James Naismith

by Dell Hudson (7th grader, Portland, ME.)

It all started in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts and was created by Dr. James Naismith an Educator. He split a class of 18 people into two teams the game consisted of peach baskets and soccer type ball. The baskets were nailed to the gym balcony, and they started playing the game. The object was to get the ball into the basket. Once a team made a basket they would have a custodian go up on a ladder and retrieve the ball. Soon enough the doctor realized if we cut the bottoms out the ball would come back down. After playing this new game, people had a real interest, so they decided to invite the public. This is how the best sport ever was started, basketball!

Basketball Positions Overview:

There are many positions on the basketball court, and there are many different names for them also. You might have heard of a point guard, a shooting guard, small forward, forward, and center. At young ages, they are hard to remember what position goes where and it is very confusing. So, coaches gave these positions numbers so a point guard would be a 1 and the shooting guard would be a 2, and so on. Your position is based on your height, weight, and the way you are.

Typically there are 12 to 15 players on a team with each position represented.  There are a group of 5 players who are considered “The Starters” who begin the game and typically play most of the minutes. Then there are the supporting players who rotate in the game as needed.  These players are usually referred to as “Bench Players” Because basketball teams are small compared to other sports the limited number of spots typically leads to high competition. If you find yourself on the bench or even cut from a team don’t worry. Look at it as an opportunity to improve.  After all, one of the greatest players of all time, Michael Jordan, didn’t make the varsity basketball team when he tried out as a sophomore.

Basketball Player Positions Graphic
Point Guard Dribbiling The Ball

The Point Guard (1)

The point guards are usually the leader and must be a role player on and off the court. Point guards are the ones in charge on the court when you are playing a game because they are the ones calling the plays, controlling, and executing them. The point guards must be verbal as they are the head of operations for an army or a team. They are making all the discussions and sticking to them, and when these plays collapse they adapt and overcome. Some point guards aren’t big scorers they are team players and they average lots of assists (passes to the one that does score) per game, and they don’t want to be selfish. But sometimes point guard take charge of the game when their team is losing, and they will take charge and do what they can to bring it back into a close game.

The Shooting Guard (2)

Shooting guards are very effective on the court and can help a lot against bigger teams than you. When you verse big teams, it is often hard to drive into the paint (close to the basket) and make a layup on those big guys, because they could block you. So, shooting guards are out on the 3-point line always looking to shoot, a good shooting guard will be ready for the ball always and can be a threat on the court if they are having a good game. 70% of the time one person will be open, and it’s mostly the shooting guard. Always shooting once they get it. Most shooting guards are not leaders but sometimes they can be, and they are not big passers either because they know if they have a better shot then someone else they want to be the one taking that shot. 

Did you know that the Shooting Guard position was the main position Michael Jordan played during his career?

Basketball Shooting Guard Shooting The Ball
Basketball Forward Player Diving For The Ball

The Forwards (3 & 4)

Forwards are posted (inside the paint) players, and they work for rebounds, put backs, and dunks. Forwards are very powerful and big, and they take lots of hits from other players. They can’t be afraid to be physical against other/bigger teams. Forwards don’t score that much you wouldn’t see a forward scoring 25 points in a game they are more 10-16 points area depend on how good they are. Forwards are usually not leaders, but they are good at pumping up the team when they need spirit. A good forward is generally strong, for instance when they get a rebound they must be able to hold the ball and ripped the ball through people without it getting stolen. Forwards are very versatile and can play many different positions, and that’s what makes them special.

The Center (5)

Centers are players that mostly stay inside the perimeter and work for rebounds and put back shots. Centers must be tall and have skill and determination. Centers are very hard to find because of their height; centers must be tall because they must be able to reach for rebounds and can lay the ball up quickly. There are two different types of centers. One type is the passing type, which means when they get a rebound instead of shooting it back in they will pass it out to a shooter. The second type is the put-back type when they get a rebound they will try to put it back no matter what. Centers can score around 5-25 points depending on how good they are. Centers are not good at handling the ball because they don’t need to put moves on your defender when you are under the hoop. A good center is very helpful and valuable to any team. These are the positions on a basketball team, although there are many of them each role is important on the court to make a great team.


Basketball Center Going For A Lay Up

FAQs Related To Basketball Positions



How long is a basketball game?

A standard basketball game consists of two periods, each lasting 24 minutes. These periods are further divided into two quarters, with each quarter being 12 minutes long.

What are the primary positions in basketball?

Basketball teams typically have five main positions: center, power forward, small forward, point guard, and shooting guard.

What defines a field goal in basketball?

A field goal in basketball refers to any basket scored, excluding free throws. It can be worth either two or three points, depending on the shooter’s distance from the basket.

Who holds the title for the tallest female basketball player?

Margo Dydek is recognized as the tallest female professional basketball player globally.

Who is credited with the invention of basketball?

Basketball was created by James Naismith in 1891 at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

How many fouls can an NBA player commit before being ejected?

In the NBA, a player is fouled out after committing six fouls.

What is a technical foul in basketball?

A technical foul, often referred to as a “tech,” is a rule violation that doesn’t involve physical contact between opposing players on the court. It can also be given for unsportsmanlike conduct by non-players.

What does RPI stand for in basketball?

RPI, or Rating Percentage Index, is a metric used to rank sports teams based on their wins, losses, and the strength of their schedule.

Can you explain the pick and roll in basketball?

The pick and roll is an offensive strategy where one player sets a screen (the pick) for a teammate with the ball and then moves toward the basket (the roll) to receive a pass.

What constitutes an assist in basketball?

An assist in basketball is credited to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in such a way that it directly leads to a score.

What does “traveling” mean in basketball?

Traveling is a violation in basketball that occurs when a player takes more than two steps without dribbling the ball.

How tall is a standard basketball hoop?

The standard height for basketball rims is 10 feet or approximately 3 meters.

How many steps can a player take without dribbling in basketball?

In basketball, a player is allowed to take only two steps without dribbling.

What are the dimensions of a basketball court?

A standard basketball court measures approximately 30.62 yards in length and 16.4 yards in width.

What is a screen in basketball?

A screen in basketball is a tactic where an offensive player blocks or “screens” a defender to free up a teammate for a shot or a pass.