Basketball involves the use of a court, ball, and hoops, and it is played by attempting to score points for each time the ball is successfully thrown at the hoop and goes through. It's a team sport requiring a minimum of five players per team. Each person fills one of these positions: two forwards, two point guards, and one center.
Each team has a designated hoop at each end of the court. To score points, players maneuver the ball down the court towards their own hoop and shoot (throw) the ball through the hoop. To advance down the court, players can dribble (bounce) the basketball with one hand at a time, as well as pass the ball from one player to another. When a player in possession of the ball stops dribbling, he must either pass the ball or shoot it.
The team in possession of the ball is considered offense while the other team is considered defense. While playing offense, the object is to score, but while playing defense, the object is to stop the other team from scoring by either stealing the ball or blocking a shot. When the defensive team gains possession of the ball without the offensive team scoring, it is called a turnover. Rebounding a missed shot is another way to gain possession of the ball.
Basketball is played at professional, collegiate, and amateur levels and is a refereed sport. There are several rules that apply to both offense and defense, but they vary at all levels of play. Fouling is an offense that applies to both teams and is achieved by touching a player in possession of the ball with the hands or illegally blocking a shot. If the referee calls a foul on a defensive player, the offensive player is permitted a free-throw shot, or a shot at making a basket with no interference. If a foul is committed by the offense, possession is turned over to the defense.
Games of basketball are timed. Generally speaking, the game is either played in four quarters or two halves. The length of the quarter or half varies with the organization and is determined by said organization’s governing body. Scoring is simple with each shot, or basket, made being worth two points each. Three points can be made if a basket is made from a certain location on the court. Free-throw shots are worth one point each. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins the game.