Sports Direct Basketball FAQ's

Basketball FAQs

All you need to know about basketball – the game in which a player must aim to be the best player for the team, not the best player on the team.

The Basics

The History

Basketball Glossary


An airball is when a player takes a shot and it misses everything - the hoop, the net, the backboard


An attacking play where a player takes control of the ball in the air and finishes in the hoop with a layup or dunk before returning to the floor


A player gets an assist when their pass is directly scored by a teammate


Aside from the physical basket, the term basket can also be used to denote a score - if a player scores once then they have one basket for instance


The rectangular board which the hoop is attached to. Players will use the backboard to rebound shots into the basket

Bounce Pass

This is when a player passes to a teammate by bouncing the ball, rather than simply throwing the ball


Charging is a type of foul in basketball where an offensive player runs into an opposing defensive player who has already established a position

Chest Pass

A chest pass is thrown directly from one player’s chest to another, hence the name. It is the fastest of the passes


The playing area of a basketball game is called the court. It is rectangular in shape with two end lines and two sidelines. The basket at each end is the target for the two teams


In basketball, dribbling is where one player retains control of the ball and moves around the court by continuously bouncing the ball against the floor. If they do not bounce the ball, it is a foul


A dunk is when a player jumps toward the hoop and pushes the ball hard down into the net to score

Free Throw

An uncontested shot from 15 feet as a result of a player being fouled

Lay Up

This is another close range score where a player is extremely close to the basket and pops the ball into the net usually off the backboard

Man-to-Man Defence

A defensive tactic where each player on the team is designated a specific opponent to defend against when their team is out of possession


The National Basketball Association. The NBA is the biggest basketball league in the world by some distance and features 30 teams from North America


The team who has the ball and so are looking to attack and score in the basket


When a player has the ball, they are allowed to move one foot as long as the other stays on the ground at all times. The player will use this to turn around, hence the name pivot


A rebound in basketball is when a player gains control of the ball after a shot has deflected off the board or rim


A steal is when a player gains control of the ball directly from an opponent by taking the ball off them or intercepting their pass

Zone Defence

A tactic of defending where each player in a team has an area of court designated for them to defend and try to prevent the opposition scoring from there
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