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BASKETBALL - It's NOT Netball

Some people may think the two games are similar and, depending on their state of mind, they may be right but other than a different ball going into a different hoop, it's difficult to see many other similarities. The very good news is that Netball players are now being taught to shoot with ONE hand. Hallelujah!

In basketball, a coach may bring up to 12 players to a game but each competing team may only have 5 players playing on the court at any time. Players can run from one end of the court to the other dribbling the ball and shoot to score from anywhere on the court if they are that good. More often, when attacking the other team's basket, players pass the ball among them following intricate - and often predetermined - patterns or 'plays'. Players are allowed to defend quite robustly (but without fouling) when their basket is being attacked. There are markings on the floor which define the allowed play areas and these lines must be respected at all times or the opposition gets the ball. Different leagues may apply their own rules but, generally, most leagues follow FIBA rules, the sport's governing body.

Basketball requires technical skills, physicality and athleticism, emotional intelligence and intellectual capacity. It is a team game in which each individual contributes to their best of their ability for the common team goal - to win! There is no coach on this planet who is happy to lose a game but we do recognise that there are better teams than us and that we should be happy to lose the occasional game if we put in a good performance. At our level it's for the love of the game after all!

A typical practice session at Winston Churchill School, Woking

A typical practice session at Winston Churchill School, Woking

Basketball games are divided into... Basketball games are divided into...

... four periods of 10 minutes (stopping clock) each. In case of a draw, an extra 5-minute period (overtime) will be played. Some games go into double overtime!

Dates back to 1891 Dates back to 1891

James Naismith was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, chaplain, sports coach and innovator. He invited basketball at age 30 in 1891. Basketball became an Olympic sport in 1904. The first recorded game was in the USA

Players Players

A maximum of 5 players per team on the court at any time. A coach may bring along up to 7 substitutes who sit on the team bench. Only authorised team followers (assistant coach, statistician) may sit on the team bench.

Court Dimensions Court Dimensions

NBA: is 94 by 50 feet - FIBA rules: 91.9 by 49.2 ft