Basketball vs. Soccer Positions: Comparisons & More

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Positions in sports are a big deal because they identify your field of specialization and the skills you need to master. These positions vary in many aspects depending on what sports you are playing. The player in the middle court in basketball can never be the same as the player in soccer.

Basketball vs. soccer positions is different, considering that these sports require different numbers of players in a match. If you are a sports newbie and want to play any of these, scan through the end to understand the difference between basketball and soccer positions.

Basketball vs. SoccerBasketball vs. Soccer

Basketball and soccer have a few things in common besides the fact that people from all walks of life love them. However, basketball and soccer similarities end there. The foremost common ground is that participating in these sports poses risks of injury because you will embroil in stealing, blocking, and other physical routines.

Although they are both physically complicated and risky, they differ significantly in terms of the rules and game dynamics. In particular, soccer and basketball players vary in individual responsibilities based on their positions. For example, basketball players have five central positions, while soccer has four. 

If you are interested in learning more about basketball vs. soccer positions, the following subheadings will go through their technical distinctions.

How Many Basketball Players are in a GameHow Many Basketball Players are in a Game?

Similar to any other sport, basketball follows professional guidelines and rules to ensure fairness and safety on the court. The first thing that newbies want to know is the allowed number of players in a team, particularly during a game.

Before going technical over this matter, you must understand the team rules first. According to the NBA official website, an NBA team or roster is composed of a maximum of 15 players. However, only twelve of those should be listed as active players who will be eligible for substitutions.

Going back, how many basketball players are in a game? As per the NBA Official Rulebook, each team should have five players join the roster. Teams should ensure that they complete the lineup, as the game will only officially begin in the presence of a player.

In addition, the bulleted points below are the guidelines depending on untoward conditions.

  • Disqualification

Suppose you receive your sixth personal foul, which can be sanctioned for disqualification, but all players on the roster have already been disqualified. In this case, you may remain in the game but with the consequence of receiving another personal foul in addition to a team foul.

  • Injury

Suppose a player in your team is injured during a game, but all the players on the bench are already disqualified. In situations like this, the last player who was disqualified because of si personal fouls will assume the spot. Again, the team will reap a technical foul as a consequence.

  • Sudden Exit from the Court

The game shall continue if a player exits the court without notifying any official. Another player may substitute during the next stoppage of the game. Although no technical foul will be involved, it is subject to game review by officials.

How Many Soccer Players are on a TeamHow Many Soccer Players are on a Team?

First and foremost, note that it consists of more players than other sports, knowing that the field is more extensive. Soccer is one of the most complex sports for beginners in terms of game rules and technicalities. The gateway to understanding this confusing sport is by knowing the number of players per team in soccer.

Now, how many soccer players are on a team? The answer is 11 players in every team, which means that a total of 22 players are rallying on the field all at once. The lineup may change during a game, but the number of players will never increase or decrease—unless your team needs to exit a player due to injury.

Also, how many players are there in a soccer squad? Professional leagues like FIFA can register up to 25 players. On the other hand, more minor or amateur leagues like the South Australian Amateur Soccer League can have unlimited active players in the squad as long as all players are registered.

Basketball and Soccer Position ComparisonsBasketball and Soccer Position Comparisons

Soccer is more expansive if you compare the dimensions of a basketball court and a soccer field. You can tell by the dimensions alone that a soccer match requires more players to take on different roles and positions. These players vary in individual skills and responsibilities.

However, basketball has more positions than soccer, even though it has fewer players on the court. The five players who make up each squad in a basketball game are the center, shooting guard, point guard, small forward, and power forward. 

In contrast, 11 players from each team are needed for a soccer match, including forwards, defenders, midfielders, and goalkeepers. A midfielder can play as a winger, offensive player, or defensive player. However, all of these players have sub-roles.

If you want to know more about the individual responsibilities of these players, take advantage of the basketball and soccer positions explained in the next section.

Positions in Basketball and their RolesPositions in Basketball and their Roles

You already know that a basketball team needs five players on the court. These players take on different positions with different responsibilities. Check out the thorough descript of the basketball positions of players below.

Point Guard

The primary role of a point guard is to play the defense in their team well. It would be better if the point guard is a steal-and-pass ace because point guards need to crack down on the opponent’s point guard.

Shooting Guard

Based on its name, shooting guards are sharpshooters and unbeatables when shooting from long distances. It would be better if shooting guards were also great dribblers to ensure ball possession.

Small Forward

Small forwards are often called “Jack of All Trades” because they can make scores from any point of the court while defending small and big players. Hence, small forwards need to be agile since they are in charge of taking over all over the court.

Power Forward

Power forwards mostly do the center’s roles, except they are expected to make long shots. Playing near the rim, taking down taller players, rebounding, you name them, and power forwards will surely deliver.


The name alone explains that centers are positioned in the center or are responsible for making close shots, defending the taller opponents, stealing the ball, and blocking the shots at all costs. 

List of Soccer Positions and their RolesList of Soccer Positions and their Roles

Bigger field size means more players, but it only sometimes means more positions. Although a soccer game requires more payers, soccer positions explained that it is just a matter of technicalities. To learn more about these roles, look closely at the sections below.


The name itself suggests that the goalkeeper is responsible for intercepting any ball into the goalpost. Goalkeepers always ensure that the opponent cannot make a point.


They have some crucial responsibilities in soccer because they are responsible for pushing the ball toward the goal. These players are stationed between the forwards and defenders or in the middle of the court.


These players are stationed near the goalpost to prevent opponents from making scoring attempts. They defend their team by intercepting any goal attacks from the opponent.


Soccer forwards is the ones responsible for making goal attacks. Hence, they are more on the offensive side of the field.

Wrapping Things Up: Basketball vs. Soccer Positions: Comparisons & More

Basketball vs. soccer positions are often confusing for beginners but are necessary because they define the difference between these two sports. Soccer has more players on the field, but their positions are instead specified. On the other hand, basketball positions are somehow complex.

Nonetheless, you will take these positions in the long run through rigorous practice. It is just a matter of time and familiarity. So, train as hard as now and ace both sports with ease.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

> Basketball vs. Football: Which is Harder?

> Basketball vs. Soccer: Which is Harder?

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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