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Basketball is a
team sport A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing sports team, teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing ...
in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
, compete with the primary objective of
shoot In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anci ...
ing a
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, ...
(approximately in diameter) through the defender's hoop (a basket in diameter mounted high to a backboard at each end of the court) while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A
field goal A field goal (FG) is a means of scoring in gridiron football Gridiron football, ...
is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one, two or three one-point
free throw In , free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points by shooting from behind the free throw line (informally known as the foul line or the charity stripe), a line situated at the end of the . Free throws are generally awarded aft ...
s. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling) or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots—the
lay-up A layup in basketball is a two-point shot attempt made by leaping from below, laying the ball up near the basket, and using one hand to bounce it off the backboard and into the basket. The motion and one-handed reach distinguish it from a Jump sho ...
, the jump shot, or a dunk; on defense, they may steal the ball from a dribbler, intercept passes, or
block Block or blocked may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Broadcasting * Block programming, the result of a programming strategy in broadcasting * W242BX, a radio station licensed to Greenville, South Carolina, United States known as ''96.3 t ...
shots; either offense or defense may collect a rebound, that is, a missed shot that bounces from rim or backboard. It is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling. The five players on each side fall into five
playing positions
playing positions
. The tallest player is usually the
center Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
, the second-tallest and strongest is the power forward, a slightly shorter but more agile player is the
small forward The small forward (SF), also known as the three, is one of the five Basketball position, positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically shorter, quicker, and leaner than Power forward (basketball), power forwards and Cente ...
, and the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the
shooting guard The shooting guard (SG), also known as the two, two guard or off guard,Shooting guards are 6'3"–6'7"BBC Sports academy URL last accessed 2006-09-09. is one of the five traditional positions in a regulated basketball Basketball is a tea ...
and the
point guard The point guard (PG), also called the one or the point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular cou ...
, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays (player positioning). Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, and one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher
James Naismith James Naismith (; November 6, 1861November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain The Reverend Manasseh Cutler, American Revolutionary War chaplain who served in George Washington's Continental ...

James Naismith
in
Springfield Springfield may refer to: * Springfield (toponym) Springfield is a famously common place-name in the English-speaking world, especially in the United States. According to the USGS, U.S. Geological Survey there are currently 34 populated places na ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. The
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
(NBA) is the most significant
professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to p ...
league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the
EuroLeague The EuroLeague, known as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for sponsorship reasons, is a European professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangu ...
and the
Basketball Champions League Americas The Basketball Champions League Americas (BCLA) ( Spanish: ''Baloncesto Liga Campeones de las Américas'', Portuguese: ''Liga dos Campeões de Basquetebol das Américas'') is Pan-America's premier men's basketball Basketball is a team spor ...
. The
FIBA Basketball World Cup The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball or simply the FIBA World Cup, between 1950 and 2010 known as the FIBA World Championship, is an international basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two ...
and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world. Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like
EuroBasket EuroBasket, also commonly referred to as the ''European Basketball Championship'', is the main international basketball competition that is contested quadrennially, by the senior men's national teams that are governed by FIBA Europe, which is t ...
and
FIBA AmeriCup The FIBA AmeriCup (previously known as the FIBA Americas Championship) is the Americas, American Basketball Championship that takes place every four years between national teams of the Western Hemisphere continents. Since FIBA organized the enti ...
. The
FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, also known as the Basketball World Cup for Women or simply the FIBA Women's World Cup, is an international basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, ...
and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships. The main North American league is the WNBA (
NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament is an annual college basketball tournament for women. Held each March, the Women's Championship was inaugurated in the 1981–82 season. The NCAA tournament was preceded by the AIAW Women's Basketb ...
is also popular), whereas the strongest European clubs participate in the
EuroLeague Women#REDIRECT EuroLeague Women The EuroLeague Women (officially ''FIBA EuroLeague Women'') is the highest professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectang ...
.


History


Creation

In December 1891,
James Naismith James Naismith (; November 6, 1861November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain The Reverend Manasseh Cutler, American Revolutionary War chaplain who served in George Washington's Continental ...

James Naismith
, a Canadian professor of
physical education Physical education, often abbreviated to Phys Ed. or P.E., is a subject taught in school A school is an designed to provide s and s for the teaching of s under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal , which ...
and instructor at the International
Young Men's Christian Association YMCA, sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide youth organization based in Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Switzerland, Vernier, Veyrier ...

Young Men's Christian Association
Training School (now
Springfield College Springfield College is a private college in Springfield, Massachusetts. The institution confers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Known as the History of basketball, birthplace of basketball, the sport was invented there in 1891 by Canadian-Am ...
) in
Springfield, Massachusetts Springfield is a city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, su ...
, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day. He sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in
gymnasiums A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for Athletics (physical culture), athletics. The word is derived from the ancient Greek Gymnasium (ancient Greece), ''gymnasium''. They are commonly found in athletic and Physical fitness, ...
, he invented a new game in which players would pass a ball to teammates and try to score points by tossing the ball into a basket mounted on a wall. Naismith wrote the basic
rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and po ...
and nailed a
peach The peach (''Prunus persica'') is a deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists grow ...

peach
basket onto an elevated track. Naismith initially set up the peach basket with its bottom intact, which meant that the ball had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored. This quickly proved tedious, so Naismith removed the bottom of the basket to allow the balls to be poked out with a long
dowel A dowel is a cylindrical wikt:rod, rod, usually made of wood, plastic, or metal. In its original manufactured form, a dowel is called a ''dowel rod''. Dowel rods are often cut into short lengths called dowel pins. Dowels are commonly used as struc ...
after each scored basket. Basketball was originally played with a
soccer ball A football, soccer ball, football ball, or association football ball is the ball used in the sport of association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, sphe ...
. These round balls from "
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in. These laces could cause bounce passes and dribbling to be unpredictable. Eventually a lace-free ball construction method was invented, and this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith. (Whereas in
American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football field, field with goalposts at each end. ...

American football
, the lace construction proved to be advantageous for gripping and remains to this day.) The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that
Tony Hinkle Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle (December 19, 1899 – September 22, 1992) was an American football, basketball, and baseball player, coach, and college athletic administrator. He attended the University of Chicago, where he won varsity letters in three spor ...
, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898. The peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were finally replaced by metal hoops with backboards. A further change was soon made, so the ball merely passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got the most points won the game. The baskets were originally nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference; it had the additional effect of allowing rebound shots. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called
duck on a rockDuck on a rock is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Eur ...
, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original first game, approached Naismith after the Christmas break, in early 1892, asking him what he intended to call his new game. Naismith replied that he hadn't thought of it because he had been focused on just getting the
game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content serv ...

game
started. Mahan suggested that it be called "Naismith ball", at which he laughed, saying that a name like that would kill any game. Mahan then said, "Why not call it basketball?" Naismith replied, "We have a basket and a ball, and it seems to me that would be a good name for it." The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York, on January 20, 1892, with nine players. The game ended at 1–0; the shot was made from , on a court just half the size of a present-day
Streetball Streetball (or street basketball) is a variation of , typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules. As such, its format is more conducive to allowing players to publicl ...
or
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
(NBA) court. At the time,
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...
was being played with 10 to a team (which was increased to 11). When winter weather got too icy to play football, teams were taken indoors, and it was convenient to have them split in half and play basketball with five on each side. By 1897–1898 teams of five became standard.


