Basketball Possession

A team has possession of the ball when they are on offense, while the team without possession is on defense. Teams can only score baskets on offense, this means that they must take each possession very seriously. Too many turnovers or mishandled possessions can usually lead to a loss. Players dribble and pass the ball strategically in order to get open and shoot to score points on offensive possessions.

Basketball Offense


If a player has possession of the ball, he can dribble it on the court and move towards the basket. To dribble, the ball-handler (dribbler) will bounce the ball repeatedly on the court with one hand.

Basketball Dribbling


The ball-handler can also pass the ball to a teammate. To pass, a player can throw the ball with one or two hands to a teammate from anywhere on the court. They can bounce the ball in order to pass it to their teammate or kee the ball in the air. Passing is a key strategic play that can affect the outcome of a game.

Basketball Passing


Players can shoot the ball in order to score points. If a basket is made from outside the three-point line, a team will earn three points. If they score from inside the three-point line they are only awarded two points. Teams need to be strategic in shooting three-pointers as opposed to two pointers as they are harder to score and thus can be an advantage or a disadvantage.

Basketball Shooting

Basketball Turnovers

In basketball, a turnover will cause teams to switch possession of the ball and go from offense to defense. Teams can do this by stealing the ball or by intercepting passes and taking them back to their frontcourt for a chance to score. Teams who create more turnovers can have a nig advantage throughout the game.

Basketball Turnovers

Basketball Transitions

A transition in basketball describes the way a team will react to a change of possession.

Basketball Transition

Remember, the same five players on the court play offense and defense. Basketball teams need to be quick to transition and get into position on the court. Teams that are slow in transition often give up a lot of fast-break points.