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First Time Youth Basketball Coaching pt. 2


Youth Basketball Team

You will need to know the rules of the game if you intend on being a truly effective coach.

Below is a short list of the most common basketball fouls/violations. This is the bare -minimum that a coach will need to know.

Taking more than one step without dribbling the basketball – the result is a turnover (the other team will get the ball if the ref calls traveling). A player can take two steps after he stops dribbling the basketball. A player who is on the run before he receives the basketball may take to additional steps after he catches the ball before he must shoot. If you fall or are knocked down while dribbling you can not stand back up. This to is a traveling violation.

Double Dribble:
Dribbling the basketball – stopping – and beginning to dribble again is a “double dribble” violation. Dribbling the basketball with two hands at the same time (both hands hitting the ball together) is also double dribble.

Hand Checking:
Occurs when a defender puts his hand(s) on the offensive player to slow him down or change his direction. This is used a lot in street ball – Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards) was great at this method; as was Gary Payton (Seattle Supersonics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics). This is no longer allowed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) – but is allowed in international play. In the post (area close to the basket) a defender may be allowed to place a forearm in the back of an offensive player to keep him from backing in.

A charge occurs when an offensive player runs over a defensive player who is already “set” or knocking the player down. If a defender beats an offensive player to a spot on the court the offensive player must attempt to go around the defender. Normally if the offensive player lowers his shoulder a charging foul will be called. This is the hardest call for an official to make in basketball.

3 seconds:
An offensive player staying the “painted area” for 3 seconds without going outside of this area. You may hear players/coaches say “he’s camping out in the lane” ref. This can often be overlooked by an official with so much going on during a game. Younger divisions normally do not have this rule in effect.

Lane Violation:
When a player is fouled during a shot attempt (or a technical foul is called on a coach/player) free-throws will be awarded. The lane is divided like this: one player from the team NOT shooting lines up closest to the basket. Next a player from the shooting team – so on and so forth until all of the spots are taken. This occurs on both sides of the basket. Players can not enter the lane (or attempt to get the rebound) until the ball reaches the rim. The shooter can not step over the free throw line until the ball reaches the rim either. Some leagues allow players to step in after the ball leaves the shooter’s hands. Anytime a player steps in early this is a lane violation. If the infraction is on the shooter’s team the shot/point is waived off and the ball is awarded to the other team. If the infraction is on the non-shooting team and the player shooting misses – he will be awarded another shot opportunity.

Moving Screen/Pick
A player setting a screen must come to a complete stop before making contact with the defender. Once he comes to this stop he can not move his feet again in an attempt to shield the defender. After the person with the ball uses the initial screen and is passed the screener, the screener will be free to move. This means a player can not continually block a defender such as “run blocking” in football.

10 second rule
A basketball court is divided into two halves – each containing a basket, 3 point line etc. If your team is awarded the ball on the opponents half of the court, your players have 10 seconds to advance (by dribble or pass) the ball across the mid-court line. Failure to do so is a 10 second violation. Once the ball has crossed the mid-court line the offensive team cannot cross back over to the opponents half. This is called “backcourt” and will also result in the ball being awarded to the other team.

Be sure to check back for more installments of first time youth basketball coaching!