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Glossary of Basketball Terms - A-L

Guest Author - Lori Collvins


Assist: a pass to a teammate that leads directly to a field goal.

Backboard: the rectangular 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

Basket: consists of a metal rim with a corded net hanging off of it; attached to the backboard

Blocked shot: deflection of a shot by touching part of the ball on its way to the basket

Blocking: the use of a defender´s body position to prevent an opponent´s advance

Boxing out: a player´s attempt to position his 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; this is an offensive foul

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

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

Cylinder: the imaginary area directly above the basket where goaltending or basket interference can occur

Dead ball: any ball that is not live; occurs after: each successful field goal or free-throw attempt, after the whistle is blown, or if the ball leaves the court

Defense: preventing the offense from scoring; " The Defense" is considered the team without the ball

Defensive rebound: a rebound by a player on defense

Double team: two teammates guarding a single opponent

Dribble or dribbling: repeatedly batting or bouncing the ball toward the floor with one hand; used to advance the ball

Drive to the basket: to move rapidly toward the basket with the ball

Dunk: when a player close to the basket jumps and slams throws the ball down into it

Elbowing: throwing your elbow(s) during play in order to hit another player or push him away; it is a foul if contact is made

End line: the line behind each basket; also called the baseline.

Fast break: it begins with a defensive rebound by a player who immediately sends a 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

Flagrant foul: unnecessary or excessive contact against an opponent

Floor: the area of the court within the end lines and sidelines

Foul: actions by players which break the rules but are not floor violations

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

Free-throw: an unguarded shot taken from the foul line by a player whose opponent committed a foul; worth 1 point

Free-throw line: see foul line

Full-court press: when defenders guard the offense in the backcourt

Guarding: following an opponent around the court to prevent him from getting the ball, taking a shot or making a pass

Jump ball: where 2 opposing players jump for a ball the official tosses above and between them. The players then try to tap the ball to their teammates to gain possession

Live ball: as soon as a ball is given to a free-throw shooter or a thrower on a throw-in, it is live

See Terms M-Z






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Content copyright © 2014 by Lori Collvins. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lori Collvins. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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