Basketball 101

The rules of basketball are fairly simple. However, they can be challenging for beginners. For example, the three second rule which addresses how long an offensive player can be in the key before clearing out is a popular rule most young players forget.  Here are some other rules players must follow.


Personal Fouls: These fouls include any type of illegal physical contact.

  • Hitting
  • Pushing
  • Holding
  • Illegal Pick/Screen : This occurs when an offensive player makes contact with a defender in an attempt to block the path of the defender.

Charging: This is a foul that is committed when an offensive player runs or pushes over a defensive player. The defender must establish position for this foul to be called. The ball is then given to the team that foul was committed upon.

Flagrant foul. A flagrant foul is called on a player when he or she commits a violent contact with an opponent. This includes hitting, kicking and punching. If you are issued two flagrant fouls in a game you will be ejected.

Intentional foul. This is when a player makes contact with another player with no reason to steal the ball.

Technical foul: Technical fouls can be given to a player or a coach. Foul language, obscenity, obscene gestures, and even arguing can be considered a technical foul.

Player Positions

Center. At the Center position your normally play your tallest player and they are positioned near the basket.

Offensive: The center’s goal to get open to shoot, block defenders, and set picks to open other players up for driving to the basket for a score.

Defensive: The center’s goal is to box out your opponent, keep opponents from shooting, block shots and rebound.


Forward: Your next tallest players will most likely be your forwards.

Offensive — Forwards are responsible to get free for a pass, take outside shots, and rebound.

Defensive — Responsibilities include preventing drives to the goal and rebounding.


Guard. These are players and that should be really good at dribbling fast, seeing the court, and passing. It is their job to bring the ball down the court and set up offensive plays.

Offensive — Dribbling, passing, and setting up offensive plays are a guard’s main responsibilities. They also need to be able to drive to the basket and to shoot from the perimeter.

Defensive — On defense, a guard is responsible for stealing passes, contesting shots, preventing drives to the hoop, and for boxing out.