Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points by throwing or dunking a basketball through a hoop mounted ten feet above the surface of the basketball court. Basketball is one of the most popular and widely viewed sports in the world.
Points are scored by passing the ball through the basket from above. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Although a physical game by its very nature, basketball is not considered a contact sport and disruptive physical contact is prohibited during play and is punished with penalties for the offending players.
National Basketball Association (NBA) games are played in four quarters of 12 minutes each. Five players may play for each team at a time, and coaches may swap players at will, but may only do so when the clock is stopped. In case of a tied game at the end of the fourth quarter, the game will enter into a five minute overtime period.