NBA 101

Introduction to Basketball:


  • Regulation Time:
    • There are 48 total minutes in a basketball game. 4 quarters that are 12 minutes a piece.
  • Intermission:
    • The only actual intermission is halftime which is 15 minutes between the 2nd and 3rd quarter. The other quarters have about a 2 minute break. 
  • Overtime:
    • If the score is tied at the end of the game they will play an extra 5 minute quarter to decide the winner. If the game is still tied after that extra quarter they will continue to play as many extra 5 minute quarters necessary until a team is winning at the end. 

Court Layout:

  • Center court Tip off:
    • The game starts at center court with a jump ball to decide he receives possession first. 
  • Front Court and Back Court:
    • The court is broken up into the halves. Each side is decided by the team with the ball. The front court is the side of the court the offense is attacking. The back court would be the side you’re defending. 
  • Perimeter:
    • The line that circles all the way around the basket which decides whether or not your shot at the basket is worth 2 or 3 points. 
  • Free Throw Line: 
    • This is the line in front of the basket where you will always take your free shots at the rim due to a foul. 
  • The Paint: 
    • The colored rectangle that is under the basket and in front of the free throw line. 
  • Out of Bounds:
    • The court is a very large rectangle and the ball will be considered out of bounces if it touches anything outside of the line surrounding the court. 


  • An NBA roster consists of 15 players
  • There are only 5 players allowed on the court at a time. Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center.


  • There is one lead referee and one or two umpires, depending on whether there is a two- or three-person crew. In the NBA, the lead official is called the crew chief with one referee and one umpire.


  • Each player is allowed 6 fouls before being ejected from the game 
    • Offensive foul: a foul that is committed while your team has possession of the ball.
    • Defensive foul: a foul that is committed while the opposing team has possession of the ball
    • Technical Foul: a foul that doesn’t usually involve physical contact 
    • Flagrant Foul: a foul that usually involves excessive contact or intent to injure. 


  • 2 point shot: a shot made from inside the perimeter. 
  • 3 point shot: a shot made from anywhere outside the perimeter
  • Free Throw: once a player goes to the free throw each made shot is worth 1 point


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