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What is basketball?

Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. Each team of five players consists of two forwards, two guards, and a centre, usually the tallest man on the team. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop that is 10 feet high, mounted to a backboard at each end.


The rules are based on Naismith’s five principles requiring a large, light ball, handled with the hands; no running with the ball; no player being restricted from getting the ball when it is in play; no personal contact; and a horizontal, elevated goal.


Since the 1895–96 season, a field goal has scored two points and a free throw one point. When the ABA was founded in 1967, it allowed three points for shots made from outside a boundary line set 25 feet (7.6 metres) from the basket. With varying distances, the change was adopted officially by the NBA in 1979 and, in 1985, by colleges. At the end of the game the team with the most points is declared the winner.

In basketball you will play four quarters of the match. Each quarter makes up a 12-minute session, meaning  48 minutes for a whole a game of basketball at NBA level. Some major European and international setups, though, will use a 10-minute quarter instead, making the whole match 40-minutes in length.

However, the average length of a basketball game in the NBA lasts anywhere from 2-3 hours after factoring in team timeouts, replay reviews, shooting fouls, TV timeouts, halftime breaks, breathers and other stoppages. Most game lengths are about two and a half hours.

If you are thinking about learning how to play basketball, then you probably already know what it is; but do you know where it came from? It is believed to be one of the only major sports that was invented in the United States of America. A Canadian man called James Naismith, an instructor in physical education, invented the sport in 1891 at the YMCA in Massachusetts.

Apparently, Naismith used two half-bushel peach baskets as the two goals, which gave the sport its name. It didn’t take long for the sport to catch on across the USA, with Canada the next country to give the sport a go, followed by France, England, Australia, and China. To this day, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the USA and enjoyed all around the world.

Why learn to play basketball?

Basketball can be an enjoyable sport that suits many different ages and skill levels. One of the main reasons people learn to play basketball is because they enjoy it; however, there are also many other benefits to playing basketball.

Playing basketball, at almost any level, requires the development of agility, strength, and stamina. There is a need to change direction quickly, and games are often fast-paced, which requires a level of fitness and endurance. The more you play basketball, and at a higher level, you will find all of these attributes will develop.

Basketball also requires you to develop your hand-eye coordination. This is a great transferable skill that is important in a huge range of sports, such as tennis and cricket, and in other pastimes and professions, including video games and surgery!

As a team game, usually played with a total of 5 people on each team, communication is another key skill that is important in basketball and, as a result, can be developed by learning to play. Communication is another key attribute in many walks of life, and it is a key social skill.

How much do basketball lessons cost?

The cost of basketball lessons are dependent on the expertise of the tutor and can start from as little as £15 per session. At TutorExtra, we aim to provide comprehensive access to tutors of all grades and levels in 1000s of subject areas across the UK.

Search TutorExtra for providers and view their experience, prices and more.

Key details about your Basketball sessions

✅ Experts available : 4
✅ Average price : £50/hr
✅ Session format : Face-to-Face or Online
✅ First lesson free : Yes
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