One of the most popular and exhilarating team events in the Olympics, basketball as a sport has loads to offer to its enthusiasts. Go through the rules and regulations to know more about it.


Basketball is world's most exhilarating team sport that has drawn millions to the basketball courts all over the world. Capturing the imagination of millions and producing world's most recognizable athletes, the popularity that this sport enjoys is unfathomable. Introduced in December 1891 by a Canadian clergy, physician and educator James Naismith, who was an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Training School, Springfield, Massachusetts, it was opted as a recreation sport suitable for indoor winter play. Since then, the game has become popular all through the United States as an indoor sport. Its popularity spread overseas with International Basketball Federation (FIBA), formed in 1932 in Geneva, Switzerland and National Basketball Association, formed in 1946. However, it was around 1960's and 1970's when the game attained new heights. Its inception into the Berlin Olympics in 1936 added to its charm and it continues to be a crowd puller in courts even to this day. Read on to know more about the sport, its rules and regulations and Olympic records.

Basketball Rules And Regulations
The rules and regulations of basketball differ depending upon the level of the match, that is, the rules of a professional match differ from the rules and regulations of a college level match. The rules also differ depending upon the place where the game is being played. However, these are just variations as there are certain rules which are applied to the any game of basket ball.
  • A team sport, basketball is played between two teams consisting of five players in an indoor court with each team trying to score points by shooting the ball through the basket or an elevated loop.
  • The game is played for two twenty-minute halves. The court floor is made of wood and should be 28m by 15m in area. The court mandatorily must have 7 m of clear space over it. 
  • The players move towards the opposition’s basket by bouncing the ball or dribbling it or passing it on to their teammates. 
  • During the match, the player is permitted to dribble only once as double dribbling is ruled out. In case they are caught of double dribbling, they are given five seconds to dispose it.
  • When the player moves around, he must dribble the ball continuously. Failing to do so would result in a foul or a ‘travel’. The only exception would be if he throws a basket.
  • After a team gets the ball, they have 10 seconds to move to the half-line and 30 seconds to attempt scoring.  In case they fail to score after having crossed the halfway or move the ball into the defensive, they lose the possession of the ball. 
  • In case a team does seven fouls in the first half of the match, every foul will result in free throws, irrespective of whether the shooting is done by the fouled player.
  • If an individual player does five fouls in a match, he is regarded as ‘fouled out’ and is replaced by another bench player.
  • Inappropriate behaviour in match results in a technical foul. Each foul result in two free throws to the non-offending team.
  • The coaches are allowed to call five time-outs in the match, including two in the first half and three in the second half.
  • If the match ends in a tie, five minutes of overtime is allowed until the game reaches a conclusion. Each team is permitted one time-out in each over-time.
  • The player is strictly restricted from hitting or pushing the opponent in any way. Any infringement of this rule is regarded as a foul for the first time; the second attempt disqualifies the player until the next basket, in case there is an injury to the person.
  • If a player shoots the ball towards the basket and the ball is on its way to the basket, the players of the opposition team are not allowed to block the ball.  If a player does this, it is regarded as a basket.
Basketball made a rare visit in the Olympics in 1904 and 1924 where it was introduced as a demonstration sport. However, since 1936 Berlin Olympics, it became a regular event at of the Summer Olympics with United States dominating the basketball courts that year. The tournament was held outdoors on a refurbished tennis stadium with clay and sand surface. Women's basketball was incepted in 1976 that added to the popularity of the sports. America is the most successful country in Olympic basketball with the American teams winning 13 out of 16 tournaments till date. American women teams have won 6 out of 8 that includes consecutive four titles from 1996 to 2008.