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Mini-Basketball England Dictionary of Terms

A - Assist

An assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by a field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket.


B - Block

A block (short for blocked shot) occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a shot from an offensive player. The defender must not touch the offensive player's hands or otherwise a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot is travelling upward.


C - Carrying

Carrying, also referred to as palming, is a violation in the game. It occurs when the dribbling player holds the ball with two hands at once or rotates the ball in his or her hand between dribbles. Carrying is similar to a double dribble because the player momentarily stops dribbling and then resumes dribbling. If the player is in motion while carrying the ball, it is similar to travelling. Players can avoid a carrying violation by keeping their palms facing the floor while dribbling.

A crossover dribble is a manoeuvre in the game. A generalised definition of the crossover is that it is in essence a directional change. Variations on how it is done can stem from whether it involves a directional fake before the change or sheer speed in motion. The basic move involves the offensive player switching dribbling of the ball with the left hand to the right hand and vice versa. A common scenario in which this technique is used in a game is when the player heads up court, dribbling the ball in the left hand, then makes a wide step left with a good head fake. If the defender is deceived, the player switches to dribbling with his right hand and explodes. The manoeuvre is best employed near the top of the key so the player can be free of the defender and be able to take the jumper or go to the basket.


D - Double Dribble

A double dribble is a violation in which a player dribbles (bounces) the ball, clearly holds it with a combination of either one or two hands (while either moving or stationary), and then proceeds to dribble again without first either attempting a shot at goal or passing off to a teammate. Once the dribbling has stopped, the player cannot dribble again until after another player has touched the ball.


F - Fastbreak

Fastbreak is an offensive strategy. In a fastbreak, a team attempts to move the ball up court and into scoring position as quickly as possible, so that the defence is outnumbered and does not have time to set up.


A field goal (formerly "goal from the field") is a general term where a goal may be scored either during general play ("from the field") or via some sort of free shot.

Free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted area on the court (the free throw line.)


J - Jump Ball

A jump ball is a method used to begin play. Two opposing players attempt to gain control of the ball after it is tossed up into the air in between them by an official.

A jump shot is an attempt to score a basket by jumping, usually straight up, and, propelling the ball in an arc into the basket at the top of the jump.


L - Layup

A layup is an attempt at goal made by jumping from one foot after a dribble using a two count rhythm, laying the ball up near the basket, and using one hand to tip the ball over the rim and into the basket or to bank it off the backboard and into the basket.


M - Man-to-Man

Man-to-man or person-to-person defence is a type of defensive tactic in which each player is assigned to defend and follow the movements of a single player on offence. This is the only form of defence allowed in Mini-Basketball.


P - Personal Foul

A personal foul is a breach of the rules that concerns illegal personal contact with an opponent. It is the most common type of foul in basketball. Due to the nature of the game, personal fouls occur on occasions and not always regarded as unsportsmanlike. However, a contact foul involving excessive or unjustified contact is classed as an unsportsmanlike foul.


R - Rebound

A rebound is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds are a major part in the game, as most possessions end after a missed shot. Rebounds are divided into two categories: offensive rebounds, in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change possession, and defensive rebounds, in which the defending team gains possession of the loose ball.


T - Travelling

Travelling; a violation occurs when a player who has possession of the ball moves his/her feet without dribbling first, or when a player who has ceased dribbling unplants his/her established foot from the ground. Generally, the bottom of the heel may be lifted off the floor to some degree if the toes and ball of the foot remain soundly planted, but in all cases, once the toes are lifted, it is considered a clear-cut violation.

A turnover occurs when a player from one team gives possession to a member of another team by losing the ball. This can result from getting stolen, making mistakes such as stepping out or throwing the ball out of bounds, committing a violation (such as travelling) or committing an offensive foul.