Background. The aim of the study was to describe models of the efficiency of basketball players playing at different positions in the top sports teams based on observation in direct elimination matches of the 2010 World Championships. Material and methods. An observation method was used in the study. Data was recorded on the authors’ observation sheets. Activity, efficiency and reliability during both offensive and defensive actions were subject to this examination. The play of basketball players was analysed in 7 basketball direct elimination matches of the World Championships. Results. It was revealed that most actions of the point guard (taking into account activity and efficiency) are aimed at handling and passing the ball, creating scoring opportunities and executing 3-point throws. 3 points are also often scored by the shooting guard and the power forward. On the other hand – the center and the power forward are especially active in creating scoring opportunities and in scoring 2 points. The power forward, the small forward, the shooting guard and the point guard prevent from losing 3 points. In the actions preparing for the situation to score a point and in actions preventing situations to score a point players of different positions perform a similar activity of action. Conclusions. Detailed analysis of actions applied in the game may indicate differences in the performance among players of different positions, implying the appropriate selection of individual training.