Basketball Basics – Understanding Basketball Fundamentals

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Basketball Basics Rules & Positions

Written By Lamar Hull @ Google+

Yea, yea I know, I’m teaching basketball basics. You wouldn’t believe how many people do not know some of the basic information and fundamentals about the game of basketball. It wouldn’t hurt for you to brush up on your knowledge about the game. For example, having your hands ready as soon as you catch a pass so that you are more prepared to shoot. Basketball is one of the most popular games played today and it continues to grow. People love this sport because it is fun and safe to play for all ages. If you like the sport of basketball and are a beginner in the game you must know the basic rules in order to play correctly. In addition, understanding basketball fundamentals helped me take my game to another level. It’s the small details that will make a difference in how well you play. Here are some of the basic fundamentals of the game for players, coaches, and parents.

Basketball Rules

The rules of basketball make the game even more attractive as they are very easy to grasp. The teams are made up of up of approximately 15 players each. Only five players for each team are allowed on the court at the same time. The objective of the game is to score (obviously) points by getting the basketball into the hoop. There are two baskets located on opposite ends of the court and each team must defend one basket while trying to score in the other basket. Remember this is very basic, so bare with me as I’m trying to explain to those readers who do not know much about basketball.

Basketball Positions

basketball huddle

Each team is made up of five positions so the players that are out on the court have to be assigned one of those positions. Players are allowed to play different positions but each position has it’s own specific designation. It is best for players to know their own traits and qualities and match them up with the position that fits them best. Coaches will also help determine what positions players will fit best in so that they can provide the maximum benefit to the team. The five positions are Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center.

Point Guards are typically the smallest players on the court and are known as the ball-handlers. The point guard is known as the #1 position and can be considered the most specialized role in the game. The point guard’s job is compared to the quarterback’s role on a football team, so therefore the point guard is expected to direct their team.

Shooting Guard is known as the #2 position and is looked upon as the shooter of the team. Shooting guards can also be combo guards and play the point guard position as well. The small forward position is known as the #3 position and can be considered the most versatile position. Small forwards are usually quicker and faster than power forwards and centers.

The power forward position is known as the #4 position and is a much similar position as the center. The Power Forward plays a big role near the low block. Power forwards are known for rebounding and mid-range jump shots. The center position is known as the #5 position. The center is usually the biggest player on the court and is the player that protects the basket by blocking shots. The center also scores around the low-block.


Fouls happen when rules of the game are broken. The easiest way to get a foul called on you is to do anything that may be unsportsmanlike. That would include things like holding, pushing, hitting, etc. against your opponent. There are also other maneuvers that could result in a foul. Other moves recognized as illegal include setting a moving screen or jumping on someone’s back while trying to grab a rebound. When these or other smaller basketball basic rules are broken will result in an immediate stop of the play and change of possession.

Being overly rude or using poor behavior aimed at other players or officials can cause you to be called for a technical foul. Technical fouls are one of the harshest fouls called as they give the opposing team a free opportunity to score and you can also even be ejected from the game. This is used to promote good sportsmanship and behavior between all participants. It is important to know also that coaches and parents are not exempt from technical foul calls and possible ejection from the game. Here are some referee signals that are called throughout a basketball game.

Ok, the basics rules and positions of basketball have been explained. I hope I didn’t bore you to death, but at least now you know how the game of basketball operates. If you are planning to join a team, you now know some of the basic rules of basketball.

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2 Responses to “Basketball Basics – Understanding Basketball Fundamentals”

  1. Jodi Murphy

    A lot of players, and coaches, worry too soon about the “cool” tricks and don’t spend enough time on the fundamentals. You can’t get to the more advanced plays and drills until you nail the basics and those become muscle memory.

    • Lamar Hull

      Jodi, thanks for the comment. You are absolutely right! Young kids that I coach, I make sure in every drill I’m setting the tone for the fundamentals of the game. That’s the most important thing to teach young kids.


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