Basketball vocabulary in Spanish

Vocabulary of basketball in Spanish


Below you can find a small compilation of basketball vocabulary in Spanish (name of the positions of the players, actions, fouls, parts of the court and others).

I hope you find it useful. 💪🏀



2.1. Positions

  • Point Guard / playmaker: base.
  • Shooting Guard / Small forward: escolta.
  • Forward: alero.
  • Power foward: ala pívot.
  • Center / Pivot: pívot.


2.2. Actions

  • Shoot: tiro o lanzamiento (noun) / tirar o lanzar (verb).
  • Dribble: bote (noun) / botar (verb).
  • Pass: pase (noun) / pasar (verb).
  • Assist / dime: asistencia (noun) / asistir (verb).
  • Layup: entrada a canasta.
  • Dunk: mate (noun) / matar o machacar (verb).
  • Rebound: rebote (noun) / rebotear (verb).
  • Pick / screen: bloqueo (noun) / bloquear (verb).
  • Fake: finta (noun) / fintar (verb).
  • Cut: corte (noun) / cortar (verb).
  • Steal: robo (noun) / robar (verb).
  • Block: bloqueo (noun) / bloquear (verb).
  • Free throw: tiro libre.
  • Field shot: tiro de campo.
  • Three-point field goal / 3-pointer: triple.
  • Air ball: tirar sin tocar aro. (*) We also say air ball in spanish.
  • Floater: bomba.
  • Defense: defensa.
  • Offense: ataque.
  • Pivot: pivotar.
  • Huddle: corrillo, juntarse, círculo, equipo, manos… (*) Very tricky one to translate as I think we don’t have a single word for it.
  • Swish: tiro limpio.
  • Buzzer: Canasta en el último segundo.


2.3. Fouls

  • Foul: falta.
  • Traveling / walking / steps: pasos.
  • Double dribble: dobles.
  • Backcourt violation: campo atrás.
  • Turnover: pérdida de balón.
  • Offensive foul: falta de ataque.
  • 3 seconds violation: tres segundos, la regla de los 3 segundos.
  • Out of bounds: estar/pisar fuera de las líneas de juego.


2.4. Parts of the court

  • Basket: canasta.
  • Backboard: tablero.
  • Rim: aro.
  • Court: pista.
  • Bench: banquillo.
  • Foul line / Free-throw line: línea de tiro libre.
  • Half-court line / Mid-court line: línea de medio campo.
  • The paint: la pintura / la zona.
  • Shot clock: tiempo de posesión.


2.5. Others

  • Timeout: tiempo muerto.
  • Overtime: prórroga.
  • Jump ball: salto inicial.
  • Referee: árbitro.
  • Score / scorer: marcador.
  • Try again: prueba otra vez, inténtalo de nuevo.
  • You got this: tú puedes.



If you want to know any other term that is not above, leave a comment and I will add it. 😉



I am a native Spanish speaker (from Spain) and I have played basketball in the UK and the US.


Learner Trip

PhD in Education. I've been sharing all kind of content/information on the Internet for 14+ years now. I try to do it in the most straightforward and reliable way possible, cross-referencing information with the primary sources of authority in each field (unless unnecessary). You can reach out to me in the comments. I read all your inquiries and typically respond to most of them daily. If you find what I do helpful, you can support me here. 🙂




    • Swish: tiro limpio.

      Out of bounds: está fuera / pisó fuera.

      Buzzer: I don’t think we have a word for a buzzer. :/ (Maybe… “canasta en el último segundo”).

      Shot clock: Tiempo de posesión.

    • I just asked to different basketball friends cause I think we don’t have a word/action for that. We say “equipo”, “juntaros”, “círculo”… in order to get together before the start of the game or before a planned play.

      If I receive better answers, I’ll include them in the list! 🙂

  1. Jump ball, freeze, defence, offense, redo, “try again”, “you got this” “3 second violation”
    Pivot (I can’t remember if you had this one).
    Thank you so much. I have a new player on my team that is new to our country and I’m trying to help him feel welcomed. Most days we don’t have a translator ( another player).

    • Hey Courtney, first of all I just want to say it’s awesome you’re doing this for your player.

      With respect to your requests, I added all of them but freeze (I don’t know what this one means in English; I need context to give you the right translation) and redo; which I guess you mean something like “do it again”. In that case, I’d say: “Repite”, “otro/a”, “otra vez”, “hazlo otra vez”, “hazlo de nuevo” and so on… there is so many ways to say it.

      If that’s not what “redo” means, just explain it to me and I’ll give you the right translation.

      Hope all this content helps you and your player! 🙂

  2. First of all, thank you so much for this useful glossary.
    My doubt is: Dribble you translate it as “botar” and “driblar/finta” as Fake. I’m confused. I mean, for instance, how would you say in English “el base sube (bota) el balón” ?

    Thanks in adavance!

    • Hey Carlos, I’m not sure if “subir el balón” has a literal translation in English, but I’ll try to figure it out.

    • Here some options:

      – “No puedes defenderme”.

      – “No puedes pararme”.

      – “No puedes conmigo”.

    • I don’t know what “Call for it / Call for the ball” means in English, sorry.

      If you mean something like call a fault, we say: “pítala” or “pita la falta”.

      If you give me a more precise explanation of that expression in English, I’ll give you the native/natural translation in Spanish.

    • Hi Laura.

      The noun is bloqueo and the verb is bloquear.

      Saludos. 😉

  3. Is Floater “Bomba”? i dont want my teacher to think im talking about bombs in my Oral

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