Sports Frequently Asked Questions

Olympic Sports

Summer sports:

Synchronized Swimming
Water Polo
Canoe/Kayak Flatwater
Canoe/Kayak Slalom
Gymnastics Artistic
Gymnastics Rhythmic
Gymnastics Trampoline
Modern Pentathlon
Table Tennis
Beach Volleyball


Winter sports:

Ice Hockey


- 2 teams of 11 players

- 2, 45-minute halves with 15-minute halftime. Clock isn't stopped when play is stopped. The referee keeps time and stoppage time is added at the end of each half

-Considered most popular sport in the world

- Score by getting ball in opposing team's net

- Goalkeeper is only player who can use hands

- Most goals wins

- If tied, called a draw or goes into overtime. First goal to score in overtime wins

- Penalty kick shoot out occurs after overtime

- Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is governing body

- FIFA World Cup every 4 years. 2010 is in South Africa

- Positions

- Strikers/Fowards: Ronaldo

- Left and right midfielders: David Beckham

- Left and right defenders: Alexi Lalas

- Goalie: Olivie Kahn

- Goal Kick: Ball crosses goal line without goal score and without being touched by defender

- Throw in: kicked out of bounds by opposing team. Throw the ball back into bounds

- Corner Kick: Ball crosses goal line and touched last by defending team. Ball is kicked back into bounds from the corner of the field

- Penalty Kick: Fouled team gets a free kick at the goal with goalie trying to stop it

- Free Kick: Fouled team gets a free kick at the goal with goalie trying to stop it

- Yellow Card: warning

- Red Card: Removal from the game


- 2 teams of 5 players

-4 quarters of 12 minutes each in NBA with 5 minutes overtime

- NCAA basketball is 2 halves of 20 minutes each

- Object is to throw the ball into the opposing player's hoop. Hoop is 10 ft. high

- Most points wins

- Dribbling, passing and throwing are acceptable means to move the ball down the court

- Nationa Basketball Association (NBA) American governing body

- 2 points scored each basket unless the ball is shot fromoutside of the 3-point are which is 23 ft. 9 in. from basket

- 30 teams in NBA, 29 in the US and 1 team in Canada

- Exchange baskets after halftime

- Play clock is stopped when play isn't in progress

- 12-man roster

- Unlimited substitutions

- Free throw = 1 point

- Positions

- Point guard: fastest player, controls the offense. Example: Jason Kidd

- Shooting guard: Takes a lot of shorts, guards the other team's best perimeter player. Example: Kobe Bryant

- Small forward: Scores points, cuts to basket for rebounds and steals. Example: Lebron James

- Power forward: Plays offense with back to basket. During defense he plays under the basket or versus the other team's power forward. Example: Tim Duncan

- Center: Uses height to score, protects basket and rebounds. Example: Shaquile O'Neal

- Zone defense: Positions guard whoever comes into his/her zone

- Man-to-man: Each player guards a specific person


- 2 players against each other (singles)

- 4 players, two against two (doubles)

-Play with a strung rachket and yellow ball

- Court surface can be red clay, green clay, grass, asphalt or carpet

- Scoring

- Server says his/her score first

- 0 points is called Love

- 15-love, 30-love, 40-love, game or 15-15, 15-30, 30-30, 40-30, game

- 40-40 called Deuce

- Have to win 4 points, win by 2 points to win the game

- 6 games equals one set, win by 2 games. 6 games all, play a tiebreaker, which is best to 7 points, win by 2

- Women play 2 out of 3 sets

- Men play 3 out of 5 sets in majors and master's tournaments

- Break point: when the non-server has a game point

- There are four major tournaments called Grand Slams

- Australian Open: played in Sydney, Australia is January. Played on hardcourt

- French Open: played in Paris, France in May-June. Played on red clay

- Wimbledon: played in London, England in June-July. Played on grass

- U.S. Open: played in Flushing, New York in September. Played on hardcourt

- Notable players: Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Steffi Graf, Justine Henin, Venus and Serena Williams, Billie Jean King

- Strokes

- Forehand

- Backhand

- Overhead

- Serve

- Volley

- Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) are governing bodies for both men and women


   2 teams, 6 players per team. 22-player roster

   3-20 minute periods

   International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and National Hockey League (NHL) are governing bodies

   Use sticks to hit a 3 inch frozen puck into the opposing team’s net


   Goalie: Stops puck from going into net

   Left and right defenseman: Stop players from getting near their goal

   Left and right wingers: Score goals

   Center: Takes face offs, plays offense and defense

   Blue line divides the ice into 3 parts: defense zone, offense zone and neutral zone

   If penalty is committed, player goes into penalty box for the time of the foul. The opposing team is then on a power play.

