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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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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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