Need to know your ‘hoop’ from your ‘hang time..’

Well, get ready to scroll down the page girls, as our Basketball glossary awaits you…

Air Shot: Used to describe a missed shot, one that goes up in the air over the basket or board.

Alley-Oop: This is a collective attacking move involving 2 players. The first passes to second who is running towards the basket, this player jumps for the pass, whilst in midair and attempts to dunk the ball, before landing.

Backboard: The rectangular piece of wood or fibreglass that the hoop, rim is attached to.

Backcourt: The defensive half of the court.

Baseline: The line at the end of the court, under the basket.

Basket: The metal rim and netting attached to the backboard. Where the points are obtained!

Bench: Is where the substitute players are situated.

Blind Pass: Frequent in Basketball. Occurs when the ball handler passes the ball to a receiver without looking.

Blocked Shot: Occurs when a defensive player makes contact with the ball whilst another player is attempting to shoot.

Block Box or Block Out: This is when a defensive player gets their body in-between the attacking player and the basket, in hope to get the rebound.

Brick: A missed shot that bounces back off the rim or the backboard.

Carry the ball: This is another term for travelling. Occurs when a player moves along the court without dribbling the ball.

Centre Circle: Is the area in the middle of the court, where jump balls are taken.

Charging: An offensive foul committed when an offensive player runs into a stationary defender.

Coast to Coast: When the player dribbles from one end of the court to the other.

Court: Is the playing area in which the game is played. The court has 2 sidelines, 2 baselines and a basket at each end.

Cylinder: Is the imaginary area above the basket.

Dead Ball Foul: is a foul committed whilst the ball is out of court, and the clock has been stopped.

Defense: The team defending their basket from the offensive side. In other words, the team without the ball.

Double Dribble: Occurs when a player dribbles the ball, stops momentarily then begins to dribble again. This is a violation of the game.

Downtown: Refers to the area furthest away from the basket, often beyond the 3-point line.

Draft: Similar to in the NFL. This is the process by which players are selected from colleges to join the NBA.

Dribble: To advance up and down the court whilst bouncing the ball.

Dunk: Is the term used when a player jumps up high towards the basket and then strongly nets the ball.

Fast Break: Refers to a sudden break from the offense down the court, originating from a defensive re-bound.

Field Goal: Is the term used when the team score a basket.

Forwards: These are the two players on the team that are responsible for rebounding, they are usually taller than the guards.

Foul: A violation of the game.

Foul Line: Is parallel with the baseline and is where free-throws take place.

Foul Trouble: When a player is almost at the limit of their personal foul allowance, before being expelled from the game.

Free Agent: A player that is not under contract at that specific moment by any team.

Free Throw Line: Same as the Foul line.

Free-Throw: Is an unguarded shot, taken from the foul line and is worth one point. A player who is fouled whilst attempting to shoot is awarded two free-throws.

Frontcourt: Refers to the offensive half of the basketball court.

Give-and- Go: Is an frequently used offensive technique. Occurs when a player passes to a team-mate, then cuts in towards the basket to the receive the pass back, in hope of achieving a successful dunk.

Guards: The two players within the team who handle the set up plays, usually the smallest on the court.

Guarding: The defensive play of marking the attacking players, preventing them from scoring a field goal.

Hang-time: Describes the amount of time a player spends in the air, when either executing a shot or pass.

Hoop: Is another term for the basket.

Jump ball: Occurs in the center circle and involves two opposing players jumping up to tip the ball over to their team-mates, in hope to gain possession.

Jump shot: Is a shot taken by a player whilst they are jumping in the air.

Key: This is the area either end of the court, which consists of the free-throw line, the foul circle and foul lane.

Lay-up: Is an offensive move. Occurs when a player drives towards the basket and nets the shot, just over the rim by using just one hand.

Loose-ball foul: Refers to a foul committed when the ball is in neither teams possession.

MVP: Exactly the same as in NFL, this term refers to the league’s Most Valuable Player.

NBA: National Basketball Association. The American Basketball league and was founded in 1949.

NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association. The regulation of student sports championships in the USA.

Net: Is the netting that hangs from the rim/basket.

Offense: The attacking team in possession of the ball.

Out of bound: Term used when the ball goes out of play.

Period: Refers to any time period during the game, quarter, half or even over-time.

Personal Foul: Is a pivotal part of a player’s game. Refers to a penalty that given to an individual player.

Playmaker: Is a term used describe the point guard, who sets up the play for the rest of the team.

Point guard: Is probably the most well known position in basketball. This player is responsible for setting up the play and  is the teams main ball handler.

Power forward: The player who is responsible for rebounding and scoring. Is generally the tallest on the court.

Re-bound: Occurs when the shot has been missed and the ball bounces back off the rim.

Screen or Screener: Is the term used when the offensive player stands between a teammate and a defender. This is done in order for their teammate to take an open shot.

Shot clock: Is the period of time the team has to take a shot. It lasts 24 seconds.

Sixth man: The name for the best, most valued substitute on the bench.

Slam dunk: An exaggerated term for a “dunk”.

Technical foul: Is a violation of the game. With each technical foul, a free throw is awarded to the opposing team.

Time out: Occurs when play is temporarily halted by the official, at the request of the team. These can last 100 seconds or 20 seconds and are requested to discuss game plays.

Tip off: Is the initial jump off, to start the game.

Three second violation: An offensive player must not stay in the area of the court called the lane, for more than three seconds.

Travelling: Occurs when the player with the ball takes one too many steps with the ball without dribbling. This is a violation of the game rules.

Weak side: This is the side of the court which is away from the ball action.


4 responses to “Basketball

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