Professional, college, and high school games are similar except in length and in range of basic skills. Professional games are 48 minutes long, divided into quarters; college games, 40 minutes, played in halves; and high school games, 32 minutes, broken into quarters. If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, an overtime (3 to 5 minutes, depending on the level of competition) is played.
Although no set of dimensions for a basketball court is universally accepted, the recommended size is 94 ft (28.65 m) long and 50 ft (15.24 m) wide.
Two points are given for a field goal, which is a shot that goes through the hoop--10 ft (3 m) high--while the ball is in play. The NBA instituted, beginning with the 1979-1980 season, the 3-point field goal, awarded to a player who scores from beyond a semicircle at a distance of an even 22 ft (6.7 m) all the way around the basket. The NCAA followed suit, beginning in 1986-87, with a 3-point semicircle that averages 19.75 ft (6 m) from the basket. One point is awarded for a free throw, or foul shot, which is attempted by a player who has been fouled, or impeded physically, by an opponent. Free throws are attempted, undefended, from a line drawn 15 ft (4.57 m) from the basket.
This diagram shows the standard measurements for American high school, college, and professional basketball courts. The free throw lane and its adjoining circle form an important strategic area of the court, commonly referred to as the key. Major basketball competition usually takes place on hardwood floors in indoor gymnasiums or arenas.
On the offensive, a player may advance the ball by passing or even rolling it to a teammate or by dribbling, which is bouncing it along the floor with one-hand taps. The defensive team can get the ball back by intercepting passes, blocking shots, or even by literally stealing it out of an opponent's hand, provided that no illegal body contact occurs. After a basket is made, the ball is awarded to the other team, which puts it back in play. If a field-goal attempt is missed and the ball remains in bounds, it is kept in play by the team that recovers (rebounds) it.
When personal fouls are committed on a player who is not in the act of shooting the game is restarted with a throw-in by the non-offending team from out of bounds on the sideline nearest to the place of the foul.
|Basketball Hand Signals|
Hand signals, such as these, notify players and spectators of the officials decision regarding a foul, other violation, or stoppage of play.
If there is a foul on a player in
the act of shooting:
· If the goal is made, the points will count and one free throw will be awarded as well.
· If the shot for goal misses, two free throws will be awarded.
· If the missed shot for goal was a three-point shot, three free throws will be awarded.
If you have committed five fouls, you cannot take any further part in the game.
When your team has committed seven player fouls in a half, any fouls they commit will be penalised by the one and one rule. In this case, the player who fouled is given one free throw (unless they were in the act of shooting for goal, in which case the usual free throw rules apply). The one and one rule means that, if you make the first free throw, you are given a second shot. If you miss the first throw, you don't get another one and the game continues in the normal way.