What is Basketball: Definition and 149 Discussions

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately 9.4 inches (24 cm) in diameter) through the defender's hoop (a basket 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter mounted 10 feet (3.048 m) high to a backboard at each end of the court) while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one, two or three one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots—the layup, the jump shot, or a dunk; on defense, they may steal the ball from a dribbler, intercept passes, or block shots; either offense or defense may collect a rebound, that is, a missed shot that bounces from rim or backboard. It is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling.
The five players on each side fall into five playing positions. The tallest player is usually the center, the second-tallest and strongest is the power forward, a slightly shorter but more agile player is the small forward, and the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays (player positioning). Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, and one-on-one.
Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the EuroLeague and the Basketball Champions League Americas. The FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world. Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like EuroBasket and FIBA AmeriCup.
The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships. The main North American league is the WNBA (NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship is also popular), whereas the strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women.

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  1. yashboi123

    Basketball thrown straight up from the ground

    Would greatly appreciate an explanation on this question, not sure I even understand what they're asking.
  2. N

    B Centrifugal force spinning Basketball

    Hi, Looking for Centrifugal force on water droplets on my spinning Basketball at 33 RPM, 45 RPM and 78 RPM
  3. berkeman

    Shooting Hoops with a Schizophrenic Basketball Savant

    I was practicing basketball free throws at a local park today when a 35 y/o male crossed the courts near me and seemed to maybe be mumbling to himself, but I said a freindly howdy anyway. He responded with a similar greeting and asked if he could shoot hoops with me, and I replied that I mostly...
  4. P

    B How to shoot longer shots in basketball

    I enjoy playing basketball and I’m trying to figure out how to increase my range, so that I can shoot further. There are many contributing factors, but I’m curious how the movement of the ball and my arms contribute to how much power I can get behind the shot. This is difficult to explain in...
  5. dlgoff

    KU Basketball: Champions of NCAA!

    My university's (KU) basketball team are the champs: https://www.google.com/search?q=NCAA+champ.&oq=NCAA+champ.&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i10l8j0i22i30.10369j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  6. Y

    Horizontal velocity of a basketball as it goes through the hoop

    hey i don't understand why my answers are incorrect, here is my solution i would like if someone can help me understand what I am doing worng and how i should solve this problem
  7. Truffle98

    Help calculating force needed for a robot's basketball shot

    Summary:: I'm on a high school robotics team and this year one of the challenges is to have a robot that can pick up balls and shoot them into a large bowl about 9 feet above the ground. We are planning on using flywheels to launch this ball, which we will also have to figure out how to give...
  8. BillTre

    Sean Carroll podcast on Issues Related to Basketball Analytics

    Its is podcast #138, guest = Daryl Morey, analytics inclined GM of the Philly team. Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sean-carrolls-mindscape-science-society-philosophy/id1406534739?i=1000513079530 It covers higher level issues like: how good's your data? Balance between...
  9. marciokoko

    Hanging a basketball wooden backboard on a palm tree

    I have this backboard made of wood (gift). The board itself has 2 vertical wooden 2x4. I need to hang it on a palm tree. I've checked the measurements and the palm tree has a good 20 inches side to side (diameter). I've had 3 different ideas and Id like to get a better one. 1. Drill 2x10"...
  10. bagasme

    When a Basketball Player Confused Judges with Her Ballet Skills

    Hello all, I remember a story from late 2014, when I watched a gameshow "Who is he/she?" This gameshow requires panel judges (often composed of celebrities) to guess which is the fake person with specific occupation (such as barber) out of three possible candidates present to them. In an...
  11. B

    Do weight & strength matter in basketball?

    I am no basketball expert. I have never watched an entire basketball game in my life. However, several times in my life I have watched a few minutes of basketball games here and there enough so that I am familiar with the basics of the rules and objectives of each team in the sport of...
  12. M

    Shoot a basketball with a minimum speed at some angle

    Homework Statement You should shoot a basketball at the angle ##\theta## requiring minimum speed. Avoid line drives and rainbows. Shooting from (0, 0) with the basket at (a, b), minimize ##f(\theta)= 1/(a \sin (\theta) \cos (\theta) -b \cos^2 (\theta))##. (a) If b =0 you are level with the...
  13. Spinnor

    Charged basketball, inertia ball and field

    I was wondering how much I would have to charge a basket ball of mass M, so that I would begin to feel the inertia of the electrostatic field energy. We can calculate the total electrostatic field energy surrounding the charged basket ball, call it E. Can we then equate this energy E with a mass...
  14. Chatterton

    Could an Outsider Understand the Physics of Basketball?

    I've got a character who's from another planet who gets pulled into a pick-up game of three-on-three. No, seriously. So, how would a being who saw the game purely as physics in motion describe things like lining up shots and things like that? Just curious. Nothing elaborate. Just your common...
  15. C

    Calculating Force - Basketball player landing from a jump

    Homework Statement Ok, relatively simple question here, but I have a newb doubt... "A basketball player with a mass of 112kg can jump 0.92 m into the air during a slam dunk competition. Calculate the force that pulls the player back towards the floor." Homework Equations ## \vec f = m \vec...
  16. G

    What causes a basketball to leave the ground after bouncing?