College basketball

Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly spread through the United States and Canada. By 1895, it was well established at several women's high schools. While YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the
Amateur Athletic Union The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is an amateur sports Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sports, prof ...
and the
Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from up to 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic sports, athletic programs of colleges ...
(forerunner of the
NCAA The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and o ...
) vied for control over the rules for the game. 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. James Naismith was instrumental in establishing
college basketball College basketball in the United States is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Asso ...

college basketball
. His colleague C.O. Beamis fielded the first college basketball team just a year after the Springfield YMCA game at the suburban
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. A population of 302,971 residents lives within the city limit ...

Pittsburgh
Geneva College Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the are ...
. Naismith himself later coached at the
University of Kansas The University of Kansas (KU) is a with its main campus in , United States, and several satellite campuses, research and educational centers, medical centers, and classes across the state of Kansas. Two branch campuses are in the on the Kans ...
for six years, before handing the reins to renowned coach Forrest "Phog" Allen. Naismith's disciple
Amos Alonzo Stagg Amos Alonzo Stagg (August 16, 1862 – March 17, 1965) was an American athlete and college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also kn ...
brought basketball to the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abse ...
, while
Adolph Rupp Adolph Frederick Rupp (September 2, 1901 – December 10, 1977) was an American college basketball coach. Rupp is ranked seventh in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching at the Un ...
, a student of Naismith's at Kansas, enjoyed great success as coach at the
University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky (UK, UKY, or U of K) is a Public University, public Land-grant University, land-grant research university in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 1865 by John Bryan Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kent ...
. On February 9, 1895, the first intercollegiate 5-on-5 game was played at
Hamline University Hamline University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two dec ...
between Hamline and the School of Agriculture, which was affiliated with the
University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (the U of M or Minnesota) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organ ...

University of Minnesota
. The School of Agriculture won in a 9–3 game. In 1901, colleges, including the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abse ...
,
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
,
Cornell University Cornell University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
,
Dartmouth College Dartmouth College ( ) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...
, the
University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (the U of M or Minnesota) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organ ...

University of Minnesota
, the
U.S. Naval Academy , mottoeng = From Knowledge, Seapower , type = U.S. service academy , established = , academic_affiliations = APLU Space-grant , superintendent = VADM Sean Buck , head_label = Commandant of Midshipmen , head = CAPT Thomas R. Buchanan ...

U.S. Naval Academy
, the
University of Colorado The University of Colorado (CU) is a system of public universities A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic discipl ...
and
Yale University Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
began sponsoring men's games. In 1905, frequent injuries on the
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...
field prompted
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
to suggest that colleges form a governing body, resulting in the creation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). In 1910, that body changed its name to the
National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and ...
(NCAA). The first Canadian interuniversity basketball game was played at
YMCA YMCA, sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide youth organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 64 million beneficiaries in 120 countries. It was founded on 6 June 1844 by George Williams (philanthropist), Sir G ...

YMCA
in
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the four most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thames, England Animals * Kingston (ho ...
, Ontario on February 6, 1904, when
McGill University McGill University is a public university, public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1821 by royal charter granted by George IV, King George IV,Frost, Stanley Brice. ''McGill University, Vol. I. For the Advanceme ...
—Naismith's alma mater—visited Queen's University. McGill won 9–7 in overtime; the score was 7–7 at the end of regulation play, and a ten-minute overtime period settled the outcome. A good turnout of spectators watched the game. The first men's national championship tournament, the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball tournament, which still exists as the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics College athletics encompasses non-professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activi ...
(NAIA)
tournament A tournament is a competition Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationshi ...
, was organized in 1937. The first national championship for NCAA teams, the
National Invitation Tournament The National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is a men's college basketball College basketball in the United States is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Int ...
(NIT) in New York, was organized in 1938; the NCAA national tournament began one year later. College basketball was rocked by gambling scandals from 1948 to
1951 Events January * January 1 – Patti Page's hit song "Tennessee Waltz" enjoys its first week as the No. 1 single, on ''Billboard charts, Billboard'' and ''Cashbox (magazine), Cashbox'' Record chart, charts, in the United States. * January 4 ...
, when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in
match fixing In organized sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainmen ...
and
point shaving In organized sports, point shaving is a type of match fixing where the perpetrators try to prevent a team from covering a published spread betting, point spread. Unlike other forms of sports betting, spread betting invariably motivates point shavin ...
. Partially spurred by an association with cheating, the NIT lost support to the NCAA tournament.


High school basketball

Before widespread
school district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public Primary school, primary and Secondary school, secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as uni ...
consolidation, most American high schools were far smaller than their present-day counterparts. During the first decades of the 20th century, basketball quickly became the ideal interscholastic sport due to its modest equipment and personnel requirements. In the days before widespread television coverage of professional and college sports, the popularity of high school basketball was unrivaled in many parts of America. Perhaps the most legendary of high school teams was Indiana's Franklin Wonder Five, which took the nation by storm during the 1920s, dominating Indiana basketball and earning national recognition. Today virtually every high school in the United States fields a basketball team in varsity competition. Basketball's popularity remains high, both in rural areas where they carry the identification of the entire community, as well as at some larger schools known for their basketball teams where many players go on to participate at higher levels of competition after graduation. In the 2016–17 season, 980,673 boys and girls represented their schools in interscholastic basketball competition, according to the
National Federation of State High School Associations The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the body Body may refer to: In science * Physical body, an object in physics that represents a large amount, has mass or takes up space * Body (biology), the physical material o ...
. The states of
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Illinois
,
Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 38th-largest by area and the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 17th-most populous o ...

Indiana
and
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
are particularly well known for their residents' devotion to high school basketball, commonly called
Hoosier HysteriaHoosier Hysteria is the state of excitement surrounding basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objec ...
in Indiana; the critically acclaimed film '' Hoosiers'' shows high school basketball's depth of meaning to these communities. There is currently no tournament to determine a national high school champion. The most serious effort was the National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament at the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abse ...
from 1917 to 1930. The event was organized by
Amos Alonzo Stagg Amos Alonzo Stagg (August 16, 1862 – March 17, 1965) was an American athlete and college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also kn ...
and sent invitations to state champion teams. The tournament started out as a mostly Midwest affair but grew. In 1929 it had 29 state champions. Faced with opposition from the
National Federation of State High School Associations The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the body Body may refer to: In science * Physical body, an object in physics that represents a large amount, has mass or takes up space * Body (biology), the physical material o ...
and
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), also known as the North Central Association, was a membership organization, consisting of colleges, universities, and schools in 19 U.S. states engaged in educational accreditation. It wa ...
that bore a threat of the schools losing their accreditation the last tournament was in 1930. The organizations said they were concerned that the tournament was being used to recruit professional players from the prep ranks. The tournament did not invite minority schools or private/parochial schools. The National Catholic Interscholastic Basketball Tournament ran from 1924 to 1941 at Loyola University. The National Catholic Invitational Basketball Tournament from 1954 to 1978 played at a series of venues, including
Catholic University Catholic higher education includes universities A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Disciplin ...
,
GeorgetownGeorgetown or George Town may refer to: Places Africa *George, Western Cape, South Africa, formerly known as Georgetown *Janjanbureh, Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown *Georgetown, Ascension Island, main settlement of the British territory of A ...

