Basketball Positions For Players, Parents & Coaches

For the basketball positions listed below, I have given you the basic names of the positions. I have also listed other terms used to describe each position and player on the court.

Basic Basketball Positions

Center - Often the tallest player on the team. Normally plays close to the basket and is responsible for getting rebounds and blocking shots.

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Forwards - Two players generally positioned closer to the basket than the guards. They often assume a floor position along the perimeters of the free-throw lane and maneuver both inside and outside.

Guards - The two players who typically move the ball from the backcourt into the frontcourt. They usually handle setting up plays and passing to teammates closer to the basket.

Point Guard - Usually a team's floor leader, who initiates the offense and controls the tempo of the game.

Post Player - The position usually played by the center.

Power Forward - Usually the bigger, stronger forward who plays close to the basket and is responsible for rebounding and inside scoring.

Shooting Guard - Generally, the player who takes the majority of the shots from the perimeter, many of which are three-point attempts.

Small Forward - Usually bigger than the guards but smaller than the power forward; responsibilities include both inside and outside work.

Other Basketball Player Positions

Ball Handler - Player controlling the ball; can also mean a player known for skillful handling of the ball.

Outlet - A player that sets up near the sideline for a pass from a defensive rebounder. This pass will initiate the offensive fast break.

Pivot - The position a player takes with their back to the basket, either at the top or on the side of the free throw lane. This is also called the post position.

Playmaker - The point guard who usually sets up plays for his teammates.

Shooter - A player who takes a shot at the basket.

Sixth Man - The first substitute to come off the bench to replace a starter.

Starting Line-up - The five players who begin a game for one team.

Substitute - A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court.

Swing Man - A player who can play both the guard and forward positions.

Wing - A player who is running the outside lane on the fast break. Also a player who is positioned at the foul-line extended area during the half-court offense.


I hope you found this list of Basketball Positions to be helpful and informative. Remember, to thoroughly understand the game of basketball, it is important to understand the terms of the game.

If you need more great information on these basketball positions or other basketball topics, I would suggest you purchase some good basketball books and videos. These will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about the game of basketball.

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