How to Play Basketball

Basketball is a competitive team sport where two competing teams, usually of five players each, competing against each other on a rectangle shaped court, with the goal of shooting a basketball up into the opponent’s hoop and preventing the other team from shooting the basketball through their hoop. Each team begins the game by having at least five players on the court and playing each other in organized basketball drills, called half-court games. Other variations of this game include pick-up games (using only three players), three-on-three sets (using five players), and full-court games (using ten players). Typically, basketball is a game played with about two minutes per quarter. In most cases, the game is played for four quarters.


While basketball is often considered a game played mostly on an empty court, the sport of basketball actually has several variants, all of which require a good amount of practice to master. If you are just starting out, or if you have never been involved in any type of actual basketball activity, it is important that you first understand the fundamental positions of the sport: the center, power forward, small forward, guard, and wing player. The position that you play depends mostly on what style of play you prefer. Usually, centers play the game on the wing and small forwards the ball around the perimeter of the playing area.

After the ball is thrown to you from the playing surface, you must dribble the ball up to your head and then use two hands (one on the ball playing surface and one in each hand on your shooting hand) to make two quick shots. Once the two shots are made, one player sits back and holds the ball up so that the other players can try to shoot. Each team tries to shoot the ball as many times as possible within a set time limit. If any team scores more points than the other team during the time frame, they win.