A Fan’s Guide to: Basketball

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As part of a multi-article series, The Milestone will inform the casual fan on the basics of each sport and give him or her enough understanding of the sport. In this article, the Milestone will focus on Basketball

The set-up of a basketball court is rather widely known, but the basics include a 74 foot long court with a hoop at each end. Each team has a basket for scoring and a basket they are defending, and there are three ways to score: a two point goal, a three point goal, and a free throw.

Two point goal: Any shot taken from inside the three-point line. The ball goes in the basket. Swish, two points.

Three point goal: Any shot taken from outside the three point line, which is a semi-circle on each end of the court.

Free Throw: If a player is fouled in a way that merits he/she takes foul shots, then they get to go to the foul line and shoot one or two shots, depending on what the situation determines. In this situation, the other players have to wait for the shots to be taken before they are allowed to move from certain spots on the court. Each of the shots is worth one point.

Now, fan interaction and involvement is where many might become uncomfortable. The games are fast-paced, and action-packed. Senior Danny Byrne explains what sets basketball apart from other sporting events.
“The fans are just much more involved in the game. You’re so much closer to the game than most other sports, and it lets you get really into [the game],” Byrne said. In other sports, like football, there’s a division between the players and the fans with the sidelines and fences, but in basketball the bleachers go straight to the court, so fans are close to the game.

“[Basketball] is just so much faster than most other sports that it is really exciting for the fans,” senior Hannah Taylor said. The constant action of the game is another reason many fans find basketball thrilling. With the way the game is played, teams are scoring constantly, so the game never gets boring. The proximity of the game allows the crowd to affect the players on the court. A cheering crowd can lift the spirits of the team and help them gain momentum throughout the game.

When to cheer at the game can be intimidating for a new fan, but it is what makes the game fun, and really cheering at any time is acceptable. The only time to be quiet is when a member of the home team is at the foul line. It’s important to give them quiet to concentrate on hitting their shots. If the other team is trying to hit shots, though, get as loud as possible. There are always bleachers full of people to follow to know when to cheer.

The rules between men’s and women’s basketball are the same. They share the same scoring system, court size, and dimensions. It’s the same game of basketball, and the fact is that fans are important part of the game!

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