All Ball: Often said by the defensive player who appears to have blocked the shot but instead is called for a
All Day: If a player can consistently make a shot, it is said that he can make it 'all day'.
Alley-Oop Pass: A pass thrown with a high arc near the basket so a teammate can make a leaping catch and score in a
Alternating Possession Rule: In high school and college basketball , most jump balls have been eliminated in favor of a rule that
Assist: The last pass to a teammate that leads directly to a field goal; the scorer must move immediately to
Back Door: A back door play is when a player without the ball gets behind the defense and receives a pass for a
Back Screen: A move by an offensive player away from the basket to set a screen for a teammate.
Back-Door Cut: A cut behind the defender and toward the basket.
Backboard: The flat surface directly behind the basket. The basket is connected to the backboard.
Backcourt: That half of the court that is the farthest from the offensive basket. Also, the position played by
Ball: The basketball is 9 ½ inches in diameter and weighs 20 to 22 ounces.
Ball Fake: A fake pass or shot.
Ball Handler: Player controlling the ball; can also mean a player known for skillful handling of the ball.
Ball Side: The side of the court on which the ball is located. Also called the strong side.
Bang The Boards: To go after a rebound very aggressively.
Bang The Glass: See the basketball glossary term 'bang the boards'.
Bank Shot: A bank shot in basketball is a shot that relies on the ball bouncing off the backboard and into the
Baseball Pass: The baseball pass or lance pass is a long pass in which the passer throws the ball with one hand, as
Baseline: Also called the end line. This line extends across both ends of the court behind the baskets.
Basket: Consists of the rim and the net.
Behind The Back Dribble: A basic move in which the ballhandler simply bounces the ball behind the back to the opposite hand,
Behind-The-Back: Behind-the-back passes are passes dealt to a target behind the passer's back. Usually done to confus
Between The Legs Dribble: A dribble through the legs from one to another.
Blind: A pass from a ball handler who does not see the receiver, but is estimating where he should be.
Blind Pass: Also known as a no-look pass, the blind pass is performed when a player looks in one direction but p
Blocked Shot: Deflection of a shot by touching part of the ball on its way to the basket.
Blocking: The use of a defender's body position to legally prevent an opponent's advance; the opposite of char
Blocks: The square markings six feet from the baseline on each side of the lane.
Bounce Pass: The bounce pass is a fundamental and very effective passing technique. This pass consists of one pla
Box Out: Establish and maintain a rebounding position between the basket and your opponent.
Boxing Out: A player's attempt to position his body between his opponents and the basket to get rebounds and pre
Carrying: You may not dribble the ball with both hands at once or turn the ball over in your hands. You'll be
Catch and Face: Technique for receiving a pass and squaring up to the basket; similar to the triple-threat position.
Catch and Shoot: A play in which a player receives a pass and shoots it immediately without squaring up so that the d
Center: Often the tallest player on the team. Normally plays close to the basket and is responsible for gett
Change of Pace Dribble: Alternately slowing down and speeding up in order to penetrate past a defender.
Charging: An offensive foul which occurs when an offensive player runs into a defender who has established pos
Chest Pass: This pass is performed best by stepping towards your target with one foot, then pushing the ball out
Chin It: The position of the ball after a rebound: directly under the chin with the elbows and fingers up.
Clear Out: When an offensive player leaves an area so the ball handler has more room to maneuver.
Clock-Down Cut: A cut toward the baseline by a helpside forward.
Control Dribble: A low dribble used when closely guarded.
Court: The area on which a basketball game is played; bounded by 2 sidelines and 2 end lines, containing a
Court Vision: A player's ability to see everything on the court during play ‹ such as where his teammates and de
Cross Screen: A lateral move by an offensive player to set a screen for a teammate.
Crossover Dribble: When a ball handler dribbles the ball across his body from one hand to the other. Also called 'rocki
Crossover Dribble: In a crossover dribble, the ballhandler changes pace to confuse or freeze a defender. It is also use
Crossover Step: An offensive move consisting of a jab step followed with a step in the opposite direction.
Curl Cut: A cut off a screen toward the basket; is used when the defender is trailing the cutter.
Cut: An offensive move to elude a defender or drive to the basket.
Cylinder: The imaginary area directly above the basket where goaltending or basket interference can occur.
Dead Ball: Any ball that is not live; occurs after a successful field goal or free-throw attempt, after the whi
Defense: The team without the ball; also the act of trying to stop the opponent from scoring.
Defensive Rebound: A rebound by a player on defense.
Disqualification: A player is disqualified after reaching five personal fouls in high school and college and six fouls
Double Pivot: The double pivot is faking twice on one direction with the ball and going opposite direction thinkin
Double Team: When two players from the same team move up to guard one offensive player it's called a double team.
Down Screen: A move by an offensive player toward the baseline to set a screen for a teammate.
