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Basketball Rules for Kids

Simplified Explanation of Basketball Rules for Kids

Basketball like any other sport, requires that you play the game in order to know the technicalities and the rules by heart. If you're enrolling for the tryouts for your school, it would be wise to catch up on the rules and penalties of this game, so that you can put your best foot forward for the upcoming trial.
Rohini Mohan
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2018
Learning a sport from a younger age makes kids more familiar with the tiny nuances of a game. Kids learn faster and therefore will be able to grasp the rules and regulations better. Through continuous practice they will get better at their game. Games such as basketball also help inculcate team spirit as well as leadership qualities. It helps develop a sense of independence and achievement among the children, while making sure that they stay mentally and physically healthy.
How to Teach Kids Basketball
Scoring System
The score system is very simple. All the baskets made from within the key or within the three-point arc will score 2 points, except in case of a foul, for which a free penalty-shots is allowed. In such cases, shots from the free-throw line, count for 1 point. Baskets made from the three-point arc and beyond, will account for 3 points for each basket.
Offensive and Defensive Team
There are two teams playing against one another, and each team has 5 members playing active roles during the game time. There are extras of 4-5 other players who are kept as replacements or buffer. The team that holds possession of the ball is called the offensive while the one trying to take possession of the ball is known as the defensive team.
It is the defensive team's job to try to prevent the other team from scoring a basket. While defending, you cannot grab the opponents team members hand or any other body part. You cannot push or pull at the other players. Nor can you tap the ball while it's still in the hand of the opponent. While the ball is midair you can slide the ball out of the players possession and proceed towards scoring for your team or pass on to another team member.
Most games revolve around the 'Man to Man' defense, wherein one player is allotted to only one specific opponent. This helps bring discipline into the game by removing any form of confusion. Therefore an opponent who is exceptionally good at dribbling will be allotted a team member who is good at checking the ball out of possession during dribbling. Or if one of the opponents is very tall, he'll be checked by a tall team member. This helps balance out the drawbacks of the team.
Basic Rules for Kids
The first rule of basketball, pertains to how you dribble the basketball. There are certain basic dos and don'ts that need to be followed, when it comes to basketball for kids. They are mentioned below.
  • The key factor to be kept in mind while dribbling, is that you should never hold the ball with both your hands, while you are moving forward with the ball.
  • If and when the player holds the ball with both hands, he has to stop and fix both his feet firmly on the ground so as to avoid any further movements.
  • In case he leaves a leg free for movement while the other is fixed to the point of stopping, then it is called the pivot stance. Having once stopped at a particular spot, the player will need to pass the ball to his fellow team member or shoot to attempt for a basket.
  • It's considered as a 'Traveling Violation', if the player is found running with the ball without dribbling. If a player grabs the ball with both hands and then attempts to dribble the second time, it constitutes a 'Double Dribble Violation'. After any violation, the possession of the ball changes from the team that commits the violation, to the other team.
  • Sometimes, the player with the possession may suddenly stop, in which case he may either pass the ball, or shoot, or hold the ball by crouching forward in a protective stance. This way the ball will remain in possession of the player until either someone takes the ball away or until the referee puts a stop to it.
  • The player in possession of the ball cannot carry the ball, which means that he cannot hold the ball from underneath and then resume dribbling. This is known as a 'Carrying-Violation'.
  • The player with the possession of the ball can interchange his hands while dribbling. This prevents the ball from being slid out of control by an opponent.
  • The ball must stay within the boundary line of the court, while it's within the possession of the offensive player, else it constitutes an 'Out-of-Bounds-Violation'.
  • A 'Backcourt Violation' occurs when the offensive player with the ball possession tries to dribble the ball back from his offensive half of the court to his defensive half of the court. The only way the offensive team can return to their own side of the court is when the ball is brought in by the defensive team.
Penalties for Fouls Committed
  • The defensive team need to make sure that they do not commit any foul. If any defensive team player tries to touch the offensive player in a way that it interferes with his shot while attempting a basket, it will be called out as a foul. The penalty will include 2 free shots from the center and 3 free shots in case the shot was attempted from beyond the three-point arc.
  • When 6 non-basket fouls are committed by the defensive team, within any quarter of the game, then the offensive team gets 2 free shots from the free throw line.
  • A player will be eliminated from the game if he makes 5 fouls at any point in the game.
Follow these while playing with their parents or with a group of friends. The game can also be played between 1-1, 2-2, 4-4 as well, depending on the number of kids available. Kids can begin playing a half court game so as to practice board shots from the D-section or key. This will help sharpen their shooting skills.