Basketball Rules Made Easy

Basketball is played on an indoor or outdoor court by two teams. Each team has 5 active players on the court during the game. Each team may have 5-7 reserve players on the bench. Reserve players can come into the game when there is a dead ball.

Jump Ball The game starts when the referee tosses the ball in the air between a player from each team who tries to tap the ball to a teammate.

Dead Ball is when the official blows the whistle. All players should stop when they hear the whistle. The player with the ball should give the ball to the nearest official.

The game has FOULS and VIOLATIONS. There are two types of FOULS: Personal and Technical

  • A Personal foul is when you hit, trip or block someone. It might be an accident or on purpose. If it is on purpose the other player immediately gets two free throws.
  • A Technical foul is when you say or do something inappropriate. The other team immediately gets two free throws. If you get two technical fouls you must leave the game and cannot play anymore.

A Violation means you did something you are not allowed to do in the game. Violations include:

  • Travelling
  • Carrying/Palming
  • Illegal Dribble
  • Line Violations
  • 3 Second Violations

Basketball Court Lines

  • Boundaries are side lines and end lines. You are out of bounds and it is a violation when you have the ball and step on the side line or end line. Generally, you must stay inside the boundaries. It is ok if you step on or outside a line by accident and quickly come back on the court if you don’t have the ball.
  • Mid Court Line That’s the line in the middle of the court. It divides the back court from the front court. You have 10 seconds to get the ball from your back court to your front court. Your front court is where you are shooting.
  • Free Throw Lane That’s the area in front of the Basket. It is marked by lines on either side and the Free Throw Line. If your team has the ball you can’t stand between those lines for more than 3 seconds or it is a Violation.
  • Free Throw Line Free Throw Shooters must stand behind this line before they shoot the ball.
  • Free Throw Lane Players hoping to get a rebound must wait behind these lines before they go after the ball. Everyone must wait for the ball to hit the rim or the backboard before they go after it

 Coaches Are the “teachers”. They help kids learn the game and help them develop the skills they need to play basketball.

Referees Are the “safety monitors”. They make sure everyone is safe and plays by the rules.

Winning! During the game your job is to stop the other team from scoring and to score as many points as you can for your team. The team with the most points when the time runs out is the winner. Always be a good sport about winning and losing. Enjoy the game!



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