Football Vs Basketball Essay | Differences Between Football and Basketball

Football Vs Basketball Essay: Basketball and football are two very different sports. There are a lot of differences between the equipment used, the size of the court, the size of the ball, and the dress code. For instance, a basketball is comparatively bigger than a football, and it also has to be dribbled with two hands. A football, as the name suggests, is played with the feet and also the head. Moreover, the two games have different rules and regulations.

For example, basketball is a sport that is played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court, which is elevated one-half meter above the ground. Each team tries to score points by throwing the ball through the hoop located at the center of the court. The player with possession of the ball can take up to three steps before they must either shoot, pass or lose possession. On the other hand, football is a competitive team sport that is played by two teams of eleven players each. The object of the game is to score more points than the other team by tackling members of the other team who are carrying the ball, catching a pass thrown from one player to another, or running into the opposing team’s end zone.

As we have observed, football and basketball are two extremely different sports. Hence, both sports will have different benefits as well as different drawbacks. We shall take a look at more differences between the two sports and analyse their own pros and cons.

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Differences Between Football and Basketball

Both sports are equally fast-paced games that have varying levels of physical contact. Basketball requires shooting balls at a metal hoop which is suspended high off the ground. to score points. Football, on the other hand, has less contact and you are only allowed to catch the ball once before you have to release it to stop it from being intercepted or knocked out of your hands; you can move the ball by passing it forward or laterally, and there are no baskets or nets.

Game Duration: Football and basketball have differing game durations. An NBA game consists of 4 quarters, each quarter taking approximately 12 minutes. On the other hand, a football game typically lasts for 90 minutes, which are made of two 45 minute halves. The game might be extended with quarters lasting for 15 minutes.

Number of Players on the Court: In football, there are exactly 11 players on each side. In basketball, a team is allowed a maximum of five players on the playing court.

Regulation Sizes of the Court: The football field is divided in half by a line running parallel to the goal lines. The field is also divided by white dashed lines into four sections, called “quadrants,” each one with a corner arc. FIFA recommends a football field that is 105 meters in length and 68 meters in width.

The NBA regulation size for a basketball court is over 90 feet long and 50 feet wide. There are also standards for the height of the baskets, with the hoop allowed to be 10 feet off the ground. Furthermore, all courts must have two baskets, two boxes of chalk, an out-of-bounds line, a free throw lane that is 20 feet wide by 6.5 feet deep, and a clear view of the hoop from behind it.

Football Vs Basketball

Typical Positions Played in Each Sport


Following is the list of positions to play in football as per Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA):

  • Goalkeeper – The goalkeeper is the only player on the field with no special responsibilities. The goalkeepers duties are to guard the goalposts, which are positioned on either side of the net, and prevent any ball from entering their area.
  • Full-back – A full-back is a player on the defensive side of the football field. They’re responsible for covering and supporting one half of the field. The full-back lines up behind the defensive line and fills in space as needed.
  • Wing-back – The wing-back is a position in football that gives it’s player more defensive responsibility than an average fullback or winger. A wing-back needs to be very quick, able to make attacking runs down the wing, and needs good intelligence since they are often required to provide cover for the fullback or winger on their side of the field.
  • Centre-back – They are assigned to defend the opposing team’s centre forward, thus making them the last line of defense. The centre-back should be tall and strong to physically dominate an attacking player. The modern day centre back has become more tactically aware since they are now required to cover the entire pitch, not just their own half or end of the pitch.
  • Defensive midfielder – The defensive midfielder is a player who is positioned within the team’s own penalty area. This position is a combination of a central midfielder and a defender. The defensive midfielder’s role is to intercept passes, break up opposition attacks and to stop opposition players from making chances on goal.
  • Centre midfielder – The centre midfielder is the player who plays in the centre of the pitch. They are important for linking defence and attack, and also provide protection for teammates by disrupting opposition passes to midfielders.
  • Central attacking midfielder – The central attacking midfielder is responsible for getting the ball and distributing it to the other midfielders. This player will typically be the most skilled player on the team and is expected to make an impact both offensively and defensively. The central attacking midfielder can also find open spaces, make runs, and score goals.
  • Winger – The winger is the player on the outside of the field, running parallel to the sidelines. The winger’s job is to receive passes from teammates so they can take shots at the goal or dribble past defenders for a scoring opportunity. They are also usually the fastest runners.
  • Side forward – The side forward is often called a “third midfielder” and is the player who fills the gap between the midfield and defense. They try to protect their own half of the field while also supporting their teammates in attack.
  • Centre forward – A centre forward is an attacking player who plays in front of the opposing team’s goalkeeper. Their main role is to score goals. They will be a very skilled player on the pitch and usually lead the team when attacking.
  • Striker – The striker is the offensive player who is stationed upfront and whose main task is to score goals.


Following is the list of positions to play in basketball  as per the National Basketball Association (NBA):

  • Centre – In basketball, the centre player is the one who occupies the position in front of the basket. The centre player has a very important role to play in this position as they are expected to score from close range and rebound from both sides of the basket. They are also the tallest and the strongest members of the team.
  • Power Forward – A power forward is typically shorter than the Centre. However, they are versatile players on the court. The power forward’s job is to rebound, play defense, set screens, and to score.
  • Small Forward – A small forward is a smaller, faster player. They are usually the most versatile of all positions on the basketball court. They are typically under 6 feet 6 inches. The small forward should be quick and have the ability to rebound well.
  • Shooting Guard in Basketball – The shooting guard is an offensive player, typically the second tallest on the team, who specializes in scoring points through bringing up the ball. The shooting guard often is called upon to create opportunities for themselves and their teammates off the dribble with quickness or long-range shooting with finesse.
  • Point Guard – Point guards are the “general” on the court. The whole team relies on them to get everyone in the right position and set up plays. They are typically the smallest player on the team, but they must be quick and smart to stay competitive in these fast-paced games. Point guards bring balance to a team by being able to score when needed, while also setting up teammates for easy baskets.

FAQ’s on Football Vs Basketball

Question 1.
How many players are required to play football?

11 players are required to play football. The team will consist of a goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. However, the name of the positions will vary.

Question 2.
How many players are on a team in basketball?

The rulebook states that there are five players on each team, but there are also other variations like 3-on-3, 4-on-4, 5-on-5 or even 6-on-6.

Question 3.
Which sport is better: basketball or football?

Basketball and football are two very different sports. Though they both involve athletic prowess, they differ in many other ways. For instance, while football is played on a large field with 11 players, basketball is played on a smaller court with 5 players. Essentially, it comes down to personal preferences.

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