Georgetown
and
George Mason George Mason IV (October 7, 1792) was an American planter, politician and delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention The Constitutional Convention (contemporarily known as the Federal Convention, the Philadelphia Convention, or the Gran ...

George Mason
. The National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament for Black High Schools was held from 1929 to 1942 at
Hampton Institute Hampton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two de ...
. The National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament was held from 1941 to 1967 starting out at
Tuskegee Institute Tuskegee University is a private, historically black land-grant university A land-grant university (also called land-grant college or land-grant institution) is an institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to ...
. Following a pause during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
it resumed at Tennessee State College in Nashville. The basis for the champion dwindled after 1954 when '' Brown v. Board of Education'' began an integration of schools. The last tournaments were held at
Alabama State College Alabama State University (ASU) is a Public university, public historically black colleges and universities, historically black university in Montgomery, Alabama. Founded in 1867, ASU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. His ...
from 1964 to 1967.


Professional basketball

Teams abounded throughout the 1920s. There were hundreds of men's
professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to p ...
teams in towns and cities all over the United States, and little organization of the professional game. Players jumped from team to team and teams played in armories and smoky dance halls. Leagues came and went.
Barnstorming "Jenny" in flight over Central Ontario c. 1918 Barnstorming was a form of entertainment in which stunt pilots performed tricks—either individually or in groups called flying circuses. Devised to "impress people with the skill of pilots an ...
squads such as the
Original Celtics The Original Celtics were a Barnstorm (sports), barnstorming professional American basketball team. At various times in their existence, the team played in the American Basketball League (1925–55), American Basketball League, the Eastern Basketba ...
and two all-African American teams, the New York Renaissance Five ("Rens") and the (still existing)
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours. In 1946, the
Basketball Association of America The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA absorbed most of National Basketball League (United States), National Basketball Leag ...
(BAA) was formed. The first game was played in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
, Ontario, Canada between the
Toronto Huskies The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA absorbed mo ...
and
New York Knickerbockers The New York Knickerbockers were one of the first organized baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when ...
on November 1, 1946. Three seasons later, in 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
(NBA). By the 1950s, basketball had become a major college sport, thus paving the way for a growth of interest in professional basketball. In 1959, a
basketball hall of fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their fame in thei ...

basketball hall of fame
was founded in
Springfield Springfield may refer to: * Springfield (toponym) Springfield is a famously common place-name in the English-speaking world, especially in the United States. According to the USGS, U.S. Geological Survey there are currently 34 populated places na ...
, Massachusetts, site of the first game. Its rosters include the names of great players, coaches, referees and people who have contributed significantly to the development of the game. The hall of fame has people who have accomplished many goals in their career in basketball. An upstart organization, the
American Basketball Association The original American Basketball Association (ABA) was a major men's professional basketball league from 1967 to 1976. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger, American Basketball Association–National Basketball Association merger in ...
, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Today the NBA is the top professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries, talent, and level of competition. The NBA has featured many famous players, including
George Mikan George Lawrence Mikan Jr. (June 18, 1924 – June 1, 2005), nicknamed "Mr. Basketball", was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another o ...
, the first dominating "big man"; ball-handling wizard
Bob Cousy Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, com ...
and defensive genius
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
of the
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
; charismatic center
Wilt Chamberlain Wilton Norman Chamberlain (; August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American professional basketball player who played as a Center (basketball), center, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport's history. He pla ...

Wilt Chamberlain
, who originally played for the barnstorming
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
; all-around stars
Oscar Robertson Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "the Big O", is an American former professional basketball player Basketball is a team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) wo ...

Oscar Robertson
and Jerry West; more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone; playmakers John Stockton, Isiah Thomas and Steve Nash; crowd-pleasing forwards
Julius Erving Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American former professional basketball player. Regarded as one of the most influential basketball players of all time, Erving helped legitimize the A ...

Julius Erving
and
Charles Barkley Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court i ...
; European stars
Dirk Nowitzki Dirk Werner Nowitzki (, ; born June 19, 1978) is a German former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Dirk Nowitzki
,
Pau Gasol Pau Gasol Sáez (, ; born July 6, 1980) is a Spanish professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with t ...
and
Tony Parker William Anthony Parker Jr. (born 17 May 1982) is a French-American former professional basketball player and majority owner of ASVEL Basket in LNB Pro A. The son of a professional basketball player, Parker played for two years for Paris Baske ...

Tony Parker
; more recent superstars
LeBron James LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is ...

LeBron James
,
Allen Iverson Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975) is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "the Answer" and "AI", he played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a pro ...

Allen Iverson
and
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant ( ; August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A co ...

Kobe Bryant
; and the three players who many credit with ushering the professional game to its highest level of popularity during the 1980s and 1990s:
Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
,
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Often regarded as the ...

Earvin
, and
Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a ...

Michael Jordan
. In 2001, the NBA formed a developmental league, the
National Basketball Development League The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) official List of minor sports leagues, minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from ...
(later known as the NBA D-League and then the
NBA G League The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) official List of developmental and minor sports leagues, minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development ...
after a branding deal with
Gatorade Gatorade is an American brand of sports-themed beverage and food products, built around its signature line of s. Gatorade is currently manufactured by and is distributed in over 80 countries. The beverage was first developed in 1965 by a team ...

Gatorade
). As of the 2018–19 season, the G League has 27 teams.


International basketball

FIBA The International Basketball Federation (FIBA ; French language, French: ) is an association of national organizations which governs the sport of basketball worldwide. Originally known as the (hence FIBA), in 1989 it dropped the word ''amateur ...
(International Basketball Federation) was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations:
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
and
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
. At this time, the organization only oversaw amateur players. Its acronym, derived from the French ''Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball Amateur'', was thus "FIBA". Men's basketball was first included at the Berlin
1936 Summer Olympics The 1936 Summer Olympics (German language, German: ''Olympische Sommerspiele 1936''), officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad (German language, German: ''Spiele der XI. Olympiade''), were an international multi-sport event held from 1 ...
, although a demonstration tournament was held in 1904. The United States defeated Canada in the first final, played outdoors. This competition has usually been dominated by the United States, whose team has won all but three titles. The first of these came in a controversial final game in
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
in
1972 Within the context of Coordinated Universal Time Coordinated Universal Time or UTC is the primary time standard A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. ...
against the Soviet Union, in which the ending of the game was replayed three times until the Soviet Union finally came out on top. In 1950 the first FIBA World Championship for men, now known as the
FIBA Basketball World Cup The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball or simply the FIBA World Cup, between 1950 and 2010 known as the FIBA World Championship, is an international basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two ...
, was held in Argentina. Three years later, the first FIBA World Championship for women, now known as the
FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, also known as the Basketball World Cup for Women or simply the FIBA Women's World Cup, is an international basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, ...
, was held in Chile. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976, which were held in
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
, Quebec, Canada with teams such as the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
rivaling the
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
squads. In 1989,
FIBA The International Basketball Federation (FIBA ; French language, French: ) is an association of national organizations which governs the sport of basketball worldwide. Originally known as the (hence FIBA), in 1989 it dropped the word ''amateur ...
allowed professional NBA players to participate in the Olympics for the first time. Prior to the
1992 Summer Olympics The 1992 Summer Olympics (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River ...
, only European and South American teams were allowed to field professionals in the Olympics. The United States' dominance continued with the introduction of the original Dream Team. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, the United States suffered its first Olympic loss while using professional players, falling to
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...
(in a 19-point loss) and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
in group games, and being eliminated in the semifinals by
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. It eventually won the bronze medal defeating Lithuania, finishing behind Argentina and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
. The
Redeem Team The United States men's national basketball team, men's national basketball team of the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics, United States won the gold medal at the Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, C ...
, won gold at the
2008 Olympics The 2008 Summer Olympics (), officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad () and commonly known as Beijing 2008 (), was an international multisport event A multi-sport event is an organized sport, sporting event, often held over multi ...
, and the B-Team, won gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey despite featuring no players from the 2008 squad. The United States continued its dominance as they won gold at the
2012 Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational ...
, 2014 FIBA World Cup and the
2016 Olympics The 2016 Summer Olympics ( pt, Jogos Olímpicos de Verão de 2016), officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad ( pt, Jogos da XXXI Olimpíada) and commonly known as Rio 2016, was an international multi-sport event held from 5 to 21&n ...
. Worldwide, basketball tournaments are held for boys and girls of all age levels. The global popularity of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. Players from all six inhabited continents currently play in the NBA. Top international players began coming into the NBA in the mid-1990s, including Croatians
Dražen Petrović Dražen Petrović (; 22 October 1964 – 7 June 1993) was a Yugoslav and Croatian professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he initially achieved success playing professional basketball in Europe in the 1980s, before joining the National ...

