Air ball: A shot that misses the rim
Alive: Offensive player who has the ball and has not dribbled.
Alternating Possession Rule: The
possession arrow changes direction after each subsequent jump ball or
held ball situation, alternating which team gets possession for the
throw-in. The first possession after a held ball goes to the team who
lost the opening jump ball to begin the game.
Assist: A pass to a teammate that
results in a made basket.
Backboard: The flat surface
directly behind the basket. The basket is connected to the backboard.
Backdoor: An offensive move where
a player cuts behind the defenders and receives a pass for a field-goal
Ball Handler: The player with the
ball. Usually the guard at the start of the play.
Bank Shot: A shot where the ball
is first bounced or banked off the backboard at such an angle that it
then drops into the basket.
Basket: Consists of the rim and
the net, also known a the hoop.
Basketball: A round ball made of
rubber, leather or synthetic leather. Comes in 3 different sizes (size
5, 6 or 7).
Blind Pass: A pass from a ball
handler who does not see their receiver but is estimating where they
Blocked Shot: The successful
deflection of a shot by touching part of the ball on its way to the
basket, and preventing a field goal.
Blocking: The use of a defender's
body position to legally prevent an opponent's advance. It is the
opposite of charging.
Boards: The backboard which the
ring or basket is attached or slang for a rebound the act of a
player grabbing the ball after a missed shot attempt.
Boxing out: The defensive player
turns and faces the basket following a shot and with his or her back to
the opponent, and ensures that the player being guarded can' t rebound
Charging: An offensive foul,
which occurs when an offensive player runs into a defender who has
Court vision: A player's ability
to see everything on the court during play.
Crossover dribble: When a ball
handler dribbles the ball across their body from one hand to the other.
Cut: A quick movement by an
offensive player without the ball to gain an advantage over the defense
usually directed towards the basket.
Dead: Offensive player has the
ball and has already used their dribble. They must now either pass or
shot the ball.
Dead Ball: Any player with the
ball that is not live. This occurs after each successful field goal,
free-throw attempt, after any official's whistle or if the ball leaves
the court, then play is stopped.
Defense: The act of preventing
the offense from scoring. Defense is the team without the ball.
Down court: The direction a team
on offense moves, from its backcourt to its frontcourt and towards its
Double Dribble: The act of
dribbling the ball, stopping the dribble or motion of the ball and
beginning to dribble again. Results in a violation and turnover.
Downtown: Referred to as a shot
that was considered to distant for the normal shooter to take or in the
Dribble: The act of bouncing the
ball up and down. The offensive player with the ball uses the dribble to
move the ball around the court.
Drive: The movement of an
offensive player while aggressively dribbling towards the basket in an
attempt to score.
Dunk: A shot in which a jumping
player slams the ball down into the opponent s basket from above.
Established Position: When a
defensive player has both feet firmly planted on the floor before an
offensive player's head and shoulder gets past them. The offensive
player who runs into such a defender is charging.
Exhibition Game: The act of
playing another team and the outcome not being counted in any league
Fake: A movement made with the
aim of deceiving an opponent. This can be done with either a pass or a
Fastbreak: The act of moving the
ball quickly down court by an offensive team in hopes of getting ahead
of the defense to score.
Feed: To pass the ball to a
teammate who is in a scoring position.
Field Goal: When the ball enters
the basket from above the rim during play. It is worth two points.
Flagrant Foul: This is
unnecessary or excessive contact against an opponent.
Floor: The area of the court
within the end lines and the sidelines.
Floor Violation: A player's
action that violates rules but does not prevent an opponent' s movement
(traveling, double dribble, etc.). They are penalized by a loss in
Foul: Actions by players, which
break the rules but are not floor violations. They are penalized by a
change in possession or free throw opportunities.
Fouled Out: A player having to
leave the game because they have committed five fouls.
Foul Shot or Free Throw: An
unguarded shot taken from the foul line by a player whose opponent
committed a personal or technical foul, which is worth one point.
Free Ball: A ball, which is in
play but is not in the possession of either team, also called a loose
Free Throw: The act of shooting
the ball from the marked free throw line (ranging 10-15 feet from the
basket) while the remaining players line up down the key . Shot is taken
at the result of a foul or technical foul being called.
