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  • 2 point field goal- a shot made from anywhere during play inside the 3 pt arc.
  • 3 point field goal- a shot made from anywhere outside the 3 pt arc.
  • Free throw- 1 point is awarded to an unguarded shot taken from behind the free throw line while the clock is stopped.


  • Boxing out- a player’s position between an opposing player and the basket to obtain a better rebounding position.
  • Dribbling- bouncing the ball with 1 hand using your fingertips instead of your palm so that it rebounds back to yourself (the only legal way to move with the ball)
  • Passing- moving the ball by throwing, bouncing, handing, or rolling it to another player (Chest, Bounce, Lob)
  • Shooting- throwing the ball to make a basket
  • Pivoting- stepping once or more in any direction with the same foot while holding the other foot at its initial point.
  • Rebounding- The recovering of a shot that bounces off the backboard or the rim.

FOULS: results in one or more free throws awarded to the opposing team

  • Blocking- impeding the progress of an opponent by extending one or both arms horizontally or getting in the path of a moving player.
  • Charging- running into a stationary player while you are moving with the ball.
  • Hacking- the player hits the arm or hand of the person holding the ball.
  • Holding- the player holds the person with or without the ball.

VIOLATIONS: results in a change of possession with the team in bounding the ball at the side line opposite where the infringement took place

  • Traveling- moving illegally with the ball
  • Three seconds- an offensive player remains in the key (free throw lane- the area under the basket) for more than 3 seconds
  • Double dribble- a player dribbles the ball with both hands at the same time or they stop and then start dribbling again


  • Air ball- a shot that completely misses the rim and the backboard
  • Assist- a pass to a teammate who then scores a field goal.
  • Defense- team trying to stop the other team from scoring
  • Dunk- to throw the ball down into the basket with the hand above the level of the rim
  • Fast break- dribbling or passing the ball towards your basket before the defense can set up
  • Man-to-man- a defensive strategy where everyone guards an assigned player
  • Offense- team trying to score
  • Turn over- any loss of the ball without a shot being taken
  • Zone defense- a defensive strategy where everyone guards an area instead of a player (2-1-2, 2-3)
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Copyright 2009 National Basketball Association. Send comments to the webmaster. Last modified Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:31 AM