London Olympics. A guide to Basketball
The Australian women’s basketball team, better known as the Opals, has won silver medals at the last three Olympics. They still chase that elusive gold. It is an exciting time for Australian basketball fans with the women's team joined by a men's team.
In the men’s competition, the Boomers are a team with increasing depth and are proving to be a growing contender for the London 2012 medal dais in what is becoming a more competitive event. Despite star player Andrew Bogut needing ankle surgery that has ruled him out of the Olympics, international campaigners Patty Mills, Matthew Nielsen and David Andersen will look to show the world that the Boomers are a force to be reckoned with.
Words you need to know
Assist: a pass that directly leads to a teammate scoring a basket.
Lay-up: A close range one-handed shot from off the backboard.
Shot clock: A timer which measures the amount of time since the last shot. The ball must touch the rim or pass through the net within 24 seconds otherwise possession goes to the opposition.
Slam dunk: A slam shot directly into the net.
Time-out: If the coach makes a T-sign with his hands play is stopped for one minute so he can hold a team talk.
Twelve teams will compete in the women’s competition, with 12 athletes (five players and seven substitutes) on each team.
Points are scored by shooting the ball into your opponents’ net (or basket). The ball must be moved up the court by dribbling or passing it to another team member and no more than two steps can be taken by a player with the ball without them dribbling it.
Two points are awarded for a regular shot from open play, with one point for each successful free throw (following an opposition infringement) and three points for a shot from distance (beyond the three-point line).
Competition will begin with a preliminary stage before the 12 teams are divided into two groups of six with each team playing every other in their group. The top four teams from each group qualify for the knockout stage, where the winners of the semi-finals will go head-to-head for the gold medal.