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Want to find out more about baskets? So let's start with a good question: what is a basket? Actually, in basketball terminology, the basket can refer both to the hoop your shot goes through, as well as the act of shooting. Shots which can be worth 2 or 3 points. Still following?
So to clarify all that, we'll cover the entire topic: how to find a basket, how to count points, and finally, how to make... baskets. Let's get started!
We'll start with the basics: the basket, the object. And we'll even start with a little anecdote:
When James Naismith attached a basket to his gym wall for the first time to occupy his students on a rainy day, he used a ramp that went around the room at a height of 3.05 metres.
So rainy days are sometimes useful!
The idea was so brilliant that on top of inventing basketball, Naismith discovered the right height: although 3.05 m might seem like a fairly random height, it corresponds to exactly 10 feet! Even today, it remains the official height of a basketball hoop.
Other than that, however, baskets have changed a lot since the days of fishing nets attached to gym walls. Today, your basket is made of a metal rim or hoop attached to a backboard.
What about the dimensions? The rim measures 45 cm in diameter and the backboard is 180 x 105 cm. And to help you see (and aim) more clearly, an open white net is attached under the rim and a 59 x 45 cm rectangle is displayed just above the hoop. Finally, depending on the model, the basket is installed on one or several legs, and the hoop can have a jack system to fold during dunks.
Is 3.05m for everyone? Speaking of dunking, you might be saying to yourself that 3.05m is no small distance. It's true - the official, historic height corresponds to all age categories over age 10. Between age 7 and 10, the official basket height is 2.60m. And for little kids? There is no regulation for the height of the basket for baby basketball (under age 7). So you can adjust the height however you want for teaching basketball to children. But since it is an agility sport, we recommend adjusting the basket higher than their outstretched arms: that way, they can learn the shooting motion.
Now that you have your basket properly installed (and at the right height), you just need to stick it. Not the basket, but your baskets. Your shots, in other words. Alone or in a group, playing or practising, you can now start counting your shot percentage and your points. So before talking about shot mechanics, we'll make a few points about how to count... points.
In basketball, a successful shot is worth 1, 2, or 3 points. Easy? So let's start adding. With fouls, a shot is worth 2+1 or 3+1 points. Let us explain: A shot during a match is worth 2 points. Unless you take your shot from behind the 3 point line. In that case, as you can guess, your shot is worth 3 points. Nothing complicated. We often speak of simply taking a 3-pointer. That avoids any confusion between shots and baskets, and it's easier to mess with your opponents when you make your 3-pointers. So now we're just left with 1 point shots, which are in fact free throws. No suspense there either: you shoot from the... free throw line. Clearly in basketball, the suspense is in the last quarter, not the regulations.
So, free throws: if an opponent fouls your shot, thanks to your legendary footwork and feints for instance, but you miss your shot (due to the foul, of course), you are granted free throws, which are each worth 1 point. How much? 2 for a 2 point shot, and 3 for a 3 point shot. Oh yes, basketball rules are tough.
What about the famous "Plus 1"? Now we spice up the game a bit. If this time, in addition to causing your opponent to foul you with your fiery footwork, you also make your shot, you are granted 1 additional free throw. This is called a "basket + foul" or “+1”. And if you are the defender, the math can start to hurt, particularly on a 3-pointer: it's irritating to offer 3 free throws to your opponent rather than let them try a shot from further away. And if they make the shot and your opponent has a chance to successfully score 4 points, your coach is going to start getting migraines.
The moral of the story? Make your free throws, and don't foul a 3-pointer! How lucky, taking your shots to score your baskets is the third part of our article.
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