Dražen Petrović
and Toni Kukoč, Serbian
Vlade Divac Vlade Divac ( sr-cyr, Владе Дивац, ; born February 3, 1968) is a Serbia Serbia (, ; sr, Србија, Srbija, ),, * cs, Srbsko, * ro, Serbia * rue, Сербия *german: Serbien *french: Serbie * uk, Сербія * hu, Szerbia ...

Vlade Divac
, Lithuanians
Arvydas Sabonis Arvydas Romas Sabonis (; born December 19, 1964) is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player and businessman. Recognized as one of the best European players of all time, he won the Euroscar six times, and the Mr. Europa Award twice. He ...
and
Šarūnas Marčiulionis Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis () (born June 13, 1964) is a Lithuanians, Lithuanian retired professional basketball player. Widely considered as one of the greatest international players, he was one of the first Europeans to become a regular ...
, Dutchman
Rik Smits Rik Smits (born 23 August 1966), nicknamed "The Dunking Dutchman" is a Dutch former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball ...
and German
Detlef Schrempf Detlef Schrempf (born 21 January 1963) is a German-American retired professional basketball player. He played college basketball for the Washington Huskies men's basketball, Washington Huskies from 1981 to 1985, and was drafted into the National ...
. In the Philippines, the
Philippine Basketball Association The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is a men's professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or ...
's first game was played on April 9, 1975 at the
Araneta Coliseum The Smart Araneta Coliseum (formerly and also known as Araneta Coliseum) or The Big Dome, is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena that is part of the Araneta City in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is one of the largest indoor are ...

Araneta Coliseum
in
Cubao Quezon City (, ; fil, Lungsod Quezon ), also known as the City of Quezon and Q.C. (read in Filipino as Kyusi), is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all juris ...
,
Quezon City Quezon City (, ; fil, Lungsod Quezon ), also known as the City of Quezon and Q.C. (read in Filipino as Kyusi), is the List of cities in the Philippines, most populous city in the Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population ...

Quezon City
. Philippines. It was founded as a "rebellion" of several teams from the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association, which was tightly controlled by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (now defunct), the then-FIBA recognized national association. Nine teams from the MICAA participated in the league's first season that opened on April 9, 1975. The NBL is Australia's pre-eminent men's professional basketball league. The league commenced in
1979 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ma ...
, playing a winter season (April–September) and did so until the completion of the 20th season in
1998 1998 was designated as the ''International Year of the Ocean''. Events January * January 2 – Russia begins to Monetary reform in Russia, 1998, circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence. * January 4 – Wilaya of Reliza ...
. The 1998–99 season, which commenced only months later, was the first season after the shift to the current summer season format (October–April). This shift was an attempt to avoid competing directly against Australia's various football codes. It features 8 teams from around Australia and one in New Zealand. A few players including Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Shane Heal, Chris Anstey and Andrew Bogut made it big internationally, becoming poster figures for the sport in Australia. The Women's National Basketball League began in 1981.


Women's basketball

Women's basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. Shortly after she was hired at Smith, she went to Naismith to learn more about the game. Fascinated by the new sport and the values it could teach, she organized the first women's collegiate basketball game on March 21, 1893, when her Smith freshmen and sophomores played against one another. However, the first women's interinstitutional game was played in 1892 between the University of California, Berkeley, University of California and Miss Head's School. Berenson's rules were first published in 1899, and two years later she became the editor of Spalding (sports equipment), A. G. Spalding's first Women's Basketball Guide. Berenson's freshmen played the sophomore class in the first women's intercollegiate basketball game at Smith College, March 21, 1893. The same year, Mount Holyoke and Sophie Newcomb College (coached by Clara Gregory Baer) women began playing basketball. By 1895, the game had spread to colleges across the country, including Wellesley College, Wellesley, Vassar College, Vassar, and Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr. The first intercollegiate women's game was on April 4, 1896. Stanford Cardinal women's basketball, Stanford women played California Golden Bears women's basketball, Berkeley, 9-on-9, ending in a 2–1 Stanford victory. Women's basketball development was more structured than that for men in the early years. In 1905, the Executive Committee on Basket Ball Rules (National Women's Basketball Committee) was created by the American Physical Education Association. These rules called for six to nine players per team and 11 officials. The International Women's Sports Federation (1924) included a women's basketball competition. 37 women's high school varsity basketball or state tournaments were held by 1925. And in 1926, the Amateur Athletic Union backed the first NAIA national women's basketball championship, national women's basketball championship, complete with men's rules. The Edmonton Grads, a touring Canadian women's team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, operated between 1915 and 1940. The Grads toured all over North America, and were exceptionally successful. They posted a record of 522 wins and only 20 losses over that span, as they met any team that wanted to challenge them, funding their tours from gate receipts. The Grads also shone on several exhibition trips to Europe, and won four consecutive exhibition Olympics tournaments, in 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1936; however, women's basketball was not an official Olympic sport until 1976. The Grads' players were unpaid, and had to remain single. The Grads' style focused on team play, without overly emphasizing skills of individual players. The first women's Amateur Athletic Union, AAU All-America team was chosen in 1929. Women's industrial leagues sprang up throughout the United States, producing famous athletes, including Babe Zaharias, Babe Didrikson of the Golden Cyclones, and the All American Red Heads Team, which competed against men's teams, using men's rules. By 1938, the women's national championship changed from a three-court game to 6 on 6 Basketball, two-court game with six players per team. The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) began in 1997. Though it had shaky attendance figures, several marquee players (Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi, and Candace Parker among others) have helped the league's popularity and level of competition. Other women's professional sports, professional women's basketball leagues in the United States, such as the American Basketball League (1996–98), have folded in part because of the popularity of the WNBA. The WNBA has been looked at by many as a niche league. However, the league has recently taken steps forward. In June 2007, the WNBA signed a contract extension with ESPN. The new television deal ran from 2009 to 2016. Along with this deal, came the first ever rights fees to be paid to a women's professional sports league. Over the eight years of the contract, "millions and millions of dollars" were "dispersed to the league's teams." In a March 12, 2009 article, NBA commissioner David Stern said that in the bad economy, "the NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA. We're losing a lot of money among a large number of teams. We're budgeting the WNBA to break even this year."


