Basketball Terms

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Posted by: Unknown on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

Alley-Oop- By far the most amusing basketball term to say out loud, the alley-oop refers to a high pass near the rim of the basket that another player dunks or tips in. The word ultimately comes from a French exclamation “allez-hop!”, used to encourage or draw attention to an athletic feat such as a leap or lift upwards.

Bench - The substitute basketball players. 

Block Out or Box Out - Getting your body between the basketball player and the basket to get a rebound. 

Blocked Shot - When a defensive basketball player makes contact with the basketball while another player is shooting the ball. 

Bounce Pass - In this pass, the basketball bounces about two-thirds of the way from the passer to the receiver. 

Buzzer Beater- When a player takes a shot before the end of quarter buzzer but it goes into the basket afterthe buzzer has gone off, you would refer to that shot as a buzzer beater.

Brick - A poor shot that bounces hard off the rim or backboard. 

Carry the Ball - similar to traveling. When a basketball player moves with the ball without properly dribbling it. 

Charging - an offensive foul which occurs when an offensive basketball player runs into a defender who has established position. 

Chest Pass - the basketball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. This has the advantage that it takes the least time to complete, as the passer tries to pass as directly straight as possible. 

Cherry Picking- Although it is tempting to somehow ascribe this strategy to the tallest player on the court,cherry-picking actually describes the strategy of a player who does little defensively and instead waits around the opponent’s basket for scoring opportunities. A controversial tactic, cherry-picking is often a violation in amateur leagues and results in a penalty.

Court - the area bounded by 2 sidelines and 2 end lines containing a basket at each end, in which a basketball game is played. 

Defense - the act of preventing the offense from scoring; the basketball team without the ball. 

Double Team - when two basketball teammates join efforts in guarding a single opponent. 

Dribbling - the act of bouncing the basketball continuously. 

Dunk - when a player close to the basket jumps and strongly throws the ball down into it. 

End Line - the boundary line behind each basket; also called the baseline. 

Fast Break - a basketball play that begins with a defensive rebound by a player who immediately sends an outlet pass toward midcourt to his waiting teammates; these teammates can sprint to their basket and quickly shoot before enough opponents catch up to stop them. 

Field Goal - when the basketball enters the basket from above during play; worth 2 points, or 3 points if the shooter was standing behind the 3-point line. 

Forwards - the two basketball players on the team that are responsible for rebounding and scoring close up to the basket. They are usually taller than the guards. 

Foul Lane - the painted area bordered by the end line and the foul line, outside which players must stand during a free-throw; also the area an offensive basketball player cannot spend more than 3-seconds at a time in. 

Foul Line - the line 15' from the backboard and parallel to the end line from which basketball players shoot free-throws. 

Full Court Press- full-court press is when a team plays defense for the entire length of the court (rather than just on the half-court). This defense is sometimes deployed by teams for the entirety of a game, but is more often seen when a team is trailing late in the game and trying to force turnovers.

Guards - the two basketball players who usually handle setting up plays and passing to teammates closer to the basket. 

Jump Ball - Two opposing basketball players jump for a basketball an official tosses above and between them. 

Layup - a close up shot taken after dribbling to the basket. 

Offense - the team with possession of the basketball. 

Personal Foul - contact between basketball players that may result in injury or provide one team with an unfair advantage; players may not push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent. 

Pick & Roll- The pick and roll is one of the most common offensive plays. The play typically starts with the member of the offense who is in possession of the ball being guarded by a member of the defense. Another member of the offense then comes up behind the defensive player and sets a screen, or “pick,” behind the player. The ball-handler then “rolls” around his teammate, leaving the defender to choose between defending the player who picked him or continuing to defend the ball-handler.

Post Up- Posting up describes when a player on the offense sets up close to the basket below the foul line, usually facing away from the basket with his back is to the defender. This positioning allows him to use his body to protect the ball, as well as open up different sorts of scoring opportunities.

Rebound - when a basketball player grabs a ball that is coming off the rim or backboard after a shot attempt; see offensive rebound and defensive rebound. 

Screen - when the offensive basketball player stands between a teammate and a defender to give his teammate the chance to take an open shot. 

Shot Clock - a clock that limits the time a team with the basketball has to shoot it to a given amount of time. 

Traveling - when the ball handler takes too many steps without dribbling; also called walking. 

Turnover - when the offense loses possession through its own fault by passing the basketball out of bounds or committing a floor violation. 

 

Zone Defense - a defense where each defender is responsible for an area of the court and must guard any player who enters that area.

Bench - The substitute basketball players. 

Block Out or Box Out - Getting your body between the basketball player and the basket to get a rebound. 

Blocked Shot - When a defensive basketball player makes contact with the basketball while another player is shooting the ball. 

Bounce Pass - In this pass, the basketball bounces about two-thirds of the way from the passer to the receiver. 

Brick - A poor shot that bounces hard off the rim or backboard. 

Carry the Ball - similar to traveling. When a basketball player moves with the ball without properly dribbling it. 

Charging - an offensive foul which occurs when an offensive basketball player runs into a defender who has established position. 

Chest Pass - the basketball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. This has the advantage that it takes the least time to complete, as the passer tries to pass as directly straight as possible. 

Court - the area bounded by 2 sidelines and 2 end lines containing a basket at each end, in which a basketball game is played. 

Defense - the act of preventing the offense from scoring; the basketball team without the ball. 

Double Team - when two basketball teammates join efforts in guarding a single opponent. 

Dribbling - the act of bouncing the basketball continuously. 

Dunk - when a player close to the basket jumps and strongly throws the ball down into it. 

End Line - the boundary line behind each basket; also called the baseline. 

Fast Break - a basketball play that begins with a defensive rebound by a player who immediately sends an outlet pass toward midcourt to his waiting teammates; these teammates can sprint to their basket and quickly shoot before enough opponents catch up to stop them. 

Field Goal - when the basketball enters the basket from above during play; worth 2 points, or 3 points if the shooter was standing behind the 3-point line. 

Forwards - the two basketball players on the team that are responsible for rebounding and scoring close up to the basket. They are usually taller than the guards. 

Foul Lane - the painted area bordered by the end line and the foul line, outside which players must stand during a free-throw; also the area an offensive basketball player cannot spend more than 3-seconds at a time in. 

Foul Line - the line 15' from the backboard and parallel to the end line from which basketball players shoot free-throws. 

Guards - the two basketball players who usually handle setting up plays and passing to teammates closer to the basket. 

Jump Ball - Two opposing basketball players jump for a basketball an official tosses above and between them. 

Layup - a close up shot taken after dribbling to the basket. 

Offense - the team with possession of the basketball. 

Personal Foul - contact between basketball players that may result in injury or provide one team with an unfair advantage; players may not push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent. 

Rebound - when a basketball player grabs a ball that is coming off the rim or backboard after a shot attempt; see offensive rebound and defensive rebound. 

Screen - when the offensive basketball player stands between a teammate and a defender to give his teammate the chance to take an open shot. 

Shot Clock - a clock that limits the time a team with the basketball has to shoot it to a given amount of time. 

Traveling - when the ball handler takes too many steps without dribbling; also called walking. 

Turnover - when the offense loses possession through its own fault by passing the basketball out of bounds or committing a floor violation. 

Zone Defense - a defense where each defender is responsible for an area of the court and must guard any player who enters that area.

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