Downcourt: Moving from the backcourt toward the frontcourt, or toward the offensive basket.
Drawing Contact: An offensive move intended to produce a foul call on the defensive player. A typical strategy is to
Dribble: The act of bouncing the ball up and down. The offensive player with the ball uses the dribble to mov
Drive To The Basket: To move rapidly with purpose and authority toward the basket with the ball with the intention of sco
Drop Step: Also called a 'reverse pivot', the drop step is a move in which the player posting up takes a back s
Dunk: Score a basket by driving or stuffing the ball into the basket from above the rim.
Dunkadelic: (adj.) The fusion of basketball and hip-hop inspired by the cultural aestetics of urban style, fashi
Early Offense: The period just after a team has crossed over the midcourt line and set up its half-court offensive.
Elbow Pass: Introduced with much hype by Jason Williams, the Elbow Pass is one of the most difficult trick passe
Elbowing: Throwing your elbows during play in order to hit another player or push him away; it's a foul if con
End Line: Also caled the baseline. This line extends across both ends of the court behind the baskets.
Fade Away: A fade away shot is variation on a set jump shot in which the shooter attempts his shot leaning back
Fade Cut: A cut used by an offensive player coming off a screen when the defender is is a sagging position.
Fake: A technique used to get a defensive player off balance or out of position.
Fast Break: Also called the run-and-shoot or run-and-gun offense, it begins with a defensive rebound by a player
Fast Break: The act of moving the ball quickly downcourt by an offensive team in hopes of getting ahead of the d
Field Goal: A basket made while the ball is in play.
Field Goal Percentage: The percentage of converted field goal attempts.
Finger Roll: A finger roll is performed when a player shoots the ball with one hand during a layup and then lifts
Fish-Hook Cut: A change-of-direction cut that takes the shape of a fish hook and is used as a pressure release.
Five-Second Violation: When passing the ball inbounds after gaining possession, players have five seconds to get the ball t
Flagrant Foul: Unnecessary or excessive contact against an opponent.
Floor: The area of the court within the end lines and sidelines.
Forwards: Two players generally positioned closer to the basket than the guards. They often assume a floor pos
Foul: Actions by players which break the rules but are not floor violations.
Foul Lane: Usually just called 'the lane' or 'the paint.' The painted area bordered by the end line and the fou
Foul Line: The line 15 feet from the backboard and parallel to the end line from which players shoot free-throw
Foul Trouble: Players who accumulate too many fouls during the course of a game are said to be in foul trouble. Pl
Free Agent - Restricted: An NBA player whose contract has expired and who may negotiate with any team, but his original team
Free Agent - Unrestricted: An NBA free agent who is not subject to the right of first refusal; he must have completed at least
Free Throw: An unguarded attempt to score from a line 15 feet from the basket.
Free Throw Line: See the basketball glossary term 'foul line'.
Free Throw Percentage: The percentage of converted free throw attempts.
Front Pivot: Moving forward while turning on the pivot foot.
Frontcourt: The offensive area of the court from the midcourt line to the baseline. Also the positions played by
Full-Court Press: When defenders start guarding the offense in the backcourt.
Gilmore: To cause an opponent to fall on his ass and break his tailbone. Example: I unleashed my killer cross
Give And Go: Give and Go is an offensive play that involves passing the ball (give) and then running (go) to an o
Goaltending: If a defensive player interferes with a shot while it's on the way down toward the basket, while it'
Guarding: Following an opponent around the court to prevent him from getting the ball, taking a shot or making
Guards: The two players who typically move the ball from the backcourt into the frontcourt and then position
Hack-A-Shaq: A colloquial rhyme that comes from the term 'to hack,' common basketball slang meaning to commit a p
Half-Court: When a team takes the time to develop a play in its frontcourt, such as the give-and-go or screening
Half-Court Press: Defensive pressure applied as soon as the opposing team takes the ball into the frontcourt.
Hand Check: A personal foul where a defender intermittently or continuously uses one or both hands on an opposin
Hashmark: See the basketball glossary term 'midcourt area marker'.
Held Ball: When two opposing players both possess the basketball but neither one can gain sole possession. In t
Help Side: The side of the court opposite that of the ball. Also called the weakside.
High Post: Imaginary area outside either side of the foul lane at the free-throw line.
Holding: Using the hands to interfere with or limit an opponent's freedom of movement.
Hook Shot: The hook shot is one of the most effective inside moves, but it is also quite difficult to execute.
Hoop: The basket.
Illegal Defense: A rather nebulous rule that is called irregularly. It's designed to prevent the use of the zone defe
In-The-Paint: The inside area of the free throw lane is painted a different color from the rest of the court; thus
Inbounds Pass: Pass thrown-in from out-of-bounds.
