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Basketball Introduction

In this page, we provide a brief introduction of basketball. General basketball terms are explained, have been arranged in alphabetical order. Please refer to the basketball term you are interested.

Source: http://www.fibaeurope.com/

Basketball Dictionary [ I - Z ]

To pass the ball to a teammate on the court from out-of-bounds. 
Intentional foul: A foul that occurs when a player makes illegal contact with an opposing player without intending to get the ball. 

Jump ball:
 A procedure used to begin a game. The referee tosses up the ball in the center circle between two opposing players, who jump up and try to tip it to a teammate. Also called the "opening tip." 
Jump hook: A variation of the traditional hook shot in which the shooter takes the shot with both feet in the air. 
Jump shot: A shot in which the shooter faces the basket and releases the ball after jumping into the air. 

The rectangular painted area between the baseline, the lane lines, and the free throw line. Also called the "paint." 
Layup: A shot taken next to the basket in which the shooter extends their arm, lifts their same-side knee, and aims the ball at the upper corner of the painted square on the backboard. 
Loose-ball foul: A foul committed when neither team has possession of the ball. 
Low post: The area on one side of the basket around the block. 

Man offense:
 See man-to-man offense. 
Man-to-man defense: A team defense in which each defender guards a specific player or man. Also called "player-to-player defense." 
Man-to-man offense: A team offense used against man-to-man defense. Also called "man offense." 
Midcourt line: See half-court line. 

Offensive rebound:
 A rebound at the basket a team is attacking. 
Overhead pass: A two-handed pass thrown from above the player's head. 
Overtime: A 5-minute extra period played when the game is tied at the end of regulation play.

 See lane. 
Palming: See carrying the ball. 
Passing lane: An imaginary line from the player with the ball to a teammate. If a defender is in the way, the passing lane is closed. 
Personal foul: A penalty assessed on a player who commits an illegal action. 
Pick-and-roll: A two-person play in which on offensive player sets a screen (pick) on the ball handler's defender and cuts (rolls) to the basket after the ball handler drives by the screen. Also called a "screen and roll." A common play in college and the pros. 
Pivot: The action when the player with the ball spins on one foot and steps with their other foot to protect the ball from a defender. 
Pivot foot: The foot that the offensive player spins on while pivoting. 
Point guard: (1) A position played by a team's primary ball handler, the player who brings the ball up the court and begins the offense. Also called the "1." (2) The player who plays that position. 
Post: (1) A player who plays in and around the lane area. A center or forward (a "4" or a "5"). (2) An area of the court, as in the low post or the high post. 
Power forward: A position played by the larger of the forwards on the floor, usually a good scorer and rebounder. Also called the "4." (2) The player who plays that position. 
Power layup: A two-footed layup. 
Push pass: A one-handed air pass.

 (1) A missed shot that comes off the backboard or rim. (2) To fight for and gain control of a missed shot that comes off the backboard or rim. 
Rejection: A blocked shot. 
Running clock: When the clock in a game isn't stopped every time the referee blows the whistle to ensure that the game ends on time and the next game can begin when scheduled.

 The offensive player at the top of the circle. 
Screen: A play in which an offensive player runs over and stands in a stationary position next to a teammate's defender to free up the teammate to dribble or to receive a pass. Also called a pick.

Screen away: To pass in one direction and set a screen for a teammate in the opposite direction. 
Screener: A player who sets a screen. 
Shooting foul: A violation that happens when a defender fouls the shooter and the shot scores. The shooter is awarded 2 points and a free throw. 
Shooting guard: (1) A position played by a perimeter player who is usually the team's best outside shooter. Also called the "2." (2) The person playing this position. 
Shooting hand: The hand used to shoot the ball. See also guide hand. 
Sideline: The line at each side of the court that marks the boundary of the playing surface. 
Steal: (1) To intercept a pass and gain possession of the ball. (2) The name for the action. 
Substitute: A player who comes in the game to replace another player. Also called a "sub." 

Technical foul:
 A violation, such as a player or coach using profanity, that results in the other team getting free throws and possession of the ball. Also called a "T," as in "T him up." 
Tip-off: The opening jump ball at the center circle that begins a game. 
Transition: A movement that occurs when a team changes from offense to defense (defensive transition) or from defense to offense (offensive transition). 
Traveling: A violation that occurs when the player with the ball takes two many steps without dribbling. This is a common occurrence with young players. 
Turnover: A loss of possession of the ball caused by a steal, an offensive foul, a held ball, or a poor pass. 
Two-shot foul: A violation that occurs when a defender fouls the shooter, and the shot misses. The shooter is awarded two free throws.

Zone defense:
 A team defense in which players are assigned to guard specific areas of the court, rather than layers. 
Most popular zone alignments: 2-3, 3-2, 1-3-1, 1-1-3, 2-1-2
Zone offense: A team offense used against a zone defense.