Rules and regulations

Measurements and time limits discussed in this section often vary among tournaments and organizations; international and NBA rules are used in this section. The object of the game is to outscore one's opponents by throwing the ball through the opponents' basket from above while preventing the opponents from doing so on their own. An attempt to score in this way is called a shot. A successful shot is worth two points, or three-point field goal, three points if it is taken from beyond the three-point arc from the basket in international games and in NBA games. A one-point shot can be earned when shooting from the foul line after a foul is made. After a team has scored from a field goal or free throw, play is resumed with a throw-in awarded to the non-scoring team taken from a point beyond the endline of the court where the points(s) were scored.


Playing regulations

Games are played in four quarters of 10 (
FIBA The International Basketball Federation (FIBA ; French language, French: ) is an association of national organizations which governs the sport of basketball worldwide. Originally known as the (hence FIBA), in 1989 it dropped the word ''amateur ...
) or 12 minutes (NBA). College men's games use two 20-minute halves,2009–2011 Men's & Women's Basketball Rules
Rule 5, Section 6, Article 1. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
college women's games use 10-minute quarters, and most United States high school varsity games use 8-minute quarters; however, this varies from state to state. Rule 5, Section 5, Article 1 15 minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA, NBA, and NCAA rules and 10 minutes in United States high schools. Overtime (sports)#Basketball, Overtime periods are five minutes in length except for high school, which is four minutes in length. Teams exchange baskets for the second half. The time allowed is actual playing time; the clock is stopped while the play is not active. Therefore, games generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time, typically about two hours. Five players from each team may be on the court at one time. Substitution (sport), Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. Teams also have a coach, who oversees the development and strategies of the team, and other team personnel such as assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors and trainers. For both men's and women's teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey (clothing), jersey with a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back. Players wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. Typically, team names, players' names and, outside of North America, sponsors are printed on the uniforms. A limited number of time-outs, clock stoppages requested by a coach (or sometimes mandated in the NBA) for a short meeting with the players, are allowed. They generally last no longer than one minute (100 seconds in the NBA) unless, for televised games, a commercial break is needed. The game is controlled by the Official (basketball), officials consisting of the referee (referred to as crew chief in the NBA), one or two umpires (referred to as referees in the NBA) and the table officials. For college, the NBA, and many high schools, there are a total of three referees on the court. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each team's scoring, timekeeping, individual and team Personal foul (basketball), fouls, player substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock.


Equipment

The only essential equipment in a basketball game is the ball and the court: a flat, rectangular surface with baskets at opposite ends. Competitive levels require the use of more equipment such as clocks, score sheets, scoreboard(s), alternating possession arrows, and whistle-operated stop-clock systems. A regulation basketball court in international games is long and wide. In the NBA and NCAA the court is . Most courts have wood flooring, usually constructed from maple planks running in the same direction as the longer court dimension. The name and logo of the home team is usually painted on or around the center circle. The basket is a steel rim diameter with an attached net affixed to a backboard that measures and one basket is at each end of the court. The white outlined box on the backboard is high and wide. At almost all levels of competition, the top of the rim is exactly above the court and inside the baseline. While variation is possible in the dimensions of the court and backboard, it is considered important for the basket to be of the correct height – a rim that is off by just a few inches can have an adverse effect on shooting. The net must "check the ball momentarily as it passes through the basket" to aid the visual confirmation that the ball went through. The act of checking the ball has the further advantage of slowing down the ball so the rebound doesn't go as far. The size of the basketball is also regulated. For men, the official ball is in circumference (size 7, or a "295 ball") and weighs 22 oz (623.69 grams). If women are playing, the official basketball size is in circumference (size 6, or a "285 ball") with a weight of 20 oz (567 grams). In 3x3 (basketball), 3x3, a formalized version of the halfcourt 3-on-3 game, a dedicated ball with the circumference of a size 6 ball but the weight of a size 7 ball is used in all competitions (men's, women's, and mixed teams).


Violations

The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot, passed between players, thrown, tapped, rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running). The ball must stay within the court; the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds forfeits possession. The ball is out of bounds if it touches a boundary line, or touches any player or object that is out of bounds. There are limits placed on the steps a player may take without dribbling, which commonly results in an infraction known as traveling (basketball), traveling. Nor may a player stop his dribble and then resume dribbling. A dribble that touches both hands is considered stopping the dribble, giving this infraction the name double dribble. Within a dribble, the player cannot carry the ball by placing his hand on the bottom of the ball; doing so is known as Carrying (basketball), carrying the ball. A team, once having established ball control in the front half of their court, may not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. A violation of these rules results in loss of possession. The ball may not be kicked, nor be struck with the fist. For the offense, a violation of these rules results in loss of possession; for the defense, most leagues reset the shot clock and the offensive team is given possession of the ball out of bounds. There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in FIBA and the NBA; 10 seconds in NCAA and high school for both sexes), before attempting a shot (24 seconds in FIBA, the NBA, and U Sports (Canadian universities) play for both sexes, and 30 seconds in NCAA play for both sexes), holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds), and remaining in the restricted area known as the free-throw lane, (or the "key (basketball), key") (3 seconds). These rules are designed to promote more offense. There are also limits on how players may
block Block or blocked may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Broadcasting * Block programming, the result of a programming strategy in broadcasting * W242BX, a radio station licensed to Greenville, South Carolina, United States known as ''96.3 t ...
an opponent's field goal attempt or help a teammate's field goal attempt. Goaltending is a defender's touching of a ball that is on a downward flight toward the basket, while the related violation of basket interference is the touching of a ball that is on the rim or above the basket, or by a player reaching through the basket from below. Goaltending and basket interference committed by a defender result in awarding the basket to the offense, while basket interference committed by an offensive player results in cancelling the basket if one is scored. The defense gains possession in all cases of goaltending or basket interference.


