Main rules of the game:
The basketball court should be 24-28 m long and 13-15 m wide. The surface should be asphalt, dirt or wooden (a parquet floor). The circle marked in the centre has a radius of 1.80 m. The object of the game is to throw the ball into the opposition's basket. A field goal is worth two points, a goal from a free throw counts one point, a goal from outside the 6.25-metre line - three points. The ball must be put into play within the five seconds that follow the referee's whistle blow. A team has 24 seconds to attempt to score and eight seconds to leave their half of the field. A player cannot remain within the opposition's restricted area for more than three seconds.
A match consists of four quarters lasting ten minutes each. There are two-minute intervals between the first and second as well as third and fourth quarter and before each extra time. The half-time break lasts 15 minutes. If the score is tied after 40 minutes, extra time of five minutes is played as many times as necessary for one of the teams to win.
The ball is played with one or both hands in any direction. It is not allowed to run with the ball. Shoulder fight, pushing off, holding, hitting, blocking an opponent is not permitted and amounts to a foul. After the fifth foul the player leaves the court. When a team has committed four fouls, free throws are awarded to the other team.
A team is made up of 12 players. Five of them are allowed on the court. Substitutions are unlimited. Since 1 October 2003 the number of time-outs requested by a coach has been changed from four to five and the requirement to call a time-out in every quarter has been cancelled out. A coach can request two time-outs during the first 20 minutes and three during the subsequent 20 minutes.
At both ends of the court there are backboards mounted to vertical poles. The backboards measuring 120 by 180 cm should be made of transparent material or hard wood painted white. The bottom edge of the backboard should be 2.75 m above the floor. The backboard support structure should be at least 40 cm away from the end line and the centre of the backboard should hang 120 cm away from the end line. In the middle of the backboard there is a basket ring with an internal diameter of 45 cm. It is suspended at the height of 3.05 m above the floor. Marked at both ends of the field there are restricted areas (5.80 m away from the end line) and free throw lanes.
The ball should spherical, weigh 600-650 g and have 75-78 cm in circumference. The ball for children under the age of 12, in the so-called mini basketball, is smaller and lighter (circumference: 68-73 cm, weight: 450-500 g). The backboards and baskets are mounted closer to the floor (2.35 m for backboards and 2.60 for baskets). The free throw lines are marked four metres from the backboards.