    Hi all, My understanding for why a basketball bounces is that the Earth acts against the ball, causing it to deform due to the ball having a downwards inertia and wanting to continue traveling down. This deformation reduces the volume inside the ball, in turn increasing the air pressure which...
  17. mamadou

    Finding the average acceleration of a basketball player

    Homework Statement A bascketball player , who has a weight of 890 N , jumps vertically with a height of 1.2 m , 1- Find his speed when he left the floor. 2- If the time that takes the basketball player to quit the floor is 0.3 s, what is his average acceleration ? (I don't understand this...
  18. agargento

    Projectile motion (Basketball)

    Homework Statement A basketball player throws the ball at a 60° angle above the horizontal to a hoop which is located a horizontal distance L = 2.8 m from the point of release and at a height h = 0.4 m above it. What is the required speed if the basketball is to reach the hoop? Homework...
  19. tensor0910

    Projectile motion of basketball

    Homework Statement trying to figure out how to calculate the angle of release needed to shoot a basketball in a rim. Here's the data I have so far: distance from shooter to rim: 6.28m height of rim: 3m height of shooter: 1.75m Initial velocity at time of release: 8.68 m/s ( hypotenuse of...
  20. tensor0910

    Physics behind shooting a basketball.

    Were doing a project where we have to use Physics for derive an equation for the perfect basketball shot. Were still in the calculation phase and I've made a list of concepts to consider: Projectile motion ( ball to rim) Air resistance ( is this negligible? ) Velocity of shooter at apex of...
  21. Y

    MHB Percentages of success in basketball

    Hello all, I wasn't sure if this question should be placed here or on algebra forum, but it is related to probability, so I put it here. A basketball player shoots several times during some time period in a game, and scores less than 80% of his shots (let's say after the first quarter, but the...
  22. M

    Exploring the Forces and Impulse Impacting a Bouncing Basketball

    1. What forces and impulse impact on a bouncing basketball? I understand that it is the gravitational force, when it falls, then the normal force when it is on the way back. Are there any additional powers? The momentum, I came to the potential energy = kinetic energy, where I got the speed...
  23. M

    MHB Angular momentum and a basketball

    Putting spin on the ball improves it’s stability (the spin imparts angular momentum and it takes an outside torque to change angular momentum), but at a cost. As you know, for a given input of energy, spin consumes some of that energy and leaves less for translation. Part A: So, How much more...
  24. BensonCa

    A basketball is thrown straight down and bounces back up

    Homework Statement A 0.624kg basketball is thrown straight down and strikes the floor at a speed of 7.10m/s. The floor applies an average force of 67.2N for a duration 0.120s, causing the ball to bounce back upward. How high does it bounce? The Attempt at a Solution I'm not actually sure on...
  25. C

    Basketball (Energy and its Conservation?)

    Homework Statement A basketball player shoots a 3-point shot. The 0.625 kg ball leaves the player's hands with a speed of 9m/s. It rises 2.4m before descending towards the basket. at the top of the ball's arc, what is its speed Homework Equations Im at a chapter named Energy and its...
  26. C

    What is the Lift Coefficient of a Basketball?

    How can I find an equation to calculate the lift coefficient on a basketball at different launch velocities? I looked at different papers explaining the physics of basketball throws but all i could find was an equation for the drag coefficient: -mv +1/2 ρ A Cd v^2 = mv
  27. K

    Gravitational force of a basketball to a golf ball

    Homework Statement Two basketballs, each of mass 0.58 kg and radius0.12 m, are placed on a floor so that they touch each other. Two golf balls, each of mass 0.045 kg and radius 22 mm, are placed on a table so that they touch each other. What is the ratio of the gravitational force exerted by...
  28. VaioZ

    Finding the Initial Velocity of a Basketball Shot Using Freefall Equations

    Hello first time posting in the Physics forum! 1. Homework Statement A varsity player is attempting to make a shot. The ball leaves the hands of the player at an angle of 50 degrees to the horizontal at an elevation of 2 meters above the floor. The skillful player makes the shot with the ball...
  29. Greg Bernhardt

    NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Thread

    The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is my favorite domestic sports event. Anyone watching and cheering for a team? Anyone with an alma mater in the tournament? I'm cheering for Wisconsin! Hoping for a few upsets in the second round!
  30. J

    Projectile motion basketball ball shot help

    Homework Statement So I am given the height of a basketball player (2.00m tall) and the height of a basketball net (3.05m tall) and the distance at which the player stands from the net (10.0m away). The player shoots the ball at an angle of 45.0 degrees. What must the initial velocity be to...
  31. Archit

    Help me calculate the speed of the basketball

    Here is the picture for you to understand it better. Please help me calculate the velocity required for the ball. I have already tried it with the formula: displacement = initial velocity(time) + (acceleration)(time2)/2 but cannot since I do not know the initial velocity and the time Please...
  32. M

    Physics in vertical jump and basball hit

    Homework Statement Okay so these are from movies. I am trying to prove them right or wrong using physics. how can I figure out the pounds of force of a vertical jump when I have the: height of the jump = 6 feet Time to reach top = .797 sec Mass of person = 100lbs 2. How can I figure out this...
  33. Ganesh Ujwal

    What does "foul to give" mean in basketball?