Fouls

An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through certain types of physical contact is illegal and is called a personal foul. These are most commonly committed by defensive players; however, they can be committed by offensive players as well. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again, or receive one or more
free throw In , free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points by shooting from behind the free throw line (informally known as the foul line or the charity stripe), a line situated at the end of the . Free throws are generally awarded aft ...
s if they are fouled in the act of shooting, depending on whether the shot was successful. One point is awarded for making a free throw, which is attempted from a line from the basket. The referee is responsible for judging whether contact is illegal, sometimes resulting in controversy. The calling of fouls can vary between games, leagues and referees. There is a second category of fouls called technical fouls, which may be charged for various rules violations including failure to properly record a player in the scorebook, or for unsportsmanlike conduct. These infractions result in one or two free throws, which may be taken by any of the five players on the court at the time. Repeated incidents can result in ejection (sports), disqualification. A blatant foul involving physical contact that is either excessive or unnecessary is called an intentional foul (flagrant foul in the NBA). In FIBA and NCAA women's basketball, a foul resulting in ejection is called a disqualifying foul, while in leagues other than the NBA, such a foul is referred to as flagrant. If a team exceeds a certain limit of team fouls in a given period (quarter or half) – four for NBA, NCAA women's, and international games – the opposing team is awarded one or two free throws on all subsequent non-shooting fouls for that period, the number depending on the league. In the US college men's game and high school games for both sexes, if a team reaches 7 fouls in a half, the opposing team is awarded one free throw, along with a second shot if the first is made. This is called shooting "one-and-one". If a team exceeds 10 fouls in the half, the opposing team is awarded two free throws on all subsequent fouls for the half. When a team shoots foul shots, the opponents may not interfere with the shooter, nor may they try to regain possession until the last or potentially last free throw is in the air. After a team has committed a specified number of fouls, the other team is said to be "in the bonus". On scoreboards, this is usually signified with an indicator light reading "Bonus" or "Penalty" with an illuminated directional arrow or dot indicating that team is to receive free throws when fouled by the opposing team. (Some scoreboards also indicate the number of fouls committed.) If a team misses the first shot of a two-shot situation, the opposing team must wait for the completion of the second shot before attempting to reclaim possession of the ball and continuing play. If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is unsuccessful, the player is awarded a number of free throws equal to the value of the attempted shot. A player fouled while attempting a regular two-point shot thus receives two shots, and a player fouled while attempting a three-point shot receives three shots. If a player is fouled while attempting a shot and the shot is successful, typically the player will be awarded one additional free throw for one point. In combination with a regular shot, this is called a "three-point play" or "four-point play" (or more colloquially, an "and one") because of the basket made at the time of the foul (2 or 3 points) and the additional free throw (1 point).


Common techniques and practices


Positions

Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever, they have evolved as part of basketball. During the early years of basketball's evolution, two guards, two forwards, and one center were used. In more recent times specific positions evolved, but the current trend, advocated by many top coaches including Mike Krzyzewski, is towards positionless basketball, where big players are free to shoot from outside and dribble if their skill allows it. Popular descriptions of positions include: Point guard (often called the "1") : usually the fastest player on the team, organizes the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time. Shooting guard (the "2") : creates a high volume of shots on offense, mainly long-ranged; and guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense. Small forward (the "3") : often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and dribble penetration; on defense seeks rebounds and steals, but sometimes plays more actively. Power forward (basketball), Power forward (the "4"): plays offensively often with their back to the basket; on defense, plays under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-to-man defense). Center (basketball), Center (the "5"): uses height and size to score (on offense), to protect the basket closely (on defense), or to rebound. The above descriptions are flexible. For most teams today, the shooting guard and small forward have very similar responsibilities and are often called the wings, as do the power forward and center, who are often called post players. While most teams describe two players as guards, two as forwards, and one as a center, on some occasions teams choose to call them by different designations.


Strategy

There are two main defensive strategies: ''zone defense'' and ''man-to-man defense''. In a zone defense, each player is assigned to guard a specific area of the court. Zone defenses often allow the defense to double team the ball, a manoeuver known as a trap. In a man-to-man defense, each defensive player guards a specific opponent. Offensive plays are more varied, normally involving planned passes and movement by players without the ball. A quick movement by an offensive player without the ball to gain an advantageous position is known as a ''cut''. A legal attempt by an offensive player to stop an opponent from guarding a teammate, by standing in the defender's way such that the teammate cuts next to him, is a ''screen (basketball), screen'' or ''pick''. The two plays are combined in the ''pick and roll'', in which a player sets a pick and then "rolls" away from the pick towards the basket. Screens and cuts are very important in offensive plays; these allow the quick passes and teamwork, which can lead to a successful basket. Teams almost always have several offensive plays planned to ensure their movement is not predictable. On court, the point guard is usually responsible for indicating which play will occur.


Shooting

Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket, methods varying with players and situations. Typically, a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. A player will rest the ball on the fingertips of the dominant hand (the shooting arm) slightly above the head, with the other hand supporting the side of the ball. The ball is usually shot by jumping (though not always) and extending the shooting arm. The shooting arm, fully extended with the wrist fully bent, is held stationary for a moment following the release of the ball, known as a ''follow-through''. Players often try to put a steady backspin on the ball to absorb its impact with the rim. The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat controversial, but generally a proper arc is recommended. Players may shoot directly into the basket or may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket. The two most common shots that use the above described setup are the ''set shot (basketball), set shot'' and the ''Jump shot (basketball), jump shot''. Both are preceded by a crouching action which Isometric exercise#Isometric presses as preparation for explosive power movements, preloads the muscles and increases the power of the shot. In a set shot the shooter straightens up and throws from a standing position with neither foot leaving the floor; this is typically used for free throws. For a jump shot, the throw is taken in mid-air with the ball being released near the top of the jump. This provides much greater power and range, and it also allows the player to elevate over the defender. Failure to release the ball before the feet return to the floor is considered a traveling violation. Another common shot is called the ''
lay-up A layup in basketball is a two-point shot attempt made by leaping from below, laying the ball up near the basket, and using one hand to bounce it off the backboard and into the basket. The motion and one-handed reach distinguish it from a Jump sho ...
''. This shot requires the player to be in motion toward the basket, and to "lay" the ball "up" and into the basket, typically off the backboard (the backboard-free, underhand version is called a ''finger roll''). The most crowd-pleasing and typically highest-percentage accuracy shot is the ''slam dunk'', in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward, through the basket while touching it. Another shot that is less common than the lay-up, is the "circus shot". The circus shot is a low-percentage shot that is flipped, heaved, scooped, or flung toward the hoop while the shooter is off-balance, airborne, falling down, and/or facing away from the basket. A back-shot is a shot taken when the player is facing away from the basket, and may be shot with the dominant hand, or both; but there is a very low chance that the shot will be successful. A shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an ''air ball''. A particularly bad shot, or one that only hits the backboard, is jocularly called a brick (basketball), brick. The ''hang time'' is the length of time a player stays in the air after jumping, either to make a slam dunk, lay-up or jump shot.


Rebounding

The objective of rebounding is to successfully gain possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw, as it rebounds from the hoop or backboard. This plays a major role in the game, as most possessions end when a team misses a shot. There are two categories of rebounds: offensive rebounds, in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change possession, and defensive rebounds, in which the defending team gains possession of the loose ball. The majority of rebounds are defensive, as the team on defense tends to be in better position to recover missed shots.


Passing

A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. Most passes are accompanied by a step forward to increase power and are followed through with the hands to ensure accuracy. A staple pass is the ''chest pass''. The ball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. A proper chest pass involves an outward snap of the thumbs to add velocity and leaves the defence little time to react. Another type of pass is the ''bounce pass''. Here, the passer bounces the ball crisply about two-thirds of the way from his own chest to the receiver. The ball strikes the court and bounces up toward the receiver. The bounce pass takes longer to complete than the chest pass, but it is also harder for the opposing team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation). Thus, players often use the bounce pass in crowded moments, or to pass around a defender. The ''overhead pass'' is used to pass the ball over a defender. The ball is released while over the passer's head. The ''outlet pass'' occurs after a team gets a defensive rebound. The next pass after the rebound is the ''outlet pass''. The crucial aspect of any good pass is it being difficult to intercept. Good passers can pass the ball with great accuracy and they know exactly where each of their other teammates prefers to receive the ball. A special way of doing this is passing the ball without looking at the receiving teammate. This is called a ''no-look pass''. Another advanced style of passing is the ''behind-the-back pass'', which, as the description implies, involves throwing the ball behind the passer's back to a teammate. Although some players can perform such a pass effectively, many coaches discourage no-look or behind-the-back passes, believing them to be difficult to control and more likely to result in turnovers or violations.


