What Is the Basketball Scoring System?

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In the basketball scoring system, teams score two points for baskets made by players shooting within the three-point arc and three points for baskets made from beyond the three-point arc, according to Breakthrough Basketball. Fouled players are awarded two or three uncontested one-point shots from the free-throw line, depending on the player’s location when the foul was committed.

If a player makes a shot while being fouled, he is awarded points for the original basket and awarded one free throw for the foul. A player who is fouled while attempting a three-point shot can potentially score four points: three for the original shot and one for the ensuing free throw. If a foul is committed on a player who is not in control of the ball, no free shot is awarded, but possession of the ball is turned over.

Although basketball is a physical contact sport, fouls are called for a number of illegal physical plays, such as charging or running over the defense, blocking or wrongfully impeding the offensive player’s drive to the basket, or intentional fouls when contact is made with an opposing player without any intent to take the basketball. Technical fouls are also called for unsportsmanlike behavior.