Give and Go: An offensive play in
which a player passes the ball to a teammate and cuts towards the basket
for a return pass to score.
Goaltending: Interference with a
shot by touching the ball or basket while the ball is on, over, or
within the rim. Also touching the ball on its downward flight to the
basket before it hits the rim.
Guarding: The act of following an
opponent around the court to prevent them from getting close to the
basket, taking an open short or making easy passes.
Half time: The rest period
between two halves of the game. Usually 5 minutes in length.
Hand checking: Illegal use of
hands, usually on the back or hips of the offensive player.
High percentage shot: A shot that
is likely to go in the basket, typically taken near the hoop.
High post: A player who is
stationed in or near the free throw semicircle on offense.
Hoop: The basketball rim and
backboard players shoot the ball towards in attempt to score points.
Also referred to as the basket .
In the Paint: Being in the large
rectangle area under each basket or the foul lane area, which is painted
a different color. AKA the key .
Inbounds: The area within the end
lines and sidelines of the court.
Incidental Contact: Minor contact
usually overlooked by officials which does not give the opposing team an
unfair advantage or affect the outcome of the game.
Inside Shooting: Shots taken by a
player near or under the basket.
Jump shot: Field-goal attempt by
a player with both feet off the floor, enabling the player to shoot over
Lay-up or Lay in: A shot taken
after driving to the basket by leaping up under the basket and using one
hand to shoot the ball off the backboard.
Loose Ball: A ball that is alive
but not in the possession of either team.
Lower Percentage shot: A shot
that is less likely to go in the basket, usually taken further way from
Match-ups: Any pairing of players
on opposing teams who guard each other.
Outlet Pass: The first pass made
after a defensive rebound to a teammate to start a fastbreak.
Outside Shooting: Shots taken
from the perimeter, further away from the hoop.
Pass: When a player throws the
ball to a teammate to advance the ball during a possession.
Personal Foul: Contact between
players, which may result in excessive physical contact or provide one
team with an unfair advantage. Players may not push, hold, trip, hack,
elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent. These are also counted as
Pivot: A center, also the foot
that must remain touching the floor until a ball handler who has stopped
dribbling is ready to pass or shoot.
Possession: To be holding or in
control of the ball.
Post Position: The position of a
player standing in the low post or high post in the key area near
Rebound: A term used to describe
the actual retrieving of the ball as it rebounds from the backboard or
the ring after a missed shot.
Receiver: The player who receives
a pass from the ball handler.
Referee: The person(s) assigned
to the game to maintain the flow and integrity of the game. Duties are
to call violations, fouls and maintain the game within the limits of the
rules. Also referred to as an official.
Sag: When a defender moves away
from their opponent toward the basket they are defending.
Screen or screener: The offensive
player who stands between a teammate and a defender to give their
teammate the chance to take an open shot or drive to the basket.
Scrimmage: Practice play between
squads of one team.
Shooter: A player who takes a
shot at the basket in attempts to score.
Shooter' s roll: This is the
ability to get even an inaccurate shot to bounce lightly off the rim and
into the basket.
The distance from which a player is likely to make their shots.
Squaring up: When a player' s
shoulders are facing the basket as they release the ball for a shot.
This is considered good shooting position.
Steal: To take the ball away from
Strong Side/Weak Side: Whichever
side of the key that the ball is on when on offense is called the strong
side. The other side is the weak side. If the ball changes sides, the
weak side is now the strong side.
Substitute: A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the
Switch: Two defensive players
change checks during live play.
Technical Foul: A special
violation called at the discretion of the referee towards players,
coaches or the team. Infractions include an intentional or flagrant
contact foul, unsportsmanlike conduct or other actions detrimental to
the spirit of the game.
Throw-in: The method by which a
team with possession inbounds the ball.
Time-out: A period of sixty
seconds during which the play is stopped and teams discuss strategy and
a moment to allow players to rest.
Tip-off: The initial jump ball
that starts the game.
Trailer: An offensive player that
follows behind the ball-handler.
Violation: An infringement of the
rules, which does not involve contact. The opposing team is awarded the
ball for a throw-in from out of bounds.