Incidental Contact: Minor, usually inadvertent contact, that is usually ignored by officials.
Inside Cut: When the offensive player passes the ball to a teammate and cuts to the basket looking for a return
Inside Shot: Shot taken from near or under the basket.
Intentional Foul: A foul committed on purpose by a defensive player to stop the clock. In college basketball, the team
Jab Step: Jab step also known as side step is performed when a player holds onto the ball before dribbling whi
Jump Ball: A jump ball starts every game and occurs when a referee tosses the ball into the air between two pla
Jump Pass: A jump pass is a pass performed while the passing player's feet are off the floor. When done intenti
Jump Shot: An offensive shot in which the offensive player's feet leave the floor.
Jump Stop: Coming to a full stop by jumping off one foot and landing in a parallel or staggered stance with bot
Key: The area at each end of the court consisting of the foul circle, foul lane and free-throw line; name
L Cut: A cut in the shape of the letter 'L' that is used when the defender is in the passing lane but is pl
Lane: The area running from the end line to the free-throw line and extending 12 feet across is called the
Lane Violation: You cannot move into the lane looking to grab a rebound when a foul shot is being taken until the ba
Layups: A layup is a two point attempt made by leaping from below, laying the ball up near the basket, and u
Live Ball: As soon as a ball is given to a free-throw shooter or a thrower on a throw-in, it's live.
Loading The Gun: Placing the ball in the shootng pocket with the wrist cocked ready to shoot.
Low Post: Imaginary area outside either side of the foul lane close to the basket.
Man-To-Man Defense: The defense mandatory in the NBA, where each defensive player is responsible for guarding one oppone
Midcourt Area Marker: One of four lines extending 3 feet in from a sideline, 28 feet from and parallel to a baseline.
Midcourt Line: The line in the middle of the court that separates the frontcourt from the backcourt.
Net: A white mesh sleeve that hangs from the rim; 15 to 18 inches long.
No Look Pass: A pass from a ball handler who does not see the receiver, but is estimating where he should be.
Off The Dribble: A shot taken while driving to the basket.
Offense: The team with the ball.
Offensive Rebound: A rebound by a player on offense.
Officials: Also called referees, they're in charge of controlling the game.
One and One: A free-throw attempt awarded for certain violations that earns the shooter a 2nd attempt only if the
Open: When a player is unguarded by a defender.
Out Of Bounds: The area outside of and including the end lines and sidelines.
Outlet Pass: A pass made from a rebounder to an offensive teammate.
Outside Shooting: Shots taken from the perimeter.
Over The Limit: When a team commits more than 5 team fouls per NBA period (4 in each overtime) or more than 7 per ha
Overhand Lay-Up Shot: A lay-up shot with the shooting hand positioned on the back of the ball with the palm facing the bas
Overhead Pass: An overhead pass is another fundamental passing technique. It is used by snapping the ball over the
Overtime: The extra period(s) played after a regulation game ends tied; also called OT.
Paint: The area inside the free-throw lane.
Pass: When a player throws the ball to a teammate.
Passing Lane: The area between two offensive players where a pass can be made.
Penetration: When the ball is dribbled or passed inside the defensive area toward the basket.
Perimeter: The area beyond the foul circle away from the basket, including 3-point line, from which players tak
Period: Any quarter, half or overtime segment.
Pick: When a player establishes position between the ball carrier and a defender. Moving picks are a viola
Pick And Roll: Pick and Roll is an offensive play in which a player stops to screen (block) a defender for the team
Pivot: The center; also the foot that must remain touching the floor until a ball handler who has stopped d
Point Guard: Usually a team's floor leader, who initiates the offense and controls the tempo of the game.
Possession: To be holding or in control of the ball.
Post: The area on either side of the free-throw lane.
Post Player: The position usually played by the center.
Post Position: The position of a player standing in the low post or high post.
Post Up: To 'post up' is to establish a position in the low post, the area near the basket below the foul lin
Posterize: Verb; to embarrass an opponent or rival by dunking over him, or by taking advantage of a lapse on hi
Posting Up: The process of getting into post position.
Power Forward: Usually the bigger, stronger forward who plays close to the basket and is responsible for rebounding
Power Lay-Up Shot: A lay-up used when closely guarded.
Power Stop - Drive: Power drive is a continuous shooting move in which a player stops dribbling and makes a huge leap fo
Pull-Back Dribble: A dribble used to avoid defensive pressure or traps.
Pump Fake: A pump fake is a feigned attempt at a jump shot, restrained before the feet leave the ground. The pu
Push Pass: Used to pass through or past a defender who is guarding closely.
Putback And Tip-In: A putback describes a situation where a player secures an offensive rebound then immediately scores
Quadruple Double: When a player racks up double-digit figures in four of five offensive categories (scoring, assists,
Rebound: Securing the ball off the backboard or the rim after a missed field goal or free-throw attempt.
