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Basketball glossary

Bellow is an alphabetical listing of the most commun basketball terms and their definitions. Click on one of the following letters to directly access a particular term.


A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


A
Assist: A pass to a team-mate that directly leads to a basket.

Attendance: Number of spectators (sold tickets).


B
Biggest scoring run: Biggest margin of consecutive points scored by a team without any points from opponent.

Biggest lead: Highest score difference in any moment of the game. For a team who never led, the value of 'biggest lead' is 0.

Blocked shot: When the defence deflects or stops a shot attempt with their hand while the ball is still on its upward flight.


C
Captain: Leader of the team elected by the players or appointed by the coach.

Championships/Olympic Games: The entire event including the opening ceremony, competition,
closing ceremony, official training and other official activities.

Classification of team:  Classification of teams shall be made on classification points according to their win-loss records, namely 2 (two) points for each game won, 1 (one) point for each game lost (including lost by default) and 0 (zero) points for a game lost by forfeit.

Closely guarded player:  A closely guarded player (within one normal step) who is holding the ball shall pass, shoot, roll, or dribble the ball within five (5) seconds. Infraction of this article is a violation.

Commissioner - Official responsible for supervising the work of the Table Officials and to assist the Referee and Umpire in the smooth functioning of the game.

Competition: The Competition is an event from the start of the first game to the completion of the last game, excluding the opening and closing ceremony.


D
Defensive rebound: Grabbing the ball from the missed shot attempt by an opponent.

Disqualifying foul: Any flagrantly unsportsman-like infraction.

Double foul: Two opposing players commit fouls against each other at approximately the same time.


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F
Fast break point: Point scored from a very quick counterattack.

Field goal: A basket scored from an action on the playing court except free throws.

Fifth (5th) foul - Player who has committed five (5) either personal and/or technical fouls must automatically leave the game.

Free throw: An opportunity given to a player to score one (1) point, uncontested, from position behind the free throw line and inside the semicircle.


G
Game lost by forfeit: A team shall lose the game by forfeit if:
1. It refuses to play after being instructed to do so by the Referee.
2. By its actions it prevents the game from being played
3. Fifteen (15) minutes after the starting time, the team is not present or is not able to field five (5) players. The game is awarded to the opponents and score shall be twenty (20) to zero (0).

Game lost by default: A team shall lose a game by default if, during the game, the number of players of that team on the court is less than 2 (two).If the team to which the game is awarded is ahead, the score at the time of the stoppage shall stand, if the team to which game is awarded is not ahead, the score shall be recorded as 2 (two) to 0 (zero) in its favour.

Game: Basketball is played by two teams of five players each. The purpose of each team is to score into the opponent’s basket and to prevent the other team from securing the ball or scoring. The ball may be passed, thrown, tapped, rolled or dribbled in any direction, subject to the restrictions laid down. The game is played in four periods of ten minutes each (4 x 10 minutes).

Goal average: Goal average is calculated by division between points scored and points received in order to establish classification.


H
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I
Injury: A situation when a player is not capable to continue the game due to physical damage.


J
Jump ball: An action of tossing the ball vertically by the referee between two opposing players to a height greater than either of them would reach in the jump.

Jury of appeal: Official body responsible for deciding in the second instance on appeals against decisions taken by the Technical Committee concerning the approval of game results and penalties imposed. Its verdict cannot be appealed.


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O
Offensive foul: When an offensive player, with or without the ball, makes illegal contact against an opponent. It will be also charged as a turnover to this player.

Offensive rebound: When a player grabs his/her own or a team-mate’s missed shot attempt.

Officials: A Referee and an Umpire assisted by Table Officials (a Timekeeper, a Scorer, an Assistant Scorer and a 24 second Operator).

One (1) point: A goal scored from a free throw.
  
Overtime: Extra period(s) (lasting 5 minutes each), after the score is tied at the end of fourth period. So many five minute extra periods are played until one team emerges as the winner.


