Whether you’re a sports fan or a casual spectator, you’ve likely heard of basketball. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Too popular and part of normalcy that thousands of fans look forward to NBA leagues every year and even games at the Olympics. Despite its popularity, however, only a few really know and understand even the most basic basketball terms. Learning basketball terminology will help you not only understand the game better but also fully appreciate the sport and its entire culture!

What is basketball?

Before diving into the basketball terms list, going over the definition of basketball is an important first step.

Basketball is a ball sport, where two teams compete against each other on a court. The goal is to shoot the basketball into the opponent’s basket while defending your own team’s basket. This makes basketball both a defensive and offensive sport.

What is the history of basketball?

Unlike other types of sports, basketball’s roots lie solely in the United States. In December 1891, a physical education teacher named James Naismith invented the game. Naismith wanted to keep his students active during his classes. To do so, he invented a game where students had to pass a ball to their teammates and score by shooting the ball into a basket he mounted on the wall.

He attached a fruit basket to the wall. The peach basket had its bottom intact at first. After realizing it was a hassle to retrieve the ball after every score, Naismith removed the bottom of the basket. At the time, there was also no dedicated ball for basketball, so players used a soccer ball instead.

The game continued to develop in the following year as Naismith officially named it “basketball,” and hosted the first official game in the YMCA gymnasium in New York. The game continued to spread throughout the United States and Canada until professional basketball teams arose in the 1920s.

By the 1930s, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) was formed. Its eight founding nations are Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland. Over the years, tournaments and other national organizations were formed, proving that basketball was a sport played and loved by many.

Today, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. This is no surprise as basketball is often referenced in pop culture and our everyday lives. You’ll hear about basketball in film, television, literature, and even mundane conversations. Sometimes, basketball is also the focus of the story, such as in sports anime and video games.

Rules of Basketball

Before learning basketball terms, it is important to first learn how to play basketball. These are the common basketball rules that every player and fan should know about.

Players should wear the correct attire.

Like tennis and volleyball, basketball has its own proper uniform. Basketball players must wear a jersey, shorts, socks, and proper basketball shoes. Players must tuck their jerseys into their shorts, and they must remove any accessories before the game begins.

Because basketball is a fast-paced sport, accidents can happen. Wearing the proper attire can help prevent injuries. For instance, basketball shoes have special soles that can make it easier to run across the court. Basketball shoes also offer support for the player’s ankles.