What Are The 5 Positions In Basketball? [And Their Roles]

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Basketball is a sport in which all basketball positions must communicate with each other. Every basketball position is distinct from the others and necessitates a distinctive set of skills. So, what are the 5 positions in basketball and what do they do?

The 5 positions in basketball are shooting guard, point guard, power forward, small forward, and center. Each position has a distinct purpose on the court. 

Let’s read on to the details!

What Are The 5 Positions In Basketball?

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Five Basketball Positions

There are five basketball positions on the court. Throughout a dead ball phase, teams may substitute players at any moment, and they can wear any number. 

#1. Point Guard 

The point guard is crucial to the speed and execution of the team. Because the point guard functions as an on coach by arranging plays, this role necessitates a strong basketball IQ. 

Point guards take the upcourt and make judgments that produce high-percentage shots in the best-case scenario. Ball-handling and passing abilities are essential for point guards. Point guards must be outspoken as the primary ball handler. 

To build up the strategy, point guard positions have to overcome the distractions. Moreover, they should be able to drive the zone on defense. 

They’ll need a 3-pointer and a good jump shot as well. Point guards have to concentrate on protecting the other team’s most excellent ball handler and penetrating the lane for a turnover on defense. 

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On most teams, the point guard is the minor player on the court. That is not always the case, though. Any athlete with the requisite abilities, regardless of height, may handle this role. 

Playing point guard necessitates the following skills and qualities: 

  • Passing.
  • Communication.
  • Quickness.
  • Unselfishness.
  • Composure.

#2. Shooting Guard

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Shooting Guard Has To Put The Ball To The Basket.

As the name implies, shooting guard positions must be capable of putting the ball in the basket. The team’s top outside shooters are frequently assigned to this role. 

To be effective, though, the shooting guard or the two-guard needs more than a solid 3-point shot. They must also be able to move well off the goal, such as finding open areas and dashing through screens. 

While shooting guards do not need to be as good as point guards, they still need to handle the ball well. The backup ball handler is usually a shooting guard. This ability also allows them to shut off the dribble on their own. 

Shooting guards must also have good defensive abilities. A shooting guard’s size might vary. Some can be the same height as the point guard, while others can be taller than other forwards. 

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A good shooting guard necessitates the following skills and qualities: 

  • Shooting.
  • Moving without the ball.
  • Ball handling.
  • Rebounding.
  • Playing strong defense.

#3. Small Forward

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Small Forward Plays A Vital Role.

Do not mistake the name; the small forward plays a significant role. This position comes in three, and is arguably the most versatile on the basketball court. 

Defending small forwards necessitates a combination of power forward and shooting guard abilities. They must be assertive, aggressive, and be agile enough to evade opponents, cut to the rim, and make jump shots. 

A small forward with a good mid-range shot and drive to cut to the basket may help him stand out on defense. When trying to play small forward, strength and quickness on the interior are both advantages.

For height, many small forwards are in between power forwards and shooting guards. Playing small forward necessitates the following qualities and skills: 

  • Ability to score from both outside and inside the box.
  • Rebounding.
  • Quickness in handling the ball.
  • Protect multiple positions.

#4. Power Forward

The more you go close to the hoop, the more difficult things become. In other words, close to the rim, the power forward pulls out baskets. Stretch four is another name for this position. 

The task necessitates a combination of strength and height. A power forward must improve their ability to post up and box out defenders in the paint. They must also set up screens to assist teammates in getting open. 

Power forwards must employ a variety of shots to be productive on offense. A power forward may be a potent offensive threat with short jumpers, baseline fades, and putbacks. They must also be able to make a mid-range jump shot. 

Playing power forward necessitates a variety of skills and qualities, including:

  • Size.
  • Scoring from midrange and in the paint.
  • Strength.
  • Shot blocking.
  • Rebounding.

#5. Center

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Center Is The Tallest Player On The Court.

As the tallest player on the team, a center protects the basket while also being a constant danger beneath it. While size is an essential aspect of being a center, they must also be agile. 

On attack, centers must generate their shot in tight areas and retrieve rebounds from teammates. On the offensive end, centers must be able to play with their backs to the hoop. 

When it comes to scoring in the lane, footwork is crucial. The center is generally the best shot rebounder and blocker on defense, preventing opponents from scoring second chances. The following skills and qualities are required to play center: 

  • Size.
  • Inside rebounding and scoring.
  • Strength.
  • Shot deflection. 

What Are The Hybrid Positions?

Basketball has progressed over time. While there are five standard NBA positions, there’s a player who may not always fit into them. 

Instead, they take on a hybrid or unconventional role. These athletes frequently combine the abilities required to play two different positions. Typically, these hybrid roles begin in high school. 

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Stretch Four Is A Powerful Position.

Here are several examples: 

  • Point forward: This position is typically a small forward who serves as a point guard. They’ll need the ability to perform small forward, as well as the duty of starting the attack. 
  • Combo guard: This player is capable of playing both point guard and shooting guard. They’ll need to be able to handle the ball well and shoot accurately. 
  • Swingman: This player can play shooting guard and small forward. They’re not overmatched at any position since they are taller than a standard shooting guard.
  • Stretch 4: This position is a power forward who can shoot from outside the 3-point line. 

Each team role has its set of abilities, physical characteristics, and competitive subtleties. You may improve your ability to forecast where gamers will be and what they will do when they arrive by obtaining this information.


Here are some frequently asked questions we have collected while researching this field.

Which Position Score The Most?

what are the 5 positions in basketball

Point Guard.

It all depends on your team’s attack. A small forward and a shooting guard will be preferred if the basketball team uses a half-court set geared toward the outside shooting. 

Centers and power forwards will be allowed to score if the game is a ball screen short game. Another determining aspect in achieving the most points in every game is talent. 

How To Distinguish Basketball Position?

Your position usually depends on your speed, size, athleticism, defense, ball handling, and shooting skill. Training these abilities is critical to be a well-rounded player who can play everywhere on the court. It will allow the coach to shift you to other places by increasing your playing time.

Where Is The Post Position?

The post is a part of the court rather than a position in basketball. Under the basket on most basketball courts is a rectangle called “the post,” which is frequently colored in. Shooting and rebounding short-range shots for power forwards and centers are daily activities in this region. 

Are Point Guards The Most Important Basketball Positions?

Yes, the point guard is the most critical position in basketball. 

Against the other team’s fastest defenders, the defense’s quarterback will be in charge of the ball. If there is an aggressive defender in the defense, the point guard must cross them or rattle them to get them to back off.

Which Is The Most Straightforward And Hardest Position In Basketball?

In basketball, there is no position that is more straightforward than others. Instead, it is determined by the player’s level of skill. 

It will be simpler for a huge string player to play center than for a point guard. On the other hand, a shooting guard is a position where an experienced shooter will get an easier time than others.

When it comes to the hardest position, point guard seems to be the most challenging position in basketball by many players. To control the game, the point guard will require several skill sets seen in other positions, as well as a tremendous basketball IQ. 

However, there is no such thing as the most challenging position. Which role a player will flourish in depends on their ability.

Final Thoughts

Every position has a distinct function to perform. Therefore, basketball is intriguing because it has distinct functions for all sizes of players.

Hopefully, we provide you with helpful information. You can refer to many interesting articles on Scott Fujita. Thank you for reading!

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