What are the 10 rules of basketball?

The game of basketball as we know it, was a bit different during its invention in 1892. Dr. James Naismith, the father of basketball, had penned 13 rules for the game of basketball.

Over the years, thanks to development in sportsmanship and viewership, the game is much different from what it was originally. Here are ten basic rules and regulations for the game of basketball.

There are two teams of five in basketball – offensive and defensive. The team with the basketball in hand becomes the offensive team while the other is defensive. Here are the rules for both offense and defense. While some rules may differ from your area, these are the rules that are followed in most areas.

Rules for the offensive team

  1. A player must dribble or bounce the ball with only ‘one’ hand at any given time. He/she is supposed to move using both feet. If a player touches the ball with two hands or stops dribbling, the player must only move on one foot. (the foot which is stationary i.e. pivot foot)
  1. During dribbling/bouncing, the player’s hand must be on top of the ball at all times. If at any given time, the player’s hand is at the bottom, it is called carrying and the player can lose the ball to the other team.
  1. As soon as the offensive team reaches/crosses half court, there is no going back into the backcourt. They may only go-ahead for the attack. If at any given time, the team goes back into the backcourt, it is called backcourt violation. The offensive team can, however, recover the ball from their backcourt when the defensive team knocks the ball into the offensive team’s backcourt.
  1. A player at a given time is only allowed to dribble once. In other words, once a player has stopped dribbling, they cannot start another dribble. They may pass the ball or shoot a basket. If a player dribbles again, it is called a double-dribble violation and will lose the ball to the other team. The same player, however, can dribble again once the ball has been in the hands of another team player.
  1. Whenever the offensive team is handling the ball, it must stay in bounds at all times. If the ball is lost out of bounds during play, the other team gets control of the ball.

Rules for the defensive team

The fate and fury of the game are decided by the offensive team aka the team with the basketball. The defensive team’s duty is to dodge the ball and offensive players to prevent them from scoring a goal. There is one important rule that is to be followed by the defensive team.

  1. The duty of each defensive player is not to foul. The defensive player, at any given time, is not to touch the offensive player by any physical contact whatsoever. He/she may however dodge the ball and the player from scoring their goal.

General rules

  1. Any player, at any given time, cannot willingly touch/move a person with contact.
  2. The basketball cannot be kicked or hit with a fist.
  3. All players at all positions are subject to the rules of the game.
  4. No player can touch the ball while it is traveling into the basket trying to disrupt its projectile.

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