  • The length of the basketball game depends on the level of competition. Youth leagues typically play two twenty minute halves, often with a running clock. From the junior high level through the varsity level, they play four quarters each lasting eight minutes.

Basketball Basic Rules - Basketball Violations

  • Play stops on all basketball violations.

  • The opponent gains possession of the ball after a violation.

  • Some of the more common ball handling violations are: Charging, Double Dribble, Over-and-Back, and Traveling.

  • Some of the more common time violations are: 3 seconds in the lane, 5 seconds in possession of the basketball, 5 seconds on an inbound play, and 10 seconds in the backcourt with the basketball.

Basketball Basic Rules - Basketball Fouls

  • Play stops on all basketball fouls.

  • A foul is committed when a basketball player initiates illegal contact with an opposing player.

  • Fouls are committed by both offensive and defensive players, but more commonly by a defender.

  • After a foul is committed and depending on which type of foul it is, one of two things will happen: a) The opposing team gains possession of the basketball, or b) The fouled player shoots free throws.

  • Some of the more common basketball fouls are: Blocking, Charging, Holding, Illegal Screen, Over-the-Back, Reaching In, Shooting Fouls, and Tripping.

  • Some other fouls that are sometimes committed are: Flagrant Fouls, Intentional Fouls, and Technical Fouls.




Just for fun...Check out Dr. James Naismith's 13 Original Rules of Basketball to see how basketball rules have changed over the years.



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