5 Aspects Of Basketball Every Beginner Must Understand

New to basketball? While this sport remains one of the most popular sports in the world, it’s normal for some to still feel lost regarding the rules that surround the game. From the nature of scoring to the different types of fouls, there is a range of policies that every player, and even viewers, must remember.

If you’re one among the many rookies that are set to play on the court this year, it’s best to know the rules that guide this adrenaline-inducing sport in advance. Sure, while there’s an official (the referee) that enforces these rules in the heat of the game, it’s always good to get acquainted with the sports you’re about to partake in.


To help you get to know the game, we have compiled five of the most important aspects of basketball every beginner must know. From teams and the number of players to scoring and game violations, knowing these specific guidelines will help you conquer the court without setbacks. Check them out below.


1. Teams And Number Of Players

As we all know, basketball is a type of team sport in which players from opposing teams will try to score by shooting through a particular hoop. In particular, under the rules of the game, each team should consist of 12 players. However, only a maximum of five players from each team can play on the court at any one time.


During the game, each team may make as many substitutions as they like to give each player their own time to take a rest and to take part in the game.

2. Duration

Similar to other sports, basketball sets its own game duration. Depending on the type of competition and level of the game, the duration of a game may vary. The playtime of college basketball, for instance, sets a different time length compared to the playtime of the NBA. However, in standard rules, the game should consist of four periods of 10 minutes.

Once the game starts, the clock will continue to run, with exceptions only if; first, the ball goes out of the play; second, a foul was committed; third, a player was given free throws; and fourth, during time outs.


In case the time ends with the same amount of points for both teams (tie), an overtime period of five minutes will be given.

3. Scoring

One of the most important rules any player must know concerning basketball is how scoring works. Although the main objective is to shoot a ball into the hoop of the opposing team, different points are awarded depending on certain circumstances.

Specifically, when players are able to shoot the ball through the hoop from behind the three-point line, their team will be awarded 3 points.

Meanwhile, if they were to successfully shoot the ball from anywhere inside the three-point line, such as by laying the ball into the rim or slamming it straight into the hoop, they will be given 2 points.

Lastly, if they were fouled, players will be given a chance to shoot a free throw. If they were able to shoot the ball successfully, their team will be given 1 point.

4. Fouls

Perhaps, understanding fouls is one of the most challenging tasks for basketball players. Specifically, there are five types of fouls a player could commit during a play, each with their own conditions.

The first type is called the personal foul, which generally covers any action a player makes that involves illegal contact with an opponent that results in his or her advantage. The illegal contact could include reaching in, holding, blocking, charging, pushing, and illegal screening.

Meanwhile, the remaining four fouls fall under the category of what we call special fouls. They are the following.

a. Technical Foul

b. Flagrant Foul

c. Unsportsmanlike Foul

d. Intentional Foul

5. Game Violations

Lastly, another set of rules you must not overlook when playing basketball concerns what we call game violations. When a player commits a violation, his or her team will automatically lose their possession of the ball, and the opposing party will claim possession over it.

Specifically, there are 10 ways in which a player could commit a game violation. These include the following.

  1. Traveling Violation
  2. Double Dribble Violation
  3. Three Seconds Violation
  4. Ten Seconds Violation
  5. Over-And-Back Violation
  6. Carrying Violation
  7. Lane Violation
  8. Kicking Violation
  9. Goaltending Violation
  10. Out of Bounds Violation


The Bottom Line

No doubt, basketball has made its mark in the world of sports. From athletes and sports enthusiasts,] to the normal masses, there is no denying that the game had emerged to be one of the most loved out there.

As you prepare to enter the court, be sure to make yourself familiar with these five important topics mentioned above.