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Glossary of Basketball Terms - M-Z

Guest Author - Lori Collvins


Man-to-man defense: the defensive style where each defensive player is responsible for guarding one opponent

Off the dribble: a shot taken while driving to the basket

Offense: the team with possession of the ball

Offensive rebound: a rebound by a player on offense

Officials: the people on the court wearing black and white striped shirts who control the game

One-and-One or One-plus-One: a free-throw attempt awarded for certain violations that earns the shooter a 2nd attempt only if the first is successful

Open: when a player is unguarded by a defender

Out of bounds: the area outside of and including the end lines and sidelines

Overtime or OT: the extra period(s) played after a regulation game ends tied

Pass: when a player throws the ball to a teammate

Period: any quarter, half or overtime segment

Perimeter: the area beyond the foul circle away from the basket, including 3-point line

Personal foul: contact (including a push, hold, trip, hack, elbow, restrain or charge into an opponent) between players that may result in injury

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

Possession: to be holding the ball or be in control of the ball

Rebound: when a player grabs a ball that is coming off the rim or backboard after a shot attempt

Screen: when an offensive player stands between a teammate and a defender to gives his teammate the chance to take an open shot

Shot clock: a clock that limits the time a team with the ball has to shoot it

Shooter: a player who takes a shot at the basket

Sidelines: 2 boundary lines that run the length of the court

Squaring up: when a playerīs shoulders are facing the basket as he releases the ball for a shot

Starting lineup: the five players who begin a game for one team

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

Swing man: a player who can play both the guard and forward positions

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 awarded free-throw opportunities

Technical fouls or Ts: misconduct that officials believe are detrimental to the game; penalized by a free-throw opportunity to the non-offending team

Three-point play: a 2-point field goal followed by a successful free-throw

Three-point shot: a field goal worth 3 points because the shooter was standing behind the 3-point line when he released the ball

Throw-in: inbounding the ball

Timeout: when play is temporarily suspended by an official or at the request of a team to discuss strategy or respond to an injured player

Tip-off: the initial jump ball that starts the game

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

Triple double: when a player scores double-digits in 3 categories during one game (points, assists and rebounds -also can be blocks or steals)

Turnover: when the offense loses possession through its own fault by passing the ball 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

Go Back To Terms A-L



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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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