Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of 5 players try to score points against one another by placing a ball through a 10 foot (3.048 m) high hoop (the goal) under organized rules. A regulation NBA basketball court is 94' long (28.6512 m) by 50' wide (15.24 m). Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.
Points are scored by throwing (shooting) the ball through the basket from above. The team with more points at the end of the game wins, but additional time (overtime) may be issued when the scores of both teams are the same. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Disruptive physical contact (foul) is penalized, and free throws will be issued if an offensive player is fouled while shooting the ball. (violations).
Through time, basketball has developed to involve many common techniques of shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as players' positions, and offensive and defensive structures. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play center or one of two forward positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills and speed, play the guard positions. While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, numerous variations of basketball have developed for casual play. In some countries, basketball is also a popular spectator sport.
While competitive basketball is primarily an indoor sport, played on a basketball court, less regulated variations played in the outdoors have become increasingly popular among both inner city and rural groups.
From Wikipedia [accessed 10 May 2010] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball