Raleigh Roundball
Raleigh Youth Basketball
Basketball Positions 101
Categories: Basketball

Basic Basketball Positions

Center – Often the tallest player on the team. Normally close to the basket with a focus on getting rebounds and blocking shots.

Forward – Generally positioned closer to the basket than the guards. Typically positioned along the perimeter of the free-throw lane and maneuver inside and outside.

                  Power Forward – Usually the bigger, stronger forward who plays close to the basket and is responsible for rebounding and inside scoring.

                  Small Forward – Usually bigger than the guards but smaller than the power forward; responsibilities include both inside and outside work.

Guard – The players who typically move the ball from the backcourt into the frontcourt. They often handle calling plays and passing to teammates closer to the basket.

                  Point Guard – Floor leader who initiates the offense and controls the tempo of the game.

                  Shooting Guard – Generally, the player who takes the majority of the shots from the perimeter, many of which are three-point attempts.

Other Basketball Player Position Terms

Ball Handler – Player controlling the ball; can also mean a player known for skillful handling of the ball.

Outlet – A player that sets up near the sideline for a pass from a defensive rebounder. This pass will initiate the offensive fast break.

Pivot – The position a player takes with their back to the basket, either at the top or on the side of the free throw lane. This is also called the post position.

Playmaker – The point guard who usually sets up plays for his teammates.

Shooter – A player who takes a shot at the basket.

Sixth Man – The first substitute to come off the bench to replace a starter.

Starting Line-up – The five players who begin a game for one team.

Substitute – A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court.

Swing Man – A player who can play both the guard and forward positions.

Wing – A player who is running the outside lane on the fast break. Also a player who is positioned at the foul-line extended area during the half-court offense.

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