This basketball games
glossary is divided into 3 parts that includes an introduction and a
learning games section for new basketball players and fans.
Basketball Games Glossary is dedicated to passionate game players and
fans that compete, watch this favorite of sport games and applaud
Basketball learning games:
Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith who was a
professor at the YMCA.
Two peach baskets were nailed to either end of the gymnasium, the
object being to get the ball into the basket for your team.
Basketball today is a team sport that pits two teams against each other
with a goal or hoops on each end. Basketball is played on a
court, typically made of wood, measuring 94 X 50 feet for the
NBA=National Basketball Association.
Five players representing each team take to the floor to play with up
to ten basketball players on each bench.
Basketball is the fastest growing sport in the world, mainly due to the
simplistic nature of the game and the minimal and inexpensive equipment
needed to play. The only equipment necessary to play is a
ball and a hoop/basket.
This Basketball Games Glossary will often refer to offense or defense
within the definition. An explanation of these 2 terms
the person with the ball must dribble or pass the ball up the court
without taking any steps while holding the ball stationary in
hand. Goals can be scored in increments of one, two and
three. Foul shots are worth 1 point on the scoreboard, field
goals inside the three-point line=2 points and outside the three point
the objective is to stop the offensive team from scoring by taking the
ball away, thus changing possession. The defender must do
this by stealing the ball from the dribbler or passer or by blocking a
shot or attaining the ball from a rebound after a missed shot by the
offense. The key to defense is to accomplish possession
without touching the opposing player and impeding their progress.
Otherwise, the offending player is charged with a foul.
At the end of the game, after four quarters or two halves depending on
the league, a winner is determined by highest points scored.
In the instance of a tie, overtime periods are played until one team
leads in scored points when time has expired.
a shot that entirely misses the backboard, rim and
ball is up for grabs when set in motion by a shooter
and/or during a jump ball.
- Alley Oop:
occurs as the ball is high near the basket, the
player grabs and scores in one smooth move.
direct pass made from one player to another
resulting in a score.
term for area, approx. 6 X 4 ft that secures the
the area of the court extending from half court
to the baseline where the other team's basket is located.
This area must be passed in order to score. Once crossed, a
player must not reverse or cross back into this area, otherwise a
violation is called.
Violation: time is up, if after 10 seconds, a
player does not move the ball from the back to frontcourt.
- Backdoor Play:
player moving up behind the defense and open
to a pass.
- Ball Fake:
tossing this way, no the other, a deke to trick
- Ball Handler:
refers to basketball player who is either in
possession of the ball or moving the ball with skill.
- Bang the
Boards: jargon for moving in on that rebound very
- Bank Shot:
a shot scored by banking the ball off the
backboard into the basket.
two line markings that determine the court
Drive: term for an aggressive rush moving along
the baseline to the basket.
- Basket or
Bucket: the main focus of the game is 18 inches
around to include net material.
- Beat the
Defender: player moving skillfully beyond the
cover shadowing him/her.
basketball games glossary reference to the ladies
and gents in waiting to get into the game.
- Blind Pass:
not focused on the intended target, but here
goes the pass.
- Blocked Shot:
that shot is down before it reaches the
a defender physically impeding the progress of an
- Bonus Free
Throw or Bonus Situation: after the personal
fouls tally is over the limit, a freebie is given to the opposing team.
- Bounce Pass:
one bounce is all it takes to get to your
term for a team strategy formation where 4
players are 'the box' and a fifth chases the ball.
a player positioning themselves between the goal
and another player in order to secure the rebound from a missed shot.
jargon for a lazy shot that deflects off the rim or
- Bunny or Bury:
on the other hand, these terms refer to an
- Buzzer Beater:
shot that is made on the right side of the
buzzer signaling the end of period/game.
- Carry the
ball: forwarding the ball without dribbling.
pick the tallest player to be the center of the
offense—he/she do the tip offs and assist with offense.
- Center Circle:
jump balls to start play occur here in this
- Center Line:
marking point that divides the court into two,
also referred to as the mid court line, ten-second line, and time line.
Official: game official who monitors and calls the
play between the free throw line and mid court mark.
occurs when an offensive player initiates contact
with a defensive player who has established position, resulting in an
Stripe: jargon for free throw line.
- Chest Pass:
motion using 2 hands and passed from chest
jargon for play strategy where 4 players are
placed on one side of the free throw line leaving a fifth to play
one-on-one against a defender.
- Coast to
Coast: jargon for moving the entire court to score!
Defense: refers to players moving in on the
center player of the other team.
a free throw score---sweet!
basketball games glossary term for basketball net.
term for region close to the baseline and sideline.
another name for a forward.
this is where the action is, the game playing area.
smooth playing score involving no opposition.
basketball games glossary term for quickly
dribbling the ball from the right hand
to the left hand or vice versa.
rapid movement around a challenger or to a court
jargon for a part above the basket that is not
attainable by players.
Games Glossary is followed by Terms E - O
- Dead Ball:
no play here, occurs after a whistle stop or a
score requiring a re-start of play.
Rebound: receiving the ball after a play by an
- Deny the
Ball: that challenger just lost possession of the
strategic format where 4 players are 'the
diamond' while a fifth goes up against a single defender.
- Double Double:
occurs when any player achieves double-digit
statistics in a single game, example=10 points and 10 rebounds.
Dribble: dribbling the basketball with two
hands at the same time or picking up the ball, coming to a stop, and
beginning to dribble again.
- Double Foul: occurs
when a foul is called against each of
the team players resulting in a jump ball between these two specific
- Double Pump:
basketball games glossary term for two quick
fake shots in a row.
- Double Team:
the use of two defenders to guard one
heading down to the basket.
way long shot from the three-point line.
action of moving the bouncing ball using 1 hand.
forceful action to the basket while in possession of
- Drop Step:
the flow of this motion is-- step back from a
defender, turn and drive on past him/her.
- Dunk or Slam
Dunk: the action of throwing the ball hard
through the basket with one or two hands.