P
Period: A part of the game (4 quarters and overtimes).

Personal foul: Player foul which involves illegal contact with an opposing player, whether the ball is live or dead.

Phase of competition: A phase of competition consists of one or more games. Examples of phases are listed below:
· preliminary round
  • Classification games
  • Quarterfinals
  • Semi-finals
  • Finals

Player disqualification: A flagrant foul penalised by expulsion from the game.

Playing position: A place of a player ensuing from the team’s arrangement for a specific playing design. The playing positions are:
  • Guard (1 / Point Guard or 2 / Shooting Guard)
  • Forward (3 / Small Forward or 4 / Power Forward)
  • Centre (5 / Centre)

Points in the paint: Points scored inside the painted (restricted) area.

Points: The sum of the value of scored baskets (free throw, 2 points, 3 points).

Points from turnover: Points scored following a turnover without the clock being stopped.


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R
Referee: The court official.


S
Scoreboard operator: Official who operates the scoreboard.

Scorekeeper: Official responsible for filling score sheet before and during the game (keeping a record of the names and numbers of players who start the game and all substitutions who enter the game, keeping chronological running summary of points scored, recording personal and technical fouls called on each player, recording technical fouls called on each coach, recording the time-outs charged); indicating the number of fouls committed by each player; indicating the team fouls using team marks.

Second chance points: Points scored from repeated shot (after offensive rebound).

Starting line-ups: Starting line-ups represent the five players of each team which will start the game.

Statistics: Statistics evaluate the performance of the teams and players.

Steal: A defensive action, which causes a turnover by an opponent.

Substitution of player: A change (replacement) of players on the playing court.


T

Team fouls penalty rule: When the players of a team, in a period of a game (10 minutes), have committed four (4) player fouls (personal and/or technical), all subsequent player personal fouls shall be penalised by two (2) free throws. 
 
Team standings: Placement of the teams according to the result of their game(s).

Technical foul: A deliberate or a repeated infringement of the proper conduct of the game or of the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play. Technical fouls by a player are all player fouls which do not involve contact with an opponent.

Technical Committee Official body responsible for:
  • Supervision and approval of playing installations and technical equipment,
  • Establishing the competition schedule,
  • Appointment of referees and approval of Table Officials (Timekeeper, Scorer, Assistant Scorer and 24 second Operator)

Twenty-four (24) second rule: When a player gains control of a live ball on the court, a shot for goal must be attempted by his team within 24 seconds. Infraction of this article is a violation.

Twenty-four (24) second operator:  Operator of the twenty-four (24) second clock.

Three (3) second rule While his team is in control of the ball, a player shall not remain for more than three (3) consecutive seconds in the restricted area. Infraction of this article is a violation.
 
Three (3) points: A goal scored from 3-point field goal area.

Time played: Cumulated time the player is on the court.

Timekeeper: Operator of the game clock.

Timeout: A timeout of one (1) minute shall be charged to a team under the following provisions: one (1) charged timeout may be granted to each team during each period (exception: fourth period when two (2) timeouts may be granted to each team).

Turnover: If the offensive team loses possession of the ball without attempting either a field goal or a free throw.

Two (2) points: A goal scored from 2-point field goal area.


U
Umpire: The second court official.

Unsportsman-like foul: Personal foul on a player with or without the ball which, in the opinion of the Official, was deliberately committed by the player against an opposing player.


V
Venue capacity: Number of all spectator seats in a venue, including accreditation restricted seats.

Venue public capacity: Number of spectator seats excluding accreditation restricted seats.

Violation: An infraction of the rules of the game:
  • Travelling
  • Illegal dribble or double dribble
  • Carrying the ball
  • 3 second violation
  • 5 second violation
  • 8 second violation
  • 24 second shot clock violation
  • Ball returned to back court· out of bounds
  • Intentional foot ball
  • Basket interference


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