Learning how to effectively guard in basketball can positively affect your game. While guarding is legal in games, there are times where positioning makes it illegal. When you are guarding your weight should be on the balls of your feet and your feet should be shoulder with apart. The offensive playing will probably try to fake you out with their arms, head, eyes, or shoulder. The best way to gage where your opponent is going to go is to look at the direction the center of their body is moving.
There are rules in basketball that outline the legal positioning for guarding. According to the NCAA, a player that has two feet on the ground facing their opponent has created their positioning. The player may move back, left, or right, while still keeping legal positioning. If the offensive player makes any contact with the defensive player, it is considered a foul against the offense. Once the defensive player has established their positioning, it is the offense decision to change directions or move.
Illegal guarding is when an opponent makes contact from behind, if a player is on the ground, or if a player trips an opponent in motion. Illegal guarding is considered a personal foul. If a foul is called then it will lead to a penalty shot.