The History Of Basketball Essay Research Paper

The History Of Basketball Essay, Research Paper Introduction Basketball is a athletic sport, usually played on an indoor court in which two competing teams of five layers each attempt to score by throwing an inflated ball so that it descends through one of two baskets suspended, at each end of the court, above their heads.

The History Of Basketball Essay, Research Paper


Basketball is a athletic sport, usually played on an indoor court in which two competing teams of five layers each attempt to score by throwing an inflated ball so that it descends through one of two baskets suspended, at each end of the court, above their heads. The team scoring the most such throws, through field goals or foul shots, wins the game. Because of its continuous action and frequent scoring, basketball is one of the most popular spectator as well as participant sports in the world.

Basketball, extremely popular around the world, is a court game played by two teams of five players each. The object is to put a ball through a hoop, or basket, and thus score more points than the opposing team.

Although basketball can by played outdoors, it was invented to serve as an exciting indoor exercise for the winter months in a northern climate. It quickly became a spectator sport, however, and now attracts large audiences to gymnasiums and arenas, especially in the United States, South America, and Europe.

The sport is played on the amateur level by high schools, colleges, other groups, and, since 1936, by national teams in the Olympic Games. It also is played by professional athletes, notably in the United States and Europe. The foremost championships contended for are those of the National Basketball Association (U.S. professionals), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (U.S. colleges), and the Olympic Games.


Basketball was invented in December 1891 by the Canadian clergyman, educator, and physician James Naismith. Naismith introduced the game when we was an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. At the request of his superior, Dr. Luther H. Gulick, he organized a vigorous recreation suitable for indoor winter play. The game involved elements of American football, soccer, and hockey, and the first ball used was a soccer ball. Teams had nine players, and the goals were wooden peach baskets affixed to the walls. By 1897-1898, teams of five became standard. The game rapidly spread nationwide and to Canada and other parts of the world, played by both women and men; it also became a popular informal outdoor game. U.S. servicemen in World War II (1939-1945) popularized the sport in many other countries.

A number of U.S. colleges adopted the game between about 1893 and 1895. In 1934 the first college games were staged in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, and college basketball began to attract heightened interest. By the 1950s basketball had become a major college sport, thus paving the way for a growth of interest in professional basketball.

The first pro league, the National Basketball League, was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote a less rough game. This league only lasted five years before disbanding; its demise spawned a number of loosely organized leagues throughout the northeastern United States. One of the first and greatest pro teams was the Original Celtics, organized about 1915 in New York City. They played as many as 150 games a season and dominated basketball until 1936. The Harlem Globetrotters, founded in 1927, a notable exhibition team, specializes in amusing court antics and expert ball handling.

In 1949 two subsequent professional leagues, the National Basketball League (formed in 1937) and the Basketball Association of America (1946) merged to create the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Boston Celtics, led by their center Bill Russell, dominated the NBA from the late 1950s through the 1960s. By the 1960s, pro teams from coast to coast played before crowds of many millions annually. Wilt Chamberlain, a center for the Los Angeles Lakers, was another leading player during the era, and his battles with Russell were eagerly anticipated. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also a center, came to prominence during the 1970s. Jabbar perfected his famed “sky hook” shot while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and dominated the opposition.

The NBA suffered a drop in popularity during the late 1970s, but was resuscitated, principally through the growing popularity of its most prominent players. Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics, and Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers are credited with injecting excitement into the league in the 1980s through their superior skills and decade-long rivalry. During the late 1980s Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls rose to stardom and helped the Bulls dominate the NBA during the early 1990s. A new generation of basketball stars, including Shaquille O’Neal of the Orlando Magic and Larry Johnson of the Charlotte Hornets, have sustained the NBA’s growth in popularity.

In 1959 a Basketball Hall of Fame was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts. Its rosters include the names of great players, coaches, referees, and people who have contributed significantly to the development of the game.


Professional, college, and high school games are similar except in length and in range of basic skills. Professional games are 48 minutes long, divided into quarters; college games, 40 minutes, played in halves; and high school games, 32 minutes, broken into quarters. If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, an overtime (3 to 5 minutes, depending on the level of competition) is played.

Although no set of dimensions for a basketball court is universally accepted, the recommended size is 94 ft (28.65 m) long and 50 ft (15.24 m) wide.

Two points are given for a field goal, which is a shot that goes through the hoop–10 ft (3 m) high–while the ball is in play. The NBA instituted, beginning with the 1979-1980 season, the 3-point field goal, awarded to a player who scores from beyond a semicircle at a distance of an even 22 ft (6.7 m) all the way around the basket. The NCAA followed suit, beginning in 1986-87, with a 3-point semicircle that averages 19.75 ft (6 m) from the basket. One point is awarded for a free throw, or foul shot, which is attempted by a player who has been fouled, or impeded physically, by an opponent. Free throws are attempted, undefended, from a line drawn 15 ft (4.57 m) from the basket.

