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Basketball Terms Everyone Should Know

Posted by Kyle Design on March 15, 2012

I’m not exactly a #1 fan when it comes to any sport. Baseball absolutely puts me to sleep. I have no idea what’s going on during a football game and terms like “down box” and “encroachment” are lost on me. However, over the years I’ve done my share of sitting through sporting events in an effort to meet guys, impress guys I’ve dated, or to make my husband happy. As a result, there are certain terms that I’ve come to recognize like “off sides,” “double play, “free-throw,” and my personal least favorite…”overtime.”

Sometimes to joke around I use incorrect terminology when watching a game. Like if someone shoots the basketball and doesn’t score because the ball was to the left or right of the basket, I’ll say it was “off sides.” And if I fear a baseball game is gonna go into extra innings, I’ll ask my husband, “This isn’t going to go into overtime, is it?” So imagine my surprise to learn that “field goal” – a term I’ve filed in my brain as “football related” is also a real basketball term! What?!

If I had to pick a sport to call my “favorite” it would be – hands-down – basketball. I played it in school, enjoy attending NBA games, and have on occasion filled out my own bracket. I can follow the game and I’ve never felt confused about what was going on out there on the court. But apparently, there are some things I don’t know about this sport. So, now that March Madness is here, I’ve decided to brush up on basketball terminology. Here’s some fun sports terms and interesting trivia you can throw out to show off your basketball knowledge this season, whether you’re genuinely interested in the game or just using it as a ploy to meet men 😉

“Ball handler” – the player with the ball

“Field Goal” – any basket that’s not a free throw

“Bank Shot” – a shot in which the ball bounces off the backboard into the basket

“Layup” – a shot in which the player moves rapidly toward the basket, jumps up under the basket, and banks the ball off the backboard into the basket

“Inside Shooting” – shots taken from near or under the basket

“Outside Shooting” – shots taken from the perimeter, which is the area beyond the foul circle away from the basket

“Shot Clock” – the team with the ball has a time limit to make their shot (35 seconds for men and 30 seconds for women in college, 23 seconds in the NBA)

“Crossover Dribble” – when a player dribbles the ball across his or her body from one hand to the other

“Double Team” – when 2 teammates both guard a single opponent

“Full-court Press” – when players on defense start to guard their opponents before they cross the midcourt line

“Floor Violation” – when a player violates a rule but doesn’t prevent an opponent’s movement or cause an injury

“Personal Foul” – contact between players that could cause an injury or give a team unfair advantage

“Technical Foul” – when a player commits a procedural violation or engages in misconduct that the referee deems detrimental to the game

Court Size – 94′ x 50′

Root for your favorite team in style with customized basketball gifts from Kyle Design. And, since beer and basketball mix so well, get a personalized beer themed gift for your boyfriend or husband that he can use while watching this year’s NCAA tournament.

Custom Bottle Opener Keychains in 100s of Designs

Engravable Bottle Opener Key Chains

Custom Basketball Flasks from Kyle Design

March Madness Basketball Flasks – Personalize yours!

Blue Basketball Money Clip for Men

Silver Basketball Money Clip for Men


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