How Many Players Are On A Basketball Team?

Key Takeaways:

  • Basketball teams usually consist of 5 players: 3 forwards, 2 guards, and a center. This is the standard team size for most basketball leagues around the world.
  • In the NBA, teams can have up to 15 players on their roster, but only 12 can be active for each game. Teams can make substitutions throughout the game as well, following specific league regulations for player substitutions.
  • High school and college basketball teams often have the same standard team size as professional leagues, but there can be variations depending on the league rules and regulations.

How Many Players are on a Basketball Team?

Do you know how many players are on a basketball team? Let’s dive into the specifics of basketball team sizes. From FIBA regulations to the NBA’s maximum roster, we’ll explore the rules and sizes for basketball teams across various levels, including college and high school leagues. We’ll even take a closer look at the details of training camps and preseason roster sizes.

NBA regulations for basketball team size and substitutions

The NBA has rules on team size and substitutions. A team can only have 15 players, plus one inactive on game day. They can switch players during timeouts, between quarters, or if someone is hurt. Each team also gets six fouls per half before getting disqualified.

These regulations are meant to keep play fair and competition high. But they can change anytime depending on the NBA’s needs. This keeps the regulations current and applicable to today’s basketball.

FIBA regulations for basketball team size and substitutions

FIBA regulations for basketball teams are outlined in the table.

Maximum number of players12No max on roster size, usually 13-15 players
Maximum number of players allowed on court55
Number of player substitutions allowedUnlimitedUnlimited
Return of subbed-out playerNot allowedNot allowed
Timeouts per game7 per game
Contact allowed between playersMore physical

FIBA rules allow for more physical contact between players. NBA teams, on the other hand, can call up to 7 timeouts per game.

Note that while FIBA allows unlimited player substitutions, a subbed-out player can’t return to the game. NBA regulations differ and there is no maximum roster size, usually with 13-15 players on the team.

Basketball team size in other leagues including college and high school

Basketball teams vary in size, depending on the league. College and high school teams usually have five players. But, variations can occur for non-professional games or tournaments. For example, the WNBA has 12 players per team, and FIBA regulations set 12-player rosters for international competitions.

Youth leagues have also implemented minimum playing times for each player. This ensures all athletes get to develop their skills. It reduces the risk of injuries for young players, and gives them more chances to participate. This helps build their skillset. Providing these opportunities is essential for team sports such as basketball.

Maximum players allowed on NBA rosters, including active and inactive players

When it comes to building an NBA roster, teams must consider the max number of players allowed. The NBA regulations allow a max of 17 players, out of which 15 are active and 2 are inactive.

The roster is divided into four columns:

  • Category
  • Max players allowed per roster
  • Active players
  • Inactive players
CategoryMax PlayersActive PlayersInactive Players
NBA Roster17152

Sometimes, teams may need to sign substitute players due to injuries or other factors. During the preseason, teams can expand the roster size beyond the regular season limit.

The pandemic has led to several safety protocols to ensure player availability. Teams must work with their subs and inactive players due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

Training camps and preseason roster sizes

Basketball teams in different leagues use training camps or pre-season activities to prepare for the next season. Coaches use these to train their players. Teams also evaluate new players to decide if they should be added to the roster. Regulations specify the max number of players allowed for NBA, FIBA, and NCAA pre-season activities.

Each league has its own rules which can affect the roster size. For instance, NBA teams can have 20 players in training camp. But only 15 can be active in the regular season and playoffs. The NCAA does not list a specific roster size for its training camps.

The following table shows the active and inactive roster sizes for NBA teams.

LeagueMax Player Count
NBA20 (active: 15)

Before NBA teams make their final team selection, they often decrease the roster. This can be done by sending active players to D-League affiliates or waiving them. Players that are waived are free agents and can be signed by other teams or join G-League squads.

Street Basketball and 3×3 Basketball Leagues

If you’re a fan of basketball, you may have already heard of the evolving street basketball and 3×3 basketball leagues. But what sets these popular variations from the traditional basketball league that we know of?

In this section, we’ll explore the player and coach requirements of street basketball, as well as the comparison between these two leagues. So, whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned player, read on to learn more about the exciting world of street basketball and 3×3 basketball leagues.

Overview of Street Basketball and its Player and Coach Requirements

Street basketball is an exciting variant of the sport. It’s played outdoors – on urban blacktops and concrete courts. There are no officials or referees, so self-discipline and fair play are key. Players don’t need training – they rely on their individual skills and teamwork to win.

Uniquely, street basketball involves trash-talking and showboating moves. Players showcase their tricks to outdo one another before finally dunking the ball. This isn’t accepted in professional or organized leagues.

Street basketball brings people from diverse backgrounds together. It’s a platform for unity among communities as they share a common love for the game.

Comparison of Street Basketball and Regular Basketball League

Street basketball and regular basketball leagues offer different gameplay experiences. To understand their unique features, we must compare their differences.

We can demonstrate the differences by creating a table. For example, street basketball teams usually have three players – unlike the regular league, which has five. Plus, street courts are smaller: 50×24 feet, compared to 94×50 feet for regular courts. This means the playing style in street basketball is more informal.

Another factor is coaching and players. Street basketball doesn’t have formal coaching. Professional players in the regular league however, have higher demands and skills. Plus, conditioning and physical prowess play a bigger role in the regular league.

By understanding these details, we can decide which one suits our preferences best.


To sum up, the amount of players on a basketball team is a must for victory. The typical team has twelve members on the roster; when playing, five are on the court. These can be guards, forwards, or centers – they all have their own talents. Though the number of players on the court can vary, professional basketball is always five.

The coach decides who plays and who goes to the bench. Together, they strive to win, while the opponent attempts to defend and score. A well-mixed team is essential for success – so, coaches put time into analyzing and altering their roster to maximize winning potential.

Five Facts About How Many Players on a Basketball Team:

  • ✅ A basketball team has 12 players according to NBA regulations, with 5 players on the court at one time and unlimited substitutions. (Source:
  • ✅ Street basketball, also known as 3×3 basketball, has 3 players on the court, 1 substitute player, 1 main trainer, and 2-3 assistant coaches. (Source:
  • ✅ The maximum number of players on a basketball team varies depending on the league, with FIBA allowing 12 players, NBA allowing 15 players (13 active and 2 inactive), WNBA allowing 12 players, NCAA allowing 15 players, and NFHS allowing 20 players. (Source:
  • ✅ NBA franchises can have up to 20 players signed on their roster in the offseason, but this is cut down to 15 players during the regular season. (Source:
  • ✅ On any given night, an NBA team can have up to 13 active players and 2 inactive players. (Source:

FAQs about How Many Players On A Basketball Team

How many players are on a basketball team in a typical game?

In a typical basketball game, there are 10 players on the court with 5 players on each team playing at any given time. Each team has players on the bench available for substitution.

How many players are allowed on the bench in a basketball game?

In a basketball game, 8 players are on the bench available for substitution. 2 players are healthy scratches and do not dress or play.

How many active players are there on an NBA team?

An NBA team has a maximum of 15 players on their roster, with 13 active players and 2 inactive players. On any given night, an NBA team can have up to 13 active players and 2 inactive players.

What is the maximum number of players allowed on an NCAA basketball team?

The maximum number of players allowed on an NCAA basketball team is 15 players.

What is a field goal in basketball?

A field goal is when a player shoots the ball into their opponent’s basket, scoring points for their own team.

What is a double dribble violation in basketball?

A double dribble violation is when a player uses both hands to dribble the ball, stops dribbling, then starts dribbling again with both hands, or when a player dribbles, picks up the ball, then dribbles again.

Leave a Comment