Dribbling

Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously with one hand and is a requirement for a player to take steps with the ball. To dribble, a player pushes the ball down towards the ground with the fingertips rather than patting it; this ensures greater control. When dribbling past an opponent, the dribbler should dribble with the hand farthest from the opponent, making it more difficult for the defensive player to get to the ball. It is therefore important for a player to be able to dribble competently with both hands. Good dribblers (or "ball handlers") tend to bounce the ball low to the ground, reducing the distance of travel of the ball from the floor to the hand, making it more difficult for the defender to "steal" the ball. Good ball handlers frequently dribble behind their backs, between their legs, and switch directions suddenly, making a less predictable dribbling pattern that is more difficult to defend against. This is called a crossover, which is the most effective way to move past defenders while dribbling. A skilled player can dribble without watching the ball, using the dribbling motion or peripheral vision to keep track of the ball's location. By not having to focus on the ball, a player can look for teammates or scoring opportunities, as well as avoid the danger of having someone steal the ball away from him/her.


Blocking

A block is performed when, after a shot is attempted, a defender succeeds in altering the shot by touching the ball. In almost all variants of play, it is illegal to touch the ball after it is in the downward path of its arc; this is known as ''goaltending''. It is also illegal under NBA and Men's NCAA basketball to block a shot after it has touched the backboard, or when any part of the ball is directly above the rim. Under international rules it is illegal to block a shot that is in the downward path of its arc or one that has touched the backboard until the ball has hit the rim. After the ball hits the rim, it is again legal to touch it even though it is no longer considered as a block performed. To block a shot, a player has to be able to reach a point higher than where the shot is released. Thus, height can be an advantage in blocking. Players who are taller and playing the power forward or center positions generally record more blocks than players who are shorter and playing the guard positions. However, with good timing and a sufficiently high vertical leap, even shorter players can be effective shot blockers.


Height

At the professional level, most male players are above and most women above . Guards, for whom physical coordination and ball-handling skills are crucial, tend to be the smallest players. Almost all forwards in the top men's pro leagues are or taller. Most centers are over tall. According to a survey given to all NBA teams, the average height of all NBA players is just under , with the average weight being close to . The tallest players ever in the NBA were Manute Bol and Gheorghe Mureșan, who were both tall. At , Margo Dydek was the tallest player in the history of the WNBA. The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues at . Other short players have thrived at the pro level. Spud Webb, Anthony "Spud" Webb was just tall, but had a vertical leap, giving him significant height when jumping. While shorter players are often at a disadvantage in certain aspects of the game, their ability to navigate quickly through crowded areas of the court and steal the ball by reaching low are strengths. Players regularly inflate their height. Many prospects exaggerate their height while in high school or college to make themselves more appealing to coaches and scouts, who prefer taller players. Charles Barkley stated; "I've been measured at 6-5, 6-4 . But I started in college at 6-6." Sam Smith, a former writer from the ''Chicago Tribune'', said: "We sort of know the heights, because after camp, the sheet comes out. But you use that height, and the player gets mad. And then you hear from his agent. Or you file your story with the right height, and the copy desk changes it because they have the 'official' N.B.A. media guide, which is wrong. So you sort of go along with the joke." In the NBA, there is no standard on whether a player's listed height uses their measurement with shoes on or without. The NBA Draft Combine, which most players attend before the draft, provides both measurements. Thereafter, a player's team is solely responsible for their listed height, which can vary depending on the process selected. Notable players who overstated their height include: *
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant ( ; August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A co ...

Kobe Bryant
whose listed height is , while his actual height is *
Charles Barkley Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court i ...
whose listed height is , while his actual height is just under * Kevin Love whose listed height is , while his actual height is just under * Jason Collins whose listed height is , while his actual height is * Dwight Howard whose listed height is , while his actual height is On rare occasions, some players will understate their actual heights, not to be repositioned. One example is Kevin Durant, whose listed height is , while his actual height is . Durant's reasoning was, "Really, that's the prototypical size for a
small forward The small forward (SF), also known as the three, is one of the five Basketball position, positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically shorter, quicker, and leaner than Power forward (basketball), power forwards and Cente ...
. Anything taller than that, and they'll start saying, 'Ah, he's a power forward (basketball), power forward."


Variations and similar games

Variations of basketball are activities based on the game of basketball, using common basketball skills and equipment (primarily the ball and basket). Some variations are only superficial rules changes, while others are distinct games with varying degrees of basketball influences. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities meant to help players reinforce skills. There are principal basketball sports with variations on basketball including Wheelchair basketball, Water basketball, Beach Basketball, Beach basketball, Slamball,
Streetball Streetball (or street basketball) is a variation of , typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules. As such, its format is more conducive to allowing players to publicl ...
and Unicycle basketball. An earlier version of basketball, played primarily by women and girls, was Six-on-six basketball. Horseball is a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a high net (approximately 1.5m×1.5m). The sport is like a combination of polo, rugby football, rugby, and basketball. There is even a form played on donkeys known as Donkey basketball, but that version has come under attack from animal rights groups.


Half-court

Perhaps the single most common variation of basketball is the half-court game, played in informal settings without referees or strict rules. Only one basket is used, and the ball must be "taken back" or "cleared" – passed or dribbled outside the three-point line each time possession of the ball changes from one team to the other. Half-court games require less cardiovascular stamina, since players need not run back and forth a full court. Half-court raises the number of players that can use a court or, conversely, can be played if there is an insufficient number to form full 5-on-5 teams. Half-court basketball is usually played 1-on-1, 2-on-2 or 3-on-3. Also, streetball commonly uses the same system. The latter variation is gradually gaining official recognition as 3x3 (basketball), 3x3, originally known as FIBA 33. It was first tested at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau and the first official tournaments were held at the 2009 Asian Youth Games and the 2010 Youth Olympics, both in Singapore. The first FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championships were held in Rimini, Italy in 2011 FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championships, 2011, with the first FIBA 3x3 World Championships for senior teams following 2012 FIBA 3x3 World Championships, a year later in Athens. The sport is highly tipped to become an Olympic sport as early as 2016 Summer Olympics, 2016. In the summer of 2017, the BIG3 basketball league, a professional 3x3 half court basketball league that features former NBA players, began. The BIG3 features several rule variants including a four-point field goal.


