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Basketball Positions


In most team sports, each position has a purpose and each player has a role. Basketball is no different. There are three main basketball positions: Forward, Center, and Guard. The Forward position include two sub-positions generally called the "Power Forward" position and the "Shooting Forward" position.

A Power-Forward player typically plays or shoots closer to the hoop (higher percentage shots) while the Shooting-Forward player shoots from the "outside."

Similar to the Forward position, the Guard position include two sub-positions generally called the "Point Guard" position and the "Off Guard" position.

The Point-Guard player is usually responsible for most of the ball-handling, play-making, and initiating the offensive plays. The purpose of this position requires the Point-Guard to be an effective dribbler and passer.

The Off-Guard player is typically the team's best shooter. He's also known as the "Outlet Guard", because he's the person to whom a player underneath the basketball hoop passes the ball after a rebound.

Basketball Forward Position

Qualifications of the Basketball-Forward-Position:

Speed is essential in playing the Basketball-Forward-Position. The fast break type of offense demands that the players get down the court ahead of the defense if it is to be successful.

This type of play also demands a great deal of endurance as the forward must also do a certain amount of guarding until his team secures possession of the ball.

Probably next in importance is passing ability and a good eye. The forwards on every team are expected to do the biggest share of the scoring, as they are in the best positions; therefore, they must be able to shoot the ball relatively well.

The forward must also have aggressiveness and determination as he is relied upon to carry the attack of the offense to a great extent. He should be a quick thinker with a more than usual amount of initiative in order that he may decide quickly the problems which may arise in the game.

He should be ever on the alert for scoring opportunities and be ready constantly to turn an opponent's error into a score.

Rules for the Basketball-Forward-Position:

1. Do not shoot unless you have an open shot.

2. Try and outsmart the opponent.

3. Move toward the ball when attempting to catch it.

4. Use two hands when possible.

5. Go out after the ball.

6. Relax when shooting.

7. Keep your eye on the basket when shooting.

8. Follow through on all shots.

9. Remember you're a defensive player as well as an offensive player.

10. Always follow in for a rebound.

11. Do not confine your play to the corners.

12. Always be alert.

13. Pass if it is impossible to shoot.

14. Learn to shoot when closely guarded.

15. Learn to shoot free throws well.

16. Think ahead!

Basketball Center Position

Qualifications of the Basketball-Center-Position:

Height is an extreme advantage in basketball and, although it is not as essential or critical to have a tall Center it does make some difference to have at least one tall man on the team. There is not a great deal of difference between the play of the Center and the play of the Forwards but, since the Center is usually the tallest player, he's somewhat expected to get the rebounds from both the offensive-and-defensive baskets.

The Center must therefore have a great amount of stamina and be in excellent physical condition.

Rules for the Basketball-Center-Position:

1. Practice for proper timing on jump balls.

2. Break in the opposite direction in which ball is tapped.

3. Keep your eyes on the ball.

4. Do not jump while the ball is going up.

5. Jump straight up and not forward.

6. Do not turn your back to the ball.

7. Be a defensive center as well as an offensive center.

8. Keep in good physical condition.

9. Be alert.

10. Follow in all shots. Both your own and teammates.

Basketball Guard Position

Qualification for the Basketball-Guard-Position:

The guard must have size, strength, coolness, and determination. On his shoulders rests a great deal of the defensive work. The must be a good dribbler and a good shooter. He should also be a quick thinker and be able to analyze a play.

Rules for the Basketball-Guard-Position:

1. Watch the ball and the opponent.

2. Stay on toes and balls of feet whenever possible.

3. Slide across the floor without crossing legs.

4. Pick up a teammate's opponent if he is open for a shot.

5. Fight hard on all rebounds.

6. Time your jump when taking the ball off the backboard.

7. Try and play the ball as much as possible.

8. Don't play your man too close.

9. Keep your back to the basket you are guarding.

10. Keep between the dribbler and the basket.

11. If your opponent has not dribbled, don't play him too closely.

12. If your man has dribbled, then press him.

13. Be aggressive.

14. Try to box out your opponent out after he has taken a shot.

15. Stay in front of the shooter.


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