In actuality, the same rules that apply to traditional basketball apply to streetball. The difference lies in the enforcement of the rules. Fouls are called by players, while other infractions like traveling and three seconds in the key are largely ignored. As these rules are informal, they usually vary from court to court. Style of play is quicker and looser than traditional basketball. It commonly emphasizes one-on-one match-ups, and the use of moves like crossovers and alley-oops. Often times, games only use one side of the court, which forces teams to shoot on the same basket. The number of players on each side varies, ranging from 2 to the traditional 5.
Streetball is a variant of basketball. A few variations are that it typically has fewer players involved in the game, it is usually only played on half of the court, and the game usually focuses on both dribbling and ball skills over the score. The looser, wilder cousin of traditional basketball, streetball is the birthplace of today's basketball. Played on outdoor courts in urban settings, streetball places as much emphasis on winning, as it does on looking good while doing it. Players are advised to develop a thick skin, as fake-outs, wild dunks and trash talking are as welcome, as petty fouls and traveling calls are not.
Streetball began on outdoor urban basketball courts in the 1950's and 1960's. The style of play evolved differently from that of traditional basketball, in that it emphasized creativity and one-on-one match-ups. This was spurred on by talented players, who for a number of reasons were unable to reach professional levels of the sport. The 1980's and 1990's saw the popularity of street basketball explode, due in part to increased television coverage and its connection to the hip-hop musical and cultural scene. Today, streetball is played in hundreds of urban and suburban centers, and its influence can easily be seen in the tempo, moves and attitude prevalent in many professional basketball leagues throughout the world.