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Basketball 101

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By Tamara Hoyt

By Tamara Hoyt

Like all other sports, games, and professions, basketball has its own set of conventions and terminology.

Basketball did not evolve from other sports, rather it was invented by a Canadian physician who was teaching in Massachusetts and wanted an indoor sport that his students could play to stay in shape during the off season. Thus, basketball was born.

Basketball is a land sport played with two teams of five on the court at a time. The game begins with a jump ball, in which players face off for first control of the ball.

The objective of the game is to put the ball into the basket. The basket is 10 feet above the ground and has a board behind it that a player can use to deflect the ball into the basket.

Each shot is worth two points unless the player shooting the ball is behind the three-point line. This line is a large distance from the basket, so to score from behind it is difficult, which is why players are awarded an extra point.

The five players each have a position on offense. The standard setup has four players in a U shape along the perimeter, as well as one player in the center. This setup is often called an umbrella offense.

The person at the center of the U is referred to as the point guard. The two players to his sides are the wings, and the players between them and the goal line are the flats.

The rules are fairly simple. If the ball goes out of bounds on the court, possession of the ball is given to the team that did not touch it last.

If a player on the defensive team makes physical contact with a player on the offensive team, they receive a personal foul. Each player is allowed five personal fouls throughout the game. If they disrespect the referee, or use vulgar language toward the referee or another player, they will be given a technical foul.

The person who is fouled will get a new possession, unless they were in the process of shooting or if the other team has committed more than 10 fouls; then they get to shoot two free throws. Each free throw is worth one point and is shot from the free-throw line.

The game has four 10 or 12 minute quarters, internationally or in the National Basketball Association (NBA). There is a two minute break after the first and third quarters, and a 15-minute break for halftime. Overtime periods are five minutes long. The start of the game, the first period, begins with a jump ball.

The time allowed is actual playing time, meaning that the clock is stopped while the ball is not in play. Because of this, a typical game can last anywhere from one and a half to two hours.

The next home RCC basketball game is Nov. 21 vs. Desert at 5:30 p.m. for the women’s team, and Nov. 28 vs. LA City at 7 p.m. for the men’s team.

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