Glossary of Basketball Terms - M-Z

Glossary of Basketball Terms - M-Z

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 player´s 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

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