    In NBA, Announcer says "foul to give" at the end of the game, please some one explain. when will "foul to give" will be used? i mean, at which quarter of the game? & also A team has 3 fouls left, can they foul B Team without getting penalty is meaning of "a foul to give"? can shooting fouls...
  34. J

    Power output by basketball player when jumping

    Homework Statement A ##\small{105\!-\!kg}## basketball player crouches down ##\small{0.400\ m}## while waiting to jump. After exerting a force on the floor through this ##\small{0.400\ m}##, his feet leave the floor and his center of gravity rises ##\small{0.950\ m}## above its normal standing...
  35. A

    Basketball player dunk - impulse, net force, GRF

    Homework Statement Peter, a 100 kg basketball player, lands on his feet after completing a slam dunk and then immediately jumps up again to celebrate his basket. When his feet first touch the floor after the dunk, his velocity is 5 m/s downward; when his feet leave the floor 0.50 s later, as...
  36. Evanish

    Could superman fit his hand around a Basketball?

    I know that you probably get tired of weird questions like this so I apologize in advance. I was thinking about length contraction in special relativity. I was thinking if superman was moving towards a basket ball at close to the speed of light when he passed it from his frame of reference it...
  37. G

    Find Initial Velocity of Projectile Basketball

    Homework Statement An 1.94 m tall basketball player wants to make a basket from a distance d = 19.8 m. If he shoots the ball at θ = 58.7° angle, at what initial speed must he throw the basketball so that it goes through the hoop without striking the backboard? The height of the basketball hoop...
  38. Greg Bernhardt

    NCAA basketball: who are you rooting for?

    Games start today. I've got my Milwaukee Panthers and Wisconsin Badgers in the tournament. Feeling pretty excited. I love this time of year! Anyone else watching and rooting?
  39. N

    What Angle Should a Basketball Player Aim to Score from 15 Feet Away?

    Homework Statement A basketball player is 15ft horizontally from the centre of the basket which is 10ft off the ground At what angle should the player aim the ball from a height of 8.2ft with a speed of 26fts^-1?The Attempt at a Solution x = vi cos . t t = \frac{x}{vi cos Θ} sub t into...
  40. M

    Calculating Initial Velocity of a Basketball Shot

    1. Problem a basketball player is standing 9.5m from the basket which is at a height of 3.1m. She throws the ball from an initial height of 2.0m at an angle of 35 degrees above horizontal. The ball goes straight through the basket. Find v initial 2. Equations Any range / Kinematic equations...
  41. M

    How high does the basketball player leap?

    Homework Statement From a stationary standing position, a basketball player leaps straight up, reaching a height og 1.0 m above the ground. How long is the player in the air? Homework Equations I think I could use y=y0t+v0t+1/2at^2 The Attempt at a Solution I've found the formula...
  42. X

    Conservation of motion and basketball shot

    A basketball of mass 0.624 kg is shot from a vertical height of 1.55 m and at a speed of 12.1 m/s. After reaching its maximum height, the ball moves into the hoop on its downward path, at 3.05 m above the ground. Using the principle of energy conservation, determine how fast the ball is moving...
  43. G

    Find the angles for the basketball throw, projectile problem

    1. A basketball will be launched of height h and will hit the hoop that has a height of H. The horizontal distance between the ball and the hoop is d. Given an initial velocity Vo write both possible launch angles in function of h, H, Vo and d 2. theta=tg^-1(Vy/Vx) (1)...
  44. jtbell

    Now that the NCAA basketball tournament is over

    ...are you ready for the Quidditch World Cup? http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1599637-the-quidditch-world-cup-is-this-weekend-seriously?hpt=hp_t4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoY-be0k8tA
  45. X

    Physics problem, basketball dunk (Hookes law)

    Homework Statement A 95kg basketball player slam dunks a basketball and hangs onto the rim. Find out how much the rim bends if its spring constant = 7400 N/m and the basketball rim is 2 m in the air.Homework Equations Ep = 0.5 k x^2 Ek = 0.5 m v^2 Eg = mghThe Attempt at a Solution The book got...
  46. M

    How do I learn to use statistics for high school basketball?

    I was recently made a manager of my high school's basketball team. I have been asked to look into creating a program that will allow statistics to be used in sports. I do not know much about sporting statistics, so I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out what direction to look in. Thanks!
  47. Q

    Basketball force/momentum problem

    A basketball hits a wall at a speed of 20m.s-1 and leaves the wall at the same speed. At the moment when the ball's speed is momentarily zero, the ball is compressed by 0.3m. The mass of the ball is 0.5kg. Determine the force on the ball (exerted by the wall). Getting change in momentum is...
  48. N

    I am trying to build a basketball shooter.

    Hello this is my first post so if i do anything wrong pleas tell me so thanks. So i am trying to make an air cannon to shoot basketballs half way across a basketball court not into the hoop but just bellow it. Can you tell me if my calculations are correct?. The half the court is 42 feet(12.8...