With prelims starting Tuesday and the tournament beginning on Friday, I thought it would be helpful to explain some basketball terminology to some fans, especially for those who may only watch games during tourney time.
Wing — Just outside the 3-point line, even with the free throw line extended of any even or odd front offense or defense
Post — Any offensive player who is on the block, which is an 8- by 12-inch rectangle attached to each free throw line nearest the basket.
Elbow — Where the free throw lane line and the foul line meet
Endline — Often wrongly called the baseline, it is either line at the end of the court
Combination defense — Sometimes called junk defenses where there is man-to-man and zone defenses being played at the same time
Box and one — An even front four-person zone defense with one defender guarding one offensive player man-to-man. An even front has two players at the top of the zone.
Diamond and one — An odd front four-person zone defense with one defender guarding one offensive player man-to-man. An odd front has one player at the top of the zone.
Triangle and two — Either an even or odd front three-man zone defense with two players being guarded man to man.
Screen — Legal action by a player who, without causing contact, delays or prevents an opponent from reaching a desired position.
Blocking — Illegal personal contact which impedes the progress of an opponent; often wrongly called an illegal screen or pick, or moving screen.
Charging — Illegal personal contact caused by pushing or moving into an opponent’s torso.
Held ball — Used to be called a jump ball. Opponents have their hands so firmly on the ball that control cannot be obtained without undue roughness.
Alternating possession — Method of putting the ball in play by a throw-in after a held ball.
Closely guarded — When an offensive player with the ball is being guarded in the front court within six feet or less by the defender while either dribbling or holding the ball. If the player with the ball is closely guarded for five seconds, then it is a violation
Basket interference — Anytime an offensive or defensive player touches the ball while it is on any part of the basket (including the net) while the ball is on or within the basket or while any part of the ball is within the imaginary 18-inch cylinder above the rim
Goaltending — Any time a player touches the ball on a shot once the ball is on its downward flight above the rim with a chance to go in.
Airborne shooter — A player who has released the ball on a shot and has not returned to the floor. He has returned to the floor when one foot touches the floor
Bonus — 0ne-and-one attempt on fouls 7-8-9. Make the first free throw and you get the second attempt.
Double bonus — Two free throws on any foul 10 or over.
Team control foul — Any foul on the offense except the player with the ball. The penalty is loss of the ball.
Player control foul — Any foul on a player with the ball. The penalty is loss of the ball.
Intentional foul — A personal or technical foul that may or may not be premeditated and is not based only on the severity of the act. It includes, but is not limited to: neutralizing an opponent’s obvious advantage, fouling a player clearly not involved with the play, not making a legitimate attempt to play the ball while specifically designing to stop the clock or keep it from starting on a throw-in. The penalty is two shots and the ball possession.
Incidental contact — Contact with an opponent which is permitted and which does constitute a foul. It does not put any player at an advantage or a disadvantage
I hope this has helped. Enjoy the tourney!