On the offensive, a player may advance the ball by passing or even rolling it to a teammate or by dribbling, which is bouncing it along the floor with one-hand taps. The defensive team can get the ball back by intercepting passes, blocking shots, or even by literally stealing it out of an opponent’s hand, provided that no illegal body contact occurs. After a basket is made, the ball is awarded to the other team, which puts it back in play. If a field-goal attempt is missed and the ball remains in bounds, it is kept in play by the team that recovers (rebounds) it.

When personal fouls are committed on a player who is not in the act of shooting the game is restarted with a throw-in by the non-offending team from out of bounds on the sideline nearest to the place of the foul.

If there is a foul on a player in the act of shooting:

? If the goal is made, the points will count and one free throw will be awarded as well.

? If the shot for goal misses, two free throws will be awarded.

? If the missed shot for goal was a three-point shot, three free throws will be awarded.

If you have committed five fouls, you cannot take any further part in the game.

When your team has committed seven player fouls in a half, any fouls they commit will be penalized by the one and one rule. In this case, the player who fouled is given one free throw (unless they were in the act of shooting for goal, in which case the usual free throw rules apply). The one and one rule means that, if you make the first free throw, you are given a second shot. If you miss the first throw, you don’t get another one and the game continues in the normal way.


The Ball

The ball is round and the outer casing should be either leather, rubber or other suitable synthetic material. Its circumference should be between 75 and 78cm (29.5 and 30.25 in) and its weight between 600 and 650gm (20 and 22oz). It should be inflated to a pressure so that when it is dropped from a height of 1.8m (6ft) (measured from the floor to the bottom of the ball) on to the playing surface, it will rebound to a height of between 1.2 and 1.4m (4ft and 4ft 7in), (measured to the top of the ball).

In addition to that equipment already mentioned, the home team is normally responsible for providing the following: a clock, time-out watch, device for displaying to players and spectators how much time is left on the 30-seconds rule (see Game Guide), an official score sheet, scoreboard visible to spectators and players, markers displaying the numbers 1 to 5 for use by the scorer to indicate how many fouls a player commits, and two team-foul markers which are red and placed on the scorers table to indicate a seventh-player foul by a team.

The Clothing

Players of each team should wear the same outfits which must not clash with the opposing team. Each player should wear a numbered shirt and no two players in the same team should wear the same number. Players are numbered between 4 and 15. Loose-fitting shorts for mobility, and sleeveless vests are the standard attire. Basketball shoes should be rubber-soled and with protected ankle supports, although these are not necessary. Most important of all, make sure your clothing is comfortable. It is important to wear towelled socks; and it is not a bad idea to buy a pair of shoes a little too big to enable you to wear two pairs of socks which will reduce the risk of blistering.

How To Play Basketball

The game of basketball is played with a round ball by two teams, each with five players usually two guards, two forwards and a center (or in modern basketball lingo ? point guard, wings and post players).

The referee starts the game by tossing the ball up (a jump ball) between the two opposing center players, who stand facing each other at the center circle of the playing arc. The player who wins the ball may then pass, throw, tap, roll or dribble the ball in any direction, subject to the official rules. The aim of the game is to throw the ball through the opponent’s basket while pre-venting the other team from getting the ball and scoring goals.

Shooting the ball through the basket scores two points for a field goal, three points for a field goal made from outside the three-point line drawn on the court and one point for a free throw. Naturally enough, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The game consists of two halves, each of 20 minutes, with a ten-minute break between halves. If scores are level at the allotted 40 minutes, there is a two-minute break followed by an extra period of five minutes of play.

You cannot run with the ball – this is called travelling. Nor can you take more than one step while holding the ball. If you stop dribbling, the ball can only be moved by a pass or shot at the basket. If you start dribbling again, you will be penalized for double dribbling. Each team is allowed up to five substitutes, who must stay off the court until the coach decides to replace an on-court player (known as making a substitution). Substitutions may be made at time-outs, jump balls or when play is stopped for a foul. If they do decide to make such a substitution, their opponents can also make a substitution.

Generally speaking, basketball is a non-contact game, although contact which gives no one an unfair advantage can occur. You must not hold, push, charge, trip or impede the progress of an opponent by using your arm, shoulder, hip or knee or by bending your body out of a normal position, or use any rough tactics. If you do, you will be charged with a personal foul. When there is contact, the referee makes a decision with the following basic principles in mind:

? You must avoid contact in any possible way.

? You are entitled to a normal empty position on the court as long as you don’t cause contact in taking your court position.

? If a contact foul occurs, the foul is caused by the player who is responsible for the contact.

? The player causing the contact must not gain any advantage from it.