How Many Players Are On A Basketball Team?

Each sport usually comes with a different set of rules and requirements. There can be requirements on how to play, formation, and even the number of players.

So, how many players are on a basketball team? According to official NBA information, each basketball team consists of 12-15 players. Specifically, there are always five players on the field for each team to carry out the game, with the rest sitting on the bench.

In what positions will those five players play, and what will a match structure be like? Let’s learn more with Langley Rams in this article!

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There will be five players on the court in a basketball game.

Different Forms Of Basketball Playing

According to the world basketball federation of FIBA, there are two most popular ways of playing basketball today. They are street basketball and professional basketball. Depending on the style of play, there will be a difference in the number of players on the court.

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1. Street Basketball

The primary purpose of street basketball is to relax and practice. It is also known as 3×3 basketball. Just by hearing the name, you can imagine the number of members in the team, including:

  • Number of players on the court in each team: 3 players.
  • The number of players sits on the bench: 1 player.
  • Main trainer: 1 person.
  • Assistant coaches: 2 to 3 coaches.

2. Professional Basketball

One of the most famous professional basketball leagues in the world is the NBA. It is also the most popular form of competition today. Professional basketball is also known as 5×5 basketball. Thus, the corresponding number of people in the team will be:

  • The number of players on the court in each group: 5 players.
  • The number of substitutes: 7 to 8 players.
  • Inactive players: 2 to 3 players.
  • Leading trainer: 1 person.
  • Assistant coaches: 2 to 3 coaches.

In addition to the main positions, professional football teams also include a team of support personnel such as doctors, waterboys, or cheerleaders, etc.

The Number of Players on a Team in Different Basketball Leagues

Just knowing about two popular basketball styles is not enough. You also have to learn more about the different basketball tournaments because the number of players will depend on different basketball rules. Let’s learn more in this section.

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1. High School Basketball Team

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High school basketball team.

Each roster of varsity and junior varsity teams can be up to 20 players. This number is quite impressive.

The reason for the large number of players participating was due to the nature of high school basketball. This level is the basis for coaches to observe and select young talents. So they want to give away as many opportunities as possible.

Even so, only 15 of those players were involved in a match. This amount can also vary depending on the financial situation of the team and the importance of the tournament.

2. College Basketball Team

For the college basketball team, the story is not simply about giving opportunities to all. NCAA matches are often fierce and have a higher competitive element leading to shrinking team size.

A roster can include 15 players. However, only 13 players can participate in the competition. The remaining players will have to sit under the bench.

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3. NBA Team

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NBA basketball team.

During the offseason, NBA teams can have up to 20 players on their roster. However, they had to reduce that number to a maximum of 15 when entering the tournament. Just like the NCAA, only 13 players can participate in the match, and the rest will have to sit on the bench.

One advantage in the NBA is that coaches can change active players at any time.

4. WNBA Team

One of the minor basketball leagues today is the WNBA. There are currently 12 teams competing in the league, with a maximum of 12 players on one team. This number is similar to that of the FIBA tournament.

What Are The Five Roles In A Basketball Game?

Five basketball players on the court will have different roles and functions in a game of basketball. This section will help you better understand their names and responsibilities on the court.

If you want to have a more intuitive view about five positions in basketball, check this video!

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Five positions on a game of basketball.

1. Center

Usually, the center will be the strongest and tallest player on a basketball team. The main requirements of these players are more physically oriented with more physical strength and stamina.

Most of the center’s points in offensive play aim for offensive rebounds. Their primary responsibility is to prevent defenders of the opposing team from opening the way for other players to score.

In the defensive play, the center needs to block passes and shoot the ball. They also have to fight for rebounds.

2. Power Forward

The power forward is the second tallest person on the team, with the bodybuilding closest to the center but more towards speed.

These basketball players are truly versatile. They can score from mid-range or shoot three-pointers consistently. When defending, the main task of the power forward is also to block other prominent players from approaching the basket.

3. Small Forward

The height of the small forward may not be comparable to the two positions above. However, they are the most versatile basketball players on the basketball court.

This position requires standard height and good basketball IQ reflexes. They need to have the ability to play inside and the agility to defend the outer ring, like a shooting guard. Small forwards can shoot second or third best in a basketball team.

4. Shooting Guard

A shooting guard can be the shortest player on a team. Their main task is to shoot from the outside. In addition to scoring accurately, they also need the ability to dribble quickly, accurately, and a good judgment of court vision.

A shooting guard is also responsible for initiating attacks and controlling the ball down the field. Thanks to the ability to score anywhere on the field, a good shooting guard will be a big worry for the opposing team.

5. Point Guard

Usually, the point guard players will be the shortest in a team. However, their ball control is perfect. They are responsible for playing only the matches. Therefore, another name for a point guard is “floor general” or “coach on the floor.”

Some point guards also have excellent long-range shooting abilities.

The Importance Of The Players Sitting On The Bench

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Bench players play an important role in a basketball game.

A basketball game can be very intense, and injuries are possible. Therefore, basketball rules have strict rules about bench players. They may not receive as much attention and aura as regular players, but their role is still vital.

These players will replace players at their respective positions in the event of injury or fatigue. They can level the score or create a difference with the opponent if they have good skills.

The bench players can also be the missing piece in coaches’ flexible tactics to win the game.

The Substitutions Rules In A Game Of Basketball

In basketball, coaches can substitute as many times as they like. The limitation is not in quantity and, instead, in timing.

An example moment is when the ball is dead, and the clock stops. The referee blows the whistle for a substitute to enter the field and another player to leave the court.

We’ve put together a few other rules that you need to meet:

  • Players will have to proceed to the 8′ Substitution Box area to check-in and specify who they will be replacing. Then they have to stand near that area to get out quickly when the referee calls
  • The player is not allowed to substitute a free throw shooter or a pitcher. The exception is when an ejection occurs.
  • Unless the substitute player suffers a personal or technical foul, no change will take place.
  • Players need to wait until the final free throw is over before they can change players.
  • Unless fouled or timed out, teams cannot substitute players after a field goal.
  • If the referee suspends play, the player will not be allowed to return to the court.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you answer the question about the number of players on a basketball team. In general, every player, whether official or substitute, plays an important role. Depending on the time, they will have different ways of shining.

If you find the article meaningful, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!

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