Basketball- A Fast-paced Indoor Game
Basketball is a fast, exciting and popular sport, played by over 300 million people all over the world. It was invented in the United States in 1891. Today, it is a sport that is played in all types of schools all over the world. The best professional players compete in teams of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Although basketball can be played almost everywhere it is mostly an indoor game played on a court that is 29 metres long and 15 metres wide. The floor is made of wood. At each end there is a backboard and a basket which you must shoot the ball through. The basket is about 3 metres from the floor. The official ball is made out of leather and it has a circumference of 76 cm.
The court has many important lines drawn on the floor. The midcourt line and the centre circle are where the game starts. The referee throws the ball into the air and two players jump up and try to push it to their team-mates. The three-point line is a curved line on the floor. If a player shoots a basket from outside the line the team gets three points. The free throw line is the place from which a player tries to score a point after he is fouled. The sidelines and the baselines mark the boundaries of the court.
Each team consists of five players who can be substituted at any time. Normally a team has two guards, two forwards and a centre. The guards are usually the smallest and quickest players. They should be good dribblers and passers and they play farther away from the basket. Most of them are good at three-point shots. Forwards are taller and stronger than guards. They usually play near the basket and are good rebounders. The centre is the most important player on a team. He is very tall and always watches out for balls that come off the backboard. He is a good scorer and can dominate a game.
Basketball Court Dimensions
A professional basketball game is divided into four 12-minute quarters with a 15-minute break between the second and third quarter. The clock is stopped every time
The referee blows the whistle, so a game can last up to two hours. If there is no winner at the end of a game, the teams play overtime periods of 5 minutes. If a team is ahead at the end of an overtime period the game is over.
Players can score points by shooting the ball through the basket. Three points are made when the player scores from behind the three-point line, two points are awarded from everywhere inside the three-point line. When a player is fouled he gets one or two free throws which score one point.
As with all games, basketball follows certain rules. A player must move the ball by bouncing it on the court. This is also called dribbling. If he stops, holds the ball for too long and starts dribbling again, the referee gives the ball to the other team.
If a player pushes or holds another player or hits him on the arm while he is trying to score the referee calls a personal foul. The fouled player gets free throws. In the NBA players must leave the court after they have committed six personal fouls.
A team cannot keep the ball as long as it wants. It only has 24 seconds to try to shoot the ball through the basket; otherwise the other team gets the ball.
The NBA is the world’s leading basketball league. It consists of 29 teams that play in 4 divisions. After the season the best teams compete in the play-offs for the NBA title. The NBA gets new young players by choosing them from the best high school and college teams every year. Many players from other countries also come to America to play in the NBA.
- ahead = here: to have more points than the other team
- although = while
- award = to give
- backboard = the board behind the basket
- baseline = the line at the end of the court
- bounce = to throw the ball down to the floor again and again without catching it
- boundary = border
- break = pause
- circumference = the distance around the outside of the Ball
- compete = to play against
- commit = to do something wrong
- consist =to be formed by two or more things
- court = a place that is made to play games
- dominate = to control
- division = group
- dribbler = to move the ball by bouncing it
- invent = to have an new idea or make something for the first time
- league = a group of teams that play against each other and see who is the best
- midcourt = in the middle of the field
- overtime period = the time that is played after the game ends and when there is no winner
- passer = a player who throws the ball to another player of his team
- rebounder = a player who catches the ball when it comes off the backboard
- referee = someone who makes sure that the rules of a game are followed
- rules = instructions of a game
- score = to win a point in a game
- sideline = a line at the side of a court
- substitute = if one player goes out and another one takes his place