   NHL has 2 conferences with 3 divisions per conference

   Stanley Cup is won by the team that wins the playoffs

   Notable players: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Sydney Crosby, Mario LeMeux


   2 teams, 9 players per team

   Score runs by hitting ball and touching four bases

   Hitting lasts until opposing team gets three players out

   Each inning is composed of both teams getting three outs

   One major league game is 9 innings

   Major League Baseball (MLB) is governing body

   2 leagues (American League and National League), each separated into 3 divisions, East, West, and Central

   World Series is played by the winning teams of each divisional playoff

   End of regular season, four teams make the playoffs from each league. 3 regular season division winners, and one wild card team. The wild card team is the team that has the best record that didn’t win the division.

   In the National League the pitcher has to bat.

   In the American League, the 9th batter is called the designated hitter.

   Infield: the dirt area with four bases. Positions:



   First baseman

   Second baseman


   Third baseman

   Outfield: the grass area with three positions:

   Right fielder

   Left fielder

   Center fielder

   At bat, the pitcher throws to the batter. 3 strikes is a strikeout, 4 balls and the batter gets to walk to first base. If a batter hits the ball out of bounds, it counts as a strike unless there are two strikes.

   Home run: the batter hits the ball over the back fence or wall without being caught

   Grand slam: Batter hits a home run with runners on all three bases

   Inside-the-park home run: Batter hits the ball and runs around all four bases before he/she gets out

   Single: ball is hit and batter runs to first base safely

   Double: ball is hit and batter runs to second base safely

   Triple: ball is hit and batter runs to third base safely

   Base runners can steal bases by running to the next base after the pitcher throws the ball and before the batter hits it

   Notable players: Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Daryl Strawberry, Cal Ripken, Jr., Ken Griffery, Jr., Nolan Ryan


   2 teams of 9 players

   7 innings

   The ball used is bigger than a baseball

   Can be fast-pitched softball or slow-pitched

   Other rules are the same as baseball


   2 teams, 11 players each

   Goal is to get the ball into the other team’s end zone by running or passing.

   National Football League (NFL) governing body

   32 teams in 2 leagues, American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC)

   Winner of each conference plays in the Super Bowl. Playoff consists of 12 teams

   The field is 120 yards long, with 10 yards on each end being the end zone. Every 5 yards there is a line drawn to indicate yardage

   Goal posts and cross bar are placed in the back of the end zone for field goal attempts

   4-15 minute quarters with a halftime in between

   The team on offense has 4 downs to move the ball 10-yards

   After four downs, the ball is turned over on downs

   On four down the team with the ball can punt to send the ball down the field for the other team to start its possession

   Fumble: When the ball is dropped and a defender picks it up

   Safety: When a player with the ball is tackled in his own end zone

   A touchdown is worth 6 points

   A field goal is worth 3 points

   The extra point kicked after a touchdown is worth 1 point

   A 2-point conversion can be attempted after a touchdown and is scored by running or throwing the ball into the end zone

   A safety is 2 points


   false start



   pass interference

   delay of game

   face mask

   illegal block to the back



   Offensive line- 7 players have to be on the line of scrimmage





   Running back

   Wide Receiver

   Tight End

   Defensive Line- 6 players have to be on the line of scrimmage

   Defensive end

   Defensive tackle

   Nose tackle


   Defensive back



   Each player is given a number based on his positions

   1-9: Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters

   10-19: Quarterbacks, kickers, punters, wide receivers

   20-49: Running backs, defensive backs

   50-59: Centers, Linebackers

   60-79: Offensive and Defensive Lineman

   80-89: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

   90-99: Defensive Lineman and Linebackers

   Notable Players: Jerry Rice, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Michael Irvin, Lawerence Taylor, Anthony Muñoz, Mike Webster