Basketball has come a long way and changed significantly from its humble beginnings in 1891. The game started out with 13 rules that have since been pared down to 10, but numerous articles and sub-sections have been added. Despite the changes, the sport has remained much the same for those learning to play basketball. Often players utilise a portable basketball hoop to learn the playing rules.
- Ten basic rules have survived intact, though some slight modifications have been made. Basketball has the following 10 rules by which every game is played.
- Players consist of two teams. Teams can have a maximum of 12 players, but only five from each team can be on the court at the same time during play.
- The ball can be thrown in any direction on the court using one hand or both hands, but never hit with the fist.
- If a player is dribbling and places both hands on the ball, it’s considered the end of the dribble and the ball must be passed or a scoring basket attempted.
- Players can’t hold the ball and run. It’s a violation known as traveling.
- A player can’t push, strike, trip, hold or use their shoulder against another player. Doing so is a foul and constitutes illegal contact.
- Players from the opposing team can’t touch the ball when it’s securely in the basket or on the rim in preparation to go one way or the other. It’s called basket interference.
- When a ball goes out of bounds, the person retrieving it should throw it back onto the court and the first person that touches it can put it back into play.
- Play time is broken into two 16-minute halves with a 10-minute rest in between. Some schools utilize four 8-minute quarters.
- The team with the most points wins.
- A lead referee is on the court as a neutral party that presides over the game, makes on-the-spot decisions about violations of the rules and enforces those rules. Two to three other officials known as umpires assist.
Learning to play basketball is even more popular today than it was when it was first invented. Children as young as the age of five can begin playing during summer programs. It’s a highly competitive sport in high schools, with many individuals going on to play at the college level in the hopes of becoming the next great NBA player.