Other variations

There are also other basketball sports, such as: * Twenty-one (basketball), 21 (also known as American, cutthroat and roughhouse) * Variations of basketball#42, 42 * Around the World (basketball), Around the world * Variations of basketball#Bounce, Bounce * Variations of basketball#Firing Squad, Firing Squad * Variations of basketball#Fives, Fives * H-O-R-S-E * Hotshot (game), Hotshot * Knockout (game), Knockout * Variations of basketball#One-shot conquer, One-shot conquer * Variations of basketball#Steal The Bacon, Steal The Bacon * Variations of basketball#Tip-it, Tip-it * Variations of basketball#Tips, Tips * Variations of basketball#"The One", "The One" * Variations of basketball#War, Basketball War. * One-on-One - It is a variation in which two players will use only a small section of the court (often no more than a half of a court) and compete to play the ball into a single hoop. Such games tend to emphasize individual dribbling and ball stealing skills over shooting and team play. * Water basketball - Water basketball, played in a swimming pool, merges basketball and water polo rules. * Beach basketball - A modified version of basketball, played on beaches, was invented by Philip Bryant. Beach basketball is played in a circular court with no backboard on the goal, no out-of-bounds rule with the ball movement to be done via passes or 2 steps, as dribbling is next to impossible on a soft surface. Beach basketball has grown to a very popular, widespread competitive sport. 15 Annual World Championships have been organized. * Dunk Hoops - Dunk Hoops (a.k.a. Dunk Ball) is a variation of the game of basketball, played on basketball hoops with lowered (under basketball regulation 10 feet) rims. It originated when the popularity of the slam dunk grew and was developed to create better chances for dunks with lowered rims and using altered goaltending rules. * Slamball - Slamball is full-contact basketball, with trampolines. Points are scored by playing the ball through the net, as in basketball, though the point-scoring rules are modified. The main differences from the parent sport is the court; below the padded basketball rim and backboard (basketball), backboard are four trampolines set into the floor, which serve to propel players to great heights for slam dunks. The rules also permit some physical contact between the members of the four-player teams. *
Streetball Streetball (or street basketball) is a variation of , typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules. As such, its format is more conducive to allowing players to publicl ...
- Streetball is a less formal variant of basketball, played on playgrounds and in gymnasiums across the world. Often only one half of the court is used, but otherwise, the rules of the game are very similar to those of basketball. The number of participants in a game, or a ''run'', may range from one defender and one person on offense (known as ''one on one'') to two full teams of five each. Streetball is a very popular game worldwide, and some cities in the United States have organized streetball programs, such as midnight basketball. Many cities also host their own weekend-long streetball tournaments. * Unicycle basketball - Unicycle basketball is played using a regulation basketball on a regular basketball court with the same rules, for example, one must dribble the ball while riding. There are a number of rules that are particular to unicycle basketball as well, for example, a player must have at least one foot on a pedal when in-bounding the ball. Unicycle basketball is usually played using 24" or smaller unicycles, and using plastic pedals, both to preserve the court and the players' shins. In North America, popular unicycle basketball games are organized. Variations of basketball#More distantly related games, Spin-offs from basketball that are now separate sports include: * Ringball, a traditional South African sport that stems from basketball, has been played since 1907. The sport is now promoted in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, India, and Mauritius to establish Ringball as an international sport. * Korfball (Dutch: Korfbal, ''korf'' meaning 'basket') started in the Netherlands and is now played worldwide as a mixed gender team ball game, similar to mixed netball and basketball * Netball (formerly known as Women basketball but now played by both males and females), a limited-contact team sport in which two teams of seven try to score points against one another by placing a ball through a high hoop. Australia New Zealand champions (so called ANZ Championship) is very famous in Australia and New Zealand as the premier netball league.


Social forms of basketball

Basketball has been adopted by various social groups, which have established their own environments and sometimes their own rules. Such socialized forms of basketball include the following.


Recreational basketball

Basketball is played widely casually in schools and colleges where fun, entertainment and camaraderie rule rather than winning a game. *Basketball Schools and Academies, where students are trained in developing basketball fundamentals, undergo fitness and endurance exercises and learn various basketball skills. Basketball students learn proper ways of passing, ball handling, dribbling, shooting from various distances, rebounding, offensive moves, defense, layups, screens, basketball rules and basketball ethics. Also popular are the basketball camps organized for various occasions, often to get prepared for basketball events, and basketball clinics for improving skills. *College and University basketball played in educational institutions of higher learning. This includes
National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and ...
(NCAA) intercollegiate basketball.


Disabled basketball

Disabled basketball is played by various disabled groups, such as the deaf and physically crippled people. *Deaf basketball - One of several deaf sports, deaf basketball relies on signing for communication. Any deaf sporting event that happens, its purpose is to serve as a catalyst for the socialization of a low-incidence and geographically dispersed population. *Wheelchair basketball - A sport based on basketball but designed for disability, disabled people in wheelchairs and considered one of the major disabled sports practiced.There is a functional classification system that is used to help determine if the wheelchair basketball player classification system reflects the existing differences in the performance of elite female players. This system gives an analysis of the players' functional resources through field-testing and game observation. During this system's process, players are assigned a score of 1 to 4.5.


Show basketball

Show basketball is performed by entertainment basketball show teams, the prime example being the
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
. There are even specialized entertainment teams, such as teams of celebrities, people with short heights and others. *Celebrity basketball teams made of celebrities (actors, singers, and so on.) playing in their own leagues or in public, often for entertainment and charity events; *Midget basketball teams made up of athletes of short stature offering shows using basketball; *Slamball offered as entertainment events. Slamball is a very intense form of basketball game actually it is an elevated game of basketball that is infused with football tactics and involves bouncing of a trampolines. This game is very popular in places like Europe and Australia, this intense game is full of contact just like football the trampolines are embedded in the floor around the baskets. The objective of the game is just like any sport you have to score points by getting the ball into the basket, this is mostly done by the player using the trampoline to go fly high in the air to come down with slam dunk. Not only do they use tactics from football but they also do a similar style of substitution as hockey. The positions of slamball are stopper, gunner and handler. The stopper is the defender and is in control of the whole defensive plan. The handler is basically the point guard of the game, they are in control of setting plays on the offensive end and helps a little on defensive end as well. The last position the gunner is the one that does most of the scoring and all also helps out on the defensive end.


Other forms

*Gay basketball played in LGBT, LGBTQIA+ communities in gay basketball leagues. The sport of basketball is a major part of events during the Gay Games, World Outgames and EuroGames (LGBT sporting event), EuroGames. *Midnight basketball, a basketball initiative to curb inner-city crime in the United States and elsewhere by keeping urban youth off the streets and engaging them with sports alternatives to drugs and crime. *Mini Basketball played by underage children. *Maxi Basketball played by more elderly individuals. *Rezball, short for reservation ball, is the avid Native Americans in the United States, Native American following of basketball, particularly a style of play particular to Native American teams of some areas. *School or High school basketball, the sport of basketball being one of the most frequently exercised and popular sports in all school systems.


Fantasy basketball

Fantasy basketball was popularized during the 1990s after the advent of the Internet. Those who play this game are sometimes referred to as General Managers, who draft actual National Basketball Association, NBA players and compute their basketball statistics. The game was popularized by ESPN Fantasy Sports, NBA.com, and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports. Other sports websites provided the same format keeping the game interesting with participants actually owning specific players.


See also

* Basketball in Africa * Basketball in Lithuania * Basketball in the Philippines * Basketball in the United States * Basketball moves * Basketball National League * Continental Basketball Association * ''Free Basket'', basketball related sculpture in Indianapolis * Glossary of basketball terms * Hot hand fallacy * Timeline of women's basