Point guards direct the team when on offense and cover the guards on defense. They are usually the shortest players on the team, but their quickness, ball-handling and passing ability, and ability to make steals (i.e. intercept) balls make up them very important players, despite their lack of height.
A basketball is a typically a synthetic sphere with slightly raised bumps for traction. The ball is sized according to league and gender. Youth basketball (ages 8-12) usually use a basketball, 28.5-29 inches in circumference, with a weight of 18-20 oz. High School girls use the same size, while high school boys us a ball 29-30 inches in circumference with a weight of 20-22 oz.
There are a few pieces of protection that may be a good idea to wear. Elbow pads prevent unintended contact from injuring other players. Knee pads can be a good idea to protect the knees in falls. Oftentimes goggles or face masks are worn to protect the eyes, or the face and nose from being re-injured.
Mouth guards or "mouth pieces" not only protect the wearer's teeth, tongue and lips, but help protect against head injuries such as concussions. Depending on specific regulations, the mouth pieces should be worn at all times during play. The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color and is mandatory.
Basketball is a popular sport, especially among children and young adults. But the sport carries a risk for injury, whether played in an organized league or with friends on a local park court, More than 200,000 basketball-related injuries occur to young people under age 15 each year requiring treatment in hospital emergency departments, and basketball is the fourth leading cause of injury in both unorganized settings and organized community team sports.