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What to Bring to Watch a Basketball Game

What to Bring to Watch a Basketball Game

Attending a basketball game, whether an amateur one or a professional one such as the NBA, is always tons of fun. With the energy from the crowd, the closeness to the players, and being able to witness all the high-flying dunks in real-time, there is little that truly compares to the experience.

However, attending a basketball game can be more enjoyable if you are prepared for one. Having certain items on hand with you will not only make the overall experience more enjoyable, but will also make you a more avid fan of both the team you are rooting for and the game at large.

Below, we are going to discuss what items to bring to watch a basketball game. We will also discuss just why these items are useful to bring and how they can make the experience more enjoyable. In addition, we will review some basic basketball rules and stats to ensure you’re a more informed fan before attending the game.

What to Bring to Watch a Basketball Game

What Is Basketball?

Before attending a basketball game, it is a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of the rules and stats. Not only will doing so help you to understand what is happening on the court, but you will also be a more informed fan and participant of the game.

Now, understanding how to play basketball, the exact nuances of the game, and the differing player stats can be a hefty workload to place on yourself.

If you are interested in the full gamut and want to really understand how to play basketball, then I would highly suggest reading our, ‘How to Play Basketball – The Ultimate Guide‘, post. That post will go through, step-by-step, everything you need to know about basketball and how to get started in understanding the game.

Basic Rules of the Game

However, if you are looking for a more redacted version, then below, in a bulleted list, we will provide you with the basics of the game, the player positions, and the basic stats which you should know.

  • Basketball is played by two teams of five players on the court.
  • The objective of the game is to score more points on the opposing basket, while attempting to defend against points scored by the opposing team on your basket.
  • In basketball, points can range from 1-3 depending on the type of shot and the area from which the shot was taken. Any shot from within the three-point arc is considered a two-pointer, with any shot past the three-point line counting for three points. However, if a player is assessed a personal foul and is given a free throw shot opportunity, each successfully made free throw shall count for one point.
  • In the NBA and the WNBA, there is a 24-second shot clock, which provides teams with a maximum of 24 seconds to attempt a shot on the basket before loss of possession.
  • In order to advance the basketball forward, a player must either dribble the basketball or pass the basketball to a teammate. However, once a player has picked up their dribble, they are prohibited from resuming a dribbling motion unless they first pass the basketball to a teammate or attempt a field goal shot.
  • The players on defense may try to steal the ball from the offensive player with possession of the basketball, however, in doing so, they must not engage in illegal contact which may result in a foul. Generally, illegal contact is considered to be any form of contact which impedes an opposing players ability to play.
  • Similarly, a player on the defensive side may attempt to block the ball as it is in the process of being shot or once it has left the shooting players fingers. However, once the basketball begins its downward trajectory, players are prohibited from interfering with it.

Who Are the Players?

In a regulation game of basketball, five individuals face off against another five players on the court. However, each player on the respective team plays an integral and unique role and position. Below, we will review the five positions played in basketball.

  • Point Guard – or the 1 Position – The point guard is considered to be the coach of the team while on the court. The most specialized role of any position on a basketball team, the point guard is expected to run the team’s offense by controlling both the ball and the flow of the offense.
  • The Shooting Guard – or the 2 Position – The shooting guard plays a similar role as the point guard but does not bear the same responsibility in having to handle the ball as often. Rather, a shooting guards main objective on offense is to score points for their team.
  • The Small Forward – or the 3 Position – The small forward is the perfect cross between the smaller guards and the larger power forward’s and centers on the court. Extremely versatile, small forwards are tasked with being just about a little bit of everything on the court.
  • The Power Forward – or the 4 Position – The power forward position is typically reserved for taller players who may not meet the weight and strength needed to play the center position. Often playing with their backs to the basket, the power forwards position themselves for mid-range jumpers and, in recent years, have become more adept at the 12-18 foot shot range.
  • The Center – or the 5 Position – Centers are typically the biggest players in both height and weight on the court. Playing extremely close to basket, centers look to score close to the hoop, typically via a dunk at the rim. In addition, due to their height, centers will typically be the ones to initiate the start of a basketball game via the tip-off.

What to Expect at a Basketball Game

While each basketball game is different, there are a few things you can expect from each game. In particular, you’ll find some of these experiences are more enhanced in a closely matched-up game, a playoff one, or one between two regional rivals.

  • Expect there to be a lot of noise – basketball games are famously loud and noisy. With fans excited to cheer and support their team, expect there to be frequent breakouts of cheering, clapping, whistling, and supportive yelling.
  • Expect a fast-paced game – particularly in the NBA, the flow of the game has become much faster, with teams looking to push their offense forward quickly to catch the defense off-guard. You will likely see a fast-paced game and one with frequent back-and-forth plays.
  • Expect a lot of three-point shot attempts – more-and-more NBA and basketball teams are shooting more three-pointers per game. The three-point shot is not only worth more points than a two-point field goal, but also, statistically, players have averaged 1.05 points per above-the-break 3 and 1.16 points per corner 3.
  • Expect a high scoring game – similarly, the NBA and many other basketball leagues have become heavy offensive games, with more-and-more teams shooting threes and attempting more shots per game. Similarly, per the NBA, the average score in the NBA has increased season-over-season for several years now. It has steadily gone from 205.3 in the 2015-2016 season to 224.2 last season.

What to Bring With You to a Basketball Game

While, admittedly, nothing on the below list os absolutely necessary to bring with you to the game, many of these items can make the game more fun and enjoyable. As always, look to your own personal wants and needs and determine what to bring to a game based on those wants and needs.

  • Binoculars – we’ve previously discussed the benefits of bringing a pair of binoculars to a baseball game and hold the same opinion for attending a basketball game. That is, if you are seated further away from the court and the center of action, then bringing along a pair of binoculars can help you to see the happenings on the court.
  • Cash and a Credit or Debit Card – while most retail and food vendors at the stadium accept credit and debit card payments, you should still bring a little bit of cash with you in case of a smaller priced purchase or in the case that credit cards are not accepted.
  • A basketball or piece of memorabilia – if you’re planning on trying to get a players autograph, be sure to bring along a basketball or a piece of memorabilia for them to sign. Also, be sure to bring a dry-erase marker for them to autograph the item you would like them to sign.
  • Team or player specific merchandise – if you really want to showcase your fandom for your home team, be sure to wear team or player specific merchandise. Doing so will also help you to blend in with the home crowd and show your support for the team.
  • Your license or ID – if you’re interested in purchasing some adult beverages, be sure to bring your license or government provided identification. You will likely be asked to provide either to purchase adult beverages and will need to show your identification before being allowed to make a purchase. Just remember, if you are going to drink, be sure to do so responsibly and to utilize the service of a taxi or Uber to get home.