Basic Rules


international-fiba-basketball-markings-2012A basketball team can consist of up to 12 players that can take part in a single game however only 5 players per team are allowed on court at any one time. The remaining players are often refered to as bench players who can be substituted in and out throughout the game. Unlike other sports once a player is substituted out they are allowed to re-enter the game at a later time.


To score the ball must be thrown through the hoop entering from above. A basket scored in normal play (a field goal) is worth 2 points unless the shot is taken outside the 6.25 meter arc (the 3 point line) which is then worth 3 points.

Free Throws

If a player is fouled during the act of shooting the player fouled is awarded 2 free throws (3 if fouled outside the 3 point line). Each scored free throw is worth 1 point.

Fouls (Personal)

A foul is called when unnecessary contact occurs during play. Each player is allowed a maximum of 5 fouls per game. When a player reaches 5 fouls they have fouled out and must return to the team bench and be replaced as they can take no further part in that game.

Fouls (Technical)

Technical Fouls are non-physical fouls and are given when a player displays unsportsmanlike behaviour, using offending language or gestures, verbal abuse of officials, delaying play etc.

The non-offending team is then awarded 1 free throw.


Players may not walk or run while the ball is held in their hands, punch or kick the basketball. The ball may only be advanced around the court by passing or by bouncing the ball with one hand on the top of the ball.

Once the ball bounces out or is in contact with a player who is out of the boundary line the ball is deemed out of bounds and awarded to the opposite team.

Once the ball crosses the half way line it may not be passed back (a back court violation occurs) and iss awarded to the opposite team.

3 Seconds

When on offense a player may only stand in the key for 3 seconds if exceeded a 3 second violation occurs. This does not apply while a shot is being taken.

5 Seconds

A player has 5 seconds to pass the ball in from an out of bounds situation. Timing starts when the player passing the ball in is given the ball by the referee.

8 Seconds

An eight second violation occurs when the offensive team does not manage to make the ball cross the half way line within eight seconds..

24 Seconds

A team has 24 seconds to take a shot. A shot must either be scored or touch the ring before 24 second shot clock expires. If a team fails to do so the ball is given to the opposing team.

40 Minutes

A game of basketball lasts 40 minutes which are broken down into 10 minute quarters.

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