Basketball is a very popular sport played by professional athletes and average individuals who love this game. Anyone can play basketball, and not only is it fun, but it also gives you a complete body workout. Passing, dribbling, running and shooting the ball are all part of this great game, and if you’re interested in joining a basketball club in Markham, you may want to familiarize yourself with the terms used in this sport.

Knowing the right terminology will help you better understand the game, and the following glossary will ensure you are ready to participate in a basketball club.

Basketball Glossary

  •       Air ball: The ball misses both the hoop and backboard entirely.
  •       Alley-oop: A high arc pass to your teammate, who is positioned close to the basketball net, to leap and score.
  •       Alternating-possession rule: Teams must take turns possessing the ball after a play stops.
  •       Assist: A pass that helps set up a score.
  •       Back court: The area of the court farthest from the offensive team’s goal.
  •       Ball fake: When a player fakes a pass or shot.
  •       Bank shot: When the ball bounces off the backboard and into the basket.
  •       Baseline pass: When a player passes the basketball single-handedly to a cutter advancing toward the basket.
  •       Basket: The scoring goal which is attached to a backboard and features a metal rim from which a corded net hangs.
  •       Behind-the-back dribble: When a player dribbles from one hand to the other behind their back.
  •       Behind-the-back pass: When a pass is made behind the body.
  •       Between the legs dribble: When a player dribbles between the legs from one hand to the other.
  •       Blocked shot: A shot that is deflected on its way to the basket.
  •       Blocking: When a player uses their body to block an opponent.
  •       Bonus free-throw: This is also called a “one-on-one” and is awarded to a team whose opponent exceeds the number of fouls allowed in a half.
  •       Bounce pass: When a pass is deflected off the floor and is then received by a team player.
  •       Carrying the ball: Carrying is considered a violation of basketball rules. This happens when a player dribbles after allowing the ball to rest in one or both hands and/or places their hand underneath the ball.
  •       Catch and face: Catching a pass and turning directly toward the basket before taking a shot.
  •       Centre: The position near the basket where players can capture rebounds and block shots.
  •       Chest pass: Passing the ball from chest to chest using both hands.
  •       Control dribble: A low dribble that is closely guarded.
  •       Crossover dribble: A front-of-the-body dribble from one hand to the other.
  •       Cut: A quick advance by the offence toward a position to either shoot the ball or receive it.
  •       Defence: The team that does not have possession of the ball.
  •       Double dribble: A violation of basketball rules and refers to the act of dribbling, stopping, then dribbling again.
  •       Dribble: Bouncing the ball off the floor with one hand.
  •       Dunk: Slamming the ball into the basket.
  •       Fake: A deceptive move by the offence to offset the defence.
  •       Field goal: A basket made while the ball is in play.
  •       Five-second violation: When a player takes longer than five seconds to pass the ball inbounds to a teammate.
  •       Forwards: These players are positioned along the free-throw lane and are usually closer to the basket than the guards.
  •       Flagrant foul: Excessive or aggressive contact with an opponent.
  •       Foul: An illegal play other than a floor violation.
  •       Foul line: This line is 15 feet in front of the backboard, paralleling the end-line from which a player can shoot a free throw.
  •       Free-throw: These shots are awarded to players when their opponent commits a foul and is a free shot taken from the foul line.
  •       Guard: Players who watch opponents closely to keep them from gaining possession of the ball or from making a pass or shot.
  •       Holding: Using the hands to hinder an opponent’s freedom of movement.
  •       Incidental contact: This kind of contact between players is both legal and normal.
  •       Inside cut: The offensive player passes the ball to a teammate, then advances quickly toward the basket to receive the return pass.
  •       Inside shot: A shot from beside or in front of the basket.
  •       Intentional foul: When a defence player fouls to stop the clock.
  •       Jump ball: When the ball is tossed into the air between two opposing players by a referee. This is done to start the game.
  •       Jump shot: Refers to a shot in which the offensive player’s feet leave the floor.
  •       Jump stop: When a player jumps off of one foot and returns on both feet at the same time in a parallel or staggered position.
  •       Lane violation: Moving into the lane to try and intercept a possible rebound on a foul shot before the ball hits the rim.
  •       Lay-up: Advancing close to the basket to try to bank a shot off the backboard.
  •       Live ball: A ball in play.
  •       Mid-court line: The centre line dividing the front from the back courts.
  •       Offence: The team who has the ball.
  •       Offensive rebound: When an offensive player takes a rebound.
  •       One-and-one: When the opponent accumulates too many fouls in a half, a bonus free-throw is awarded, and the free-thrower must take a shot, and if they score, they will get a second free-throw.
  •       Open: When a defender is unguarded.
  •       Out-of-bounds: Outside the end lines and sidelines.
  •       Overhead pass: A two-handed overhead shot.
  •       Overtime: Extra time given when there is a tie at the end of a regulation game.
  •       Pass: A play from one teammate to another.
  •       Period: A segment of game time, which can refer to a quarter, half or overtime.
  •       Personal foul: Contacting a player in such a way they might get injured.
  •       Possession: To have the ball.
  •       Post up: To be in a position close, but facing away from, the basket to receive a pass.
  •       Power forward: A player positioned close to the basket.
  •       Rebound: Gaining possession of the ball after it bounces off the backboard or rim on a missed shot.
  •       Shot: Throwing the ball toward the basket.
  •       Shot clock: The device that keeps track of the time the team in possession of the ball has to take a shot at the basket.
  •       Shooting guard: The player who takes most of the shots from the perimeter.
  •       Sidelines: The boundary lines that run the length of the court on either side.
  •       Starting lineup: The five players that start the game.
  •       Substitute: When a player comes in to replace a teammate on the court.
  •       Technical foul: A foul called because of a misconduct in which the opponent is awarded a free throw.
  •       Three-second violation: When an offensive player is in the free-throw lane for longer than three seconds.
  •       Timeout: An official can suspend the game temporarily due to an injury or to allow the team to discuss strategy.
  •       Tip-off: The jump that starts the game.
  •       Transition: When a team switches from one offence to defence and vice versa.
  •       Travelling: This violation occurs whenever the ball handler takes too many steps without dribbling or holding the ball while changing or moving the pivot foot.
  •       Turnover: The offensive team gives the ball up to the defence.
  •       Underhand lay-up shot: When a player shoots the ball with the palm underneath and facing up.
  •       Up-court: The offence advances from down court to front court in the direction of the basket.
  •       V-Cut: Switching quickly from one direction to the other to get a shot.
  •       Violation: Breaking a rule that does not result in a free throw but a throw-in.
  •       Zone defence: When a defender carefully guards one area.

Now that you know more about the words often used during a basketball game, you are ready to play!


If you are looking for a basketball club in Markham, King Square Sports Centre is the place to play! We provide a great environment for players of all skill levels. Everyone is welcome at our centre. Being part of a basketball community is an excellent way to stay fit, improve your game, and socialize. You’re sure to make new friends and grow as a player through regular games.

For beginners interested in basketball, our centre provides an excellent platform to learn about the game through practice. Learning about basketball is fun and engaging, and by playing regularly at our centre, you’ll naturally pick up the right moves and techniques.

We are proud to serve our community here in Markham, and you can contact us anytime to learn more about the benefits of basketball and how you can start playing at our centre! 

No Table Tennis Drop-in on Sunday June 9, between 1pm-6pm