Basketball Positions Explained

In a regular game of basketball, there are usually five players on each team on the court, and each participant has their functions and responsibilities.

Traditionally, players that filled those position would solely follow their function and concentrate on their task, but basketball has advanced a lot since then and every player nowadays are required to play two or more positions at once. This is due to the nature of the game where players move around and play flexibly, doing what is required in any particular situation. Here we together explain basketball positions that you maybe know.

History of Basketball Positions

When James Naismith made the original 13 rules of basketball in 1891, there were no defined places or a rule stating how many players could be on the court at one time. He simply split his course of 18 students into two teams of 9 and had them start playing.

Some have stated that Naismith’s first basketball game with 9 players each side had 3 guards, 3 forward, and 3 centers. No one really knows if these places were defined yet, but they’ve performed roles very similar to those places.

basketball positions

The rules of basketball did not restrict the number of players per team to the court, until approximately 1896, which is probably when the positions began to be defined. There were places like a “running protector” who brought the ball down the court along with a”stationary guard” who shot extended shots and hung on the shield to guard the basket. As in most sports, the positions evolved along with the rules of the sport.

Basketball Positions

1. Point guard

The point guard (also known as the floor overall or the one) is most often among the shortest players on the team and is responsible for progressing the basketball up the courtroom and setting up the group’s offense.

Once the offense was set up, the point guard has to be able to read what the defense is doing and make smart decisions. A high amount of basketball IQ is vital for this position which is why the point guard is often known as the on-court coach.

The player filling the point guard position must be unselfish (there’s nothing worse than a selfish point guard) and intention to get their teammates involved on the offensive end of the ground.

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This necessitates crystal clear knowledge of the playbook as well as understanding their teammate’s strengths and flaws. Being aware of what regions of the court your teammates flourish in allows the offense to take advantage of mismatches.

As with all places, the point guard needs to be able to knock down an open outdoor shot and penetrate and pass to their own teammates.

Defensively, the point guard is responsible for protecting and disrupting the opposition’s most important ball-handler. They do this by playing aggressive (but smart) full-court defense attempting to trick the basketball lose but ensuring they always remain between their opponent and the basket.

Skills and attributes needed to perform point guard comprise:

  • Ball handling
  • Passing
  • Quickness
  • Communication
  • Composure
  • Unselfishness

2. Shooting Guard 

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As its name implies, shooting guards need to have the ability to set the ball at the hoop. This position is often earmarked for the group’s best outside shooters.

However, the shooting guard is also known as the two-guard -needs more than a fantastic 3-point shot to succeed. They also have to have powerful off-ball movement such as running through displays and finding open spaces.

While they don’t need to be skilled as point guards, solid ball-handling is important for two guards. Shooting guards are typically the secondary chunk handler.

Furthermore, shooting guards will need to have strong defensive skills. The size of a shooting guard can change. Some will be the exact same dimensions as the point guard, though some can be as tall as some of the forward on the group.

Skills and characteristics had to play shooting guard comprise:

  • Shooting
  • Ball handling
  • Moving without the ball
  • Playing strong defense
  • Rebounding

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3. Centre

The center is normally the team’s greatest and most powerful participant and can be positioned beneath the basket. He’s also needed to be physically domineering with more bodily strength and athleticism.

On the offensive play, most centers don’t score mid-range or beyond the arch. On the defense, the center is responsible for maintaining the competition from shooting blocking shots, and moves in the very important area. They’re also expected to struggle for rebounds since they’re usually taller physically.

Skills and attributes needed to perform center include:

  • Size
  • Strength
  • Shot blocking
  • Rebounding
  • Inside scoring

4. Small Forward 

Don’t let the name fool you — the small forward plays a massive role. Also called the three, this is perhaps the most versatile player on the court.

Playing small forward requires a mix of abilities that shooting guards and power forward have. Small forwards need to be powerful and scrappy sufficient to box out and haul in rebounds. However, they must also have the capability to elude defenders, dip into the rim, and hit jump shots.

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On offense, a solid mid-range shot, along with the capacity to push and cut toward the basket, will help a small forward stick out. Quickness and strength indoors are both resources when playing small forward. Most small forwards fall in between the shooting guard and power forward in regards to height.

Skills and attributes needed to perform small forward include:

  • Inside and outside the scoring capability
  • Ball handling
  • Quickness
  • Rebounding
  • Guarding multiple places

5. Power Forward

The power forward (also called the four’) is normally the second tallest player in the group and is required to be both strong and skilled. In previous decades, the player in this position always played close to the rim and scored the vast majority of their points in the paint.

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In today’s match, the electricity forward wants a fantastic mid-range jump shot (especially from the brief corner) and will be much more successful if they’re able to consistently hit a three-point shot. Players who can do that are known as a stretch four’.

Whether this player spends most of the time inside the three-point lineup or around the perimeter will depend on the offense the trainer chooses to conduct with their staff. Defensively, having strength and size is important for boxing out their opponent and procuring rebounds.

Final Words

It’s quite interesting to see how coaches utilize players and think of new game plans and styles of play based on these positions. I am certain that basketball positions will continue to evolve in the long run.

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