Basketball is one of the easiest sports to start playing, whether you want to just play for fun, or you hope to get better and play competitively one day. In addition, there are many basketball related games that can be played, and those are easy to learn. Due to the popularity of the sport, basketball equipment is available in most sports stores, and there are many public and private basketball courts in most parts of the world, so if you plan to start playing it, you should find no difficulties.
First of all, to learn how to play basketball you need to know the basic rules. What is a foul, where is out of bounds, how to score, and the timekeeping are some of the basic rules you should focus on learning first. Then, to begin playing basketball, you first need a basketball and a hoop. The correct basketball shoes would also be a good piece of equipment to have, but unless you plan on playing on a wood court, or an actual basketball game, basketball shoes are not strictly necessary. You can also play by yourself, with another person, and truly any number of people up to 10. There are five players on two different teams on the court at the same time.
If you're a beginner at the game of basketball, no one will expect you to make every shot you try, however it is nice to know some basic positions, passing techniques, shooting techniques, dribbling, layups, and other common actions in a basketball game. If you plan on joining a team with a coach and practice time, those fundamentals are likely to be taught by the coaching staff, and by practicing you will eventually get good at the basic fundamentals. If you just plan on playing pick-up basketball with friends, you can also practice by shooting around, doing layups, and working in your dribbling. It is nice to start playing with people who are in the same level as you, that you way you can get the chance to try new things and evolve as a player on your own time. Also, if you play with a group that is more experienced than you, you might not get that involved in the game, which is not very fun.
Some of the most important fundamentals when starting to play basketball are:
There are five different basketball positions that a person must learn, those are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, and the center. If you plan to start playing basketball competitively, your coach will evaluate, and based on your weaknesses, strengths, and physical attributes, will play you at the position that's the best fit for you. You will also do positional development, where guards will work in what is more particular to their role in the court, and forwards and centers will further develop skills that are more important to what they do on the court.
If you plan on playing basketball in a more relaxed way, just to have fun with friends, positions don't matter that much. Eventually, players will fit into positions that fit better with their characteristics, for example; the best passers and shortest players will end playing as point guards, while taller players who can rebound well will fit well playing as center. But since there is no coach to evaluate or to ultimately decide positions, players will not all play the same position all the time.
If you are someone who just started to play basketball, or is planning to do so, you may hear some terms that you don't know the meaning. Here are some other terms and expressions commonly used during basketball games of all levels: