Basketball Glossary

Assist - a pass to a teammate that leads directly to a made shot or basket.

Backboard - the structure to which the basket is attached.

Backcourt - the area from the midcourt line to the end line furthest from the offense's basket.

Bank shot - a shot where the ball is bounced or banked off the backboard and then drops into the basket.

Baseline - the line behind each basket; also called the endline.

Basket - the metal rim and corded net hanging which attached to the backboard.

Blocked shot - deflection or stopping of a shot by touching part of the ball on its way up the basket.

Boxing out - positioning a body between his opponents and the basket to get rebounds and prevent the opponents from doing so.

Charging - when an offensive player runs into a defender who has established position.

Crossover dribble - dribbling the ball across the body from one hand to the other.

Defensive rebound - a rebound by a player on defense.

Double team - when two teammates guarding a single opponent.

Dribbling - repeatedly bouncing the ball on the floor with one hand to advance the ball or keep possession of the ball.

Drive to the basket - move rapidly toward the basket with the ball.

Dunk - when a player close to the basket jumps and slams or throws the ball down into the rim.

Fast break - begins with a defensive rebound. The player immediately sends a pass toward midcourt to his waiting teammates who are sprinting to their basket and quickly shoot before enough opponents can catch up to stop them.

Flagrant foul - excessive or unnecessary contact against an opponent.

Foul line or free throw line - the line 15´ from the backboard and parallel to the end line which players shoot free-throws from.

Free throw - an unguarded shot taken from the foul line.

Full-court press - when defenders guard the offense in the backcourt and frontcourt.

Guarding - following an opponent around the court to prevent him from recieving the ball, taking a shot or making a pass.

Jump ball - where 2 opposing players jump for a ball as an official tosses it above and between them. The player tries to tap the ball to their teammates to gain possession.

Man-to-Man Defense -  the defensive strategy where each defensive player is responsible for guarding one opponent.

Offense -  the team with possession of the ball.

Offensive rebound - a rebound by a player who is on offense.

Officials -  the people on the court wearing black and white striped shirts who control and officiate the game.

Open - when a player is free or unguarded by a defender.

Out of bounds -  the area outside of and including the end lines and sidelines.

Pass -  when a player throws the ball to a teammate.

Perimeter -  the area beyond the top of the foul circle including 3-point line.

Personal foul - push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent that may result in injury.

Pivot Foot -  the foot that must remain touching the floor until a ball handler who has stopped dribbling is ready to either pass or shoot.

Rebound -  when players grab a ball that is coming off the rim or backboard after a shot attempt.

Screen -  when an offensive player stands next to a defender to gives his teammate the chance to take an open shot.

Sidelines -  the two boundary lines that run the length of the court.

Squaring up - when a player's shoulders and feet are facing the basket as he releases the ball for a shot.

Starting Lineup -  the five players who begin a game.

Substitute -  a player who comes into the game to replace another player on the court

Team fouls - each personal foul committed by a player is also counted against his team; when a team goes over the limit, its opponent is given free-throw opportunities

Technical Fouls - conduct that officials believe are detrimental to the game and a  free-throw opportunity is given to the non-offending team.

3 point play - when a players is fouled as he scores a 2 point field goal which is followed by a successful free-throw.

Three Point Shot - a made shot worth 3 points because the shooter was standing behind the 3-point line when he released the ball.