Youth Basketball – What Parents Need to Know

Asia Mape
In Basketball, Learn
By Asia Mape | November 17, 2017

Youth Basketball – What Parents Need to Know

The basics of basketball
Print Basketball 101 PDF

Youth basketball is a team sport with two hoops on either end. Depending on your kid’s age and your particular league, the heights of the baskets can change. My third grader is playing on a 10-foot rim. That being said, many will follow this gradual scale on the graphic below.

  • 10 players are on the court at all times, five from each team.
  • All players will play both offense and defense throughout the game, depending on which side of the court the ball is on.

What Size Basket Should I Be Playing On?

Recommended Ball Sizes For Kids And Adults!


What size basketball should I be playing with?

Basketball doesn’t go on forever. Unlike baseball and softball, there is always a clock. So don’t worry, it won’t screw up your dinner plans. Youth leagues typically play two halves – twenty minutes long with a running clock. High school and above typically play four 8-minute quarters and the clock is stopped whenever the whistle blows. In youth recreational leagues, every player must play a minimum amount of time, so nobody is left on the bench the entire game.

Basketball is complementary to many sports. There’s a lot of jumping like in volleyball, but court vision and the passing and team game is most similar to soccer.



Typically a basketball player has these traits.

  • It’s INDOORS! You never have to check the weather, bring sunscreen or bundle up. Yes, having an indoor venue makes a world of difference when you’re a parent.
  • Easy To Practice On Their Own. Even if you don’t have your own court, there are a TON of basketball drills for dribbling, agility, jumping, and even ways to practice your shot. Have your child google “basketball drills.”
  • There’s A Lot Of Action. There is a lot more scoring involved than in soccer or baseball. And if your kid plays other sports where they are stuck on defense or not good enough to see a lot of action, EVERYONE on a basketball court will be involved. Even if nobody wants to pass to your kid, he’s sure to end up with an errant rebound or loose ball at some point!

  • It’s Super Competitive. Since it’s a playground sport and most kids play it, it can often be difficult to make club teams and high school teams. In America, more people play basketball than any other team sport.
  • The Non Stop Dribbling. If your child ends up loving this sport, they will practice all around the house all day long.
  • It Can Be Expensive. If your child ends up playing travel/club, there can be a lot of out of town tournaments and sometimes out of state. Plus the gear can get expensive. Keeping up with the latest shoes, socks, and gear is not cheap.
  • Injuries Are Typically Minor But They Do Happen. Strains and sprains to the ankle and knee, and eye injuries are the most common.


Diagram of a basketball court.

Basketball positions explained.

Basketball Scholarships in 2015

Basketball 101 PDF

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