Reverse Dribble: A dribble move used to change directions. Also called a spin dribble.
Reverse Pivot: Stepping backward while turning on the pivot foot.
Rocker Step: An offensive move consisting of a jab step followed by a step backward; the player can either shoot
Screen: An offensive player who stands between a teammate and a defender to give his teammate the chance to
Screen and Roll: When an offensive player screens for the ball handler and then rolls toward the basket.
Shallow Cut: A change-of-direction cut; also called a fish-hook cut.
Shape Up: A term used to describe the movement of the screener toward the ball after the screen has been set.
Shoot Off The Dribble: A shot taken while driving to the basket.
Shooter: A player who takes a shot at the basket.
Shooting Guard: Generally, the player who takes the majority of the shots from the perimeter, many of which are thre
Shooting Pocket: Also referred to as the triple-threat position.
Shot Clock: A clock that limits the time a team with the ball has to shoot it.
Shut Down: verb/noun; In street ball, when a team or player does something so good (handle, play or dunk), it m
Sidelines: The two boundary lines that run the length of the court.
Sixth Man: The best sub on the team, the first guy off the bench to replace a starter.
Small Forward: Usually bigger than the guards but smaller than the power forward; responsibilities include both ins
Spacing: Refers to the positioning of the offensive players, who should be approximately 15-18 feet from one
Speed Dribble: A high, quick dribble used to advance the ball up the court when there are no defenders blocking you
Spin Dribble: A change-of-direction move in which the dribbler's body is always kept between the ball and the defe
Spin Move: In a spin move, the ballhandler spins his/her body to change the direction and put his body between
Squaring Up: When a player's shoulders are facing the basket as he releases the ball for a shot; considered the b
Starting Line-Up: The five players who begin a game for one team.
Stride Stop: Coming to a full stop by landing on one foot first and then the other foot.
Strong Side: The side of the court on which the ball is being controlled. If the ball is either passed or dribble
Substitute: A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court.
Swing Man: A player who can play both the guard and forward positions.
Tear Drop: The tear drop, also called a runner or a floater, is usually performed by undersized players (mainly
Technical Fouls: Also known as 't's.' Basically unsportsmanlike conduct; this can include vociferous trash talking be
Ten-Second Line: The half-court line is the ten-second line. When a team is advancing the ball up the court from thei
The Paint: Another name for the foul lane. See above.
Three-Point Line: Semi-circle that is 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket at all points.
Three-Point Play: A 2-point field goal followed by a successful free-throw.
Three-Point Shot: A field-goal attempt from outside the three-point line.
Three-Second Lane: An area that extends from the baseline under the basket to the free-throw line. Also called the 'key
Three-Second Rule: No offensive player can be in the free-throw lane for longer than 3 seconds at a time.
Throw-In: Inbounding the ball.
Timeout: When play is temporarily suspended by an official or at the request of a team to discuss strategy or
Tip-Off: The initial jump ball that starts the game.
Top Of The Key: The semi-circle that extends beyond the free-throw line.
Transition: When a team goes from offense to defense or defense to offense as the ball moves quickly upcourt.
Trap: A defensive tactic in which two players double-team the ball handler.
Traveling: Taking more than one and a half steps without dribbling while you have the ball. It's also called tr
Trey: A 3-point basket.
Triangle Offense: The offensive scheme of the 1990¹s, as practiced by the Chicago Bulls and now the L.A. Lakers. Inve
Trillion: Noun; a stat line in which a player enters the game for one minute, and fails to do anything that re
Triple Double: When a player scores double-digits in 3 categories during one game (points, assists and rebounds are
Triple Threat: Triple threat is the position when a player facing a defender receives a pass but has not dribbled y
Triple-Double: When a player reaches double figures in three of five offensive categories scoring, assists, blocked
Turnaround Jump Shot: When a player posts up, in order to shoot he has to turn around to face the basket. This can be done
Turnover: When the offensive team loses the ball to the defensive team for any reason.
Umpire: One of the two officials in most international and high school basketball competition.
Underhand Lay-Up Shot: A lay-up shot with the shooting hand in front and under the ball.
Up And Under: The up and under is a move consisting of two parts, a shot fake (the up) and a step-through (the und
Upcourt: Same as the basketball glossary term 'downcourt'.
V Cut: A fake in one direction and movement in the opposite direction in order to get open for a pass.
Violation: An infraction of the rules that doesn't result in a free throw; however, the ball is turned over to
Walking: See the basketball glossary term 'traveling'.
Weak Side: The side of the court without the ball.
Wraparound: In the wraparound, the ballhandler dribbles the ball behind his/her back, switching it to his/her ot
Zone Defense: A defense used extensively in college but not permitted in the NBA, where each defender is responsib