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Any team sport has specific rules about the number of players and substitutions. The game of basketball is a famous sports game around the world. For basketball, surely many people have wondered “how many players are on a basketball team?”. Today, Scott Fujita will help you learn in detail, please refer!

How Many Players Are On A Basketball Team?

According to NBA regulations, the number of players on basketball team is 12 players. In which, there are five players on the court at one time and unlimited substitutions.

Basketball matches have two main forms of playing: street basketball and professional basketball. These two forms will have a different number of players on the field and a different number of substitutes.

Related: How many quarters are there in a basketball game

According to the regulations of the world basketball federation FIBA, there are two main forms of competition. A basketball team will have the number of people corresponding to each form.

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NBA teams size in NBA season

1. Street basketball: Number of players on the court 

Street basketball, also known as 3×3 basketball, is a type of basketball often used for practice.

As its other name suggests “3×3 basketball”, the number of members in each team will be:

  • Number of players in each basketball team: 3 players on the court.
  • Number of substitute players: 1 player.
  • Number of main trainers: 1 person.
  • Assistant coach: 2 to 3 coaches.

With this type of basketball, only 3 people on each side need to play on the court and a basketball.

View more: How many fouls to foul out in NBA

2. Professional basketball: Number of players on the court 

The typical professional basketball tournament for this form of competition in the NBA. This is the American basketball league.

This type of competition is the most used and popular on the basketball court. Another name for this form of basketball competition is “5×5 competitive basketball”. The number of people on the respective basketball team will be:

  • Number of players per team: 5 players on the court.
  • Number of substitutes: 7 players.
  • Number of main trainers: 1 person.
  • Assistant coach: 2 to 3 coaches.

Each team is only allowed to have 5 people on the basketball court at a time.

In addition to the main positions, there may also be a team doctor, a team manager, etc.

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What is the number of players in a basketball team?

What Role Will Five Players Play On the Basketball Court?

1. Point Guard

This player almost decides the attack of the whole team. This is the person who creates the attack for the whole team. Point Guard is usually the best dribbler on the team. His ability to steal, hold the ball well should be good. He needs to handle it well and take on the responsibility of hitting the ball the most on the team.

2. Shooting Guard

This position is an all-around playing position. The Shooting Guard is the one who throws the most in the match. Normally, when the team loses, people often criticize this position.

Shooting Guard has another special mission that specializes in stopping the best throwers of the opposing team. He is usually taller than Point Guard to help rebound Center.

Besides, he needs to be able to dribble, throw, and hit the basket quite well.

3. Small Forward

This position is similar to Shooting Guard. Normally, people can exchange the Shooting Guard positions to this position.

But the Shooting Guard is the better dribbler. Meanwhile, the Small Forward is often in positions around the field or a little within the 3-point line.

In the defensive position, this position is usually rebound and run the ball up quickly, winning the ball. Therefore, active players in this position need physical strength, agility, and cunning.

Besides, it would be great if he can hit the basket and throw well.

4. Power Forward

This PF position is responsible for bullying contestants outside or inside the penalty area. The purpose is to ease the burden on the Center.

The main thing is that the Power Forward can also play the Center position. When Center passes the ball to this position, he has to take care of the entire area under the backboard. Therefore, this position requires NBA players to be able to get on the basket, compete and hold the ball.

5. Center

The task of this position is to mainly block and rebound. This position just needs to make the opponent feel resistance in the box.

The Center must be very very strong and tall. These are the two prerequisites. He needs to play decisively and aggressively.

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Basketball positions

How Long Is a Basketball Game?

Depending on the level of basketball competition, the playing time will also be different.

The level of competition and level of the game will determine how long the match lasts.

Moreover, the time of the basketball game also varies from level to level. We’ll talk about some of the major levels like high school, college, NBA, NCCA, and professional basketball.

1. FIBA – Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur 

According to FIBA ​​rules, a basketball game will have 40 minutes of play. In which, people divide the time into 4 rounds, each session lasting 10 minutes. In addition, there will also be a break time between rounds.

Each team has about 20 minutes to prepare before the game starts.

Between the 1st and 2nd half, the prescribed rest time is 2 minutes.

Between the 2nd and 3rd halves, the break will be longer than 15 minutes. This is the time the teams use to change pitches and prepare to proceed to the next innings.

Between the 3rd and 4th rounds, the prescribed rest time is 2 minutes.

After 4 main rounds, we will have the final result of the match. However, if two equally talented teams have the same number of points, they will play 2 extra periods.

In the first extra time, if one of the two teams scores more goals in the basket, that team will be the winner.

In the event the score is still equal, the second extra time will continue.

The break between extra periods will also be 2 minutes.

Note: The halftime break will start counting from the time the game clock announces the end of the game.

2. NBA – National Basketball Association – James Naismith – Father of basketball

In the NBA, each round will be longer than FIBA. Total playing time is 48 minutes in 4 halves, ie 12 minutes/round.

The rest time between the 2nd and 3rd rounds is similar to FIBA’s 15 minutes. The interval between extra periods will be 5 minutes.

To organize an NBA game, all the time from preparation to playing and resting will be about 2 hours.

3. NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association

The time of basketball for the college basketball team is longer with the above two tournaments. Game time is 20 minutes for each round.

The halftime between extra innings and between 2 and 3 is the same as the NBA.

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College basketball team

4. High school basketball

This is the game with the shortest playing time. Each round has 8 minutes of play.

The prescribed rest time between the 2nd and 3rd halves is 10 minutes. Extra time is 4 minutes.

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High school basketball

Basketball Rules of Substitutions

  • During a substitution, a team may substitute one, two players, or more at the same time.
  • Can only change players with the approval of the referees.
  • Substituting players will remain outside the touchline until the referee allows entry.
  • When making a substitution, the substituted player will go straight and sit on the bench in his team’s area.
  • When changing players, do it as quickly as possible. The maximum time for substitution is 30 seconds.
  • For a free throw player, it can only substitute in the following cases:
    • Injured free throw player and can’t continue playing right away.
    • The free thrower is penalized or sent off.
    • Can not substitute during or after free throws.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a dead ball in basketball?

  • The dead ball is when the player successfully throws the ball or finishes the free throws.
  • When the referee blows the whistle to stop the game for some reason.
  • The clock signals the end of the game.
  • The 24-second clock signals.
  • When a player of one side breaks a rule and the referee blows the whistle to stop play.

2. What are the situations of losing under basketball rules?

A team will lose if that basketball team commits the offensive following:

Before the match starts, the basketball team that does not have 5 players on the field will lose immediately.

Some actions prevent the game from taking place.

3. Basketball rules of mistakes related to poor consciousness

Like many other sports, sportsmanship in basketball is very important. 

  • Any athlete and coach who violates the rules of basketball.
  • The basketball players or coach make offensive words and actions on the court.
  • Athletes use tricks to stop the opponent illegally.
  • The player intentionally causes injury to the opponent.
  • Players or coaches use inappropriate words or actions to protest against the referee’s decision.
  • Especially heavy penalties for players or coaches of both teams fighting on the court.


Now you already find out the answer to the question “how many people are on a basketball team”, right? Scott Fujita has well-provided knowledge related to basketball rules. We hope you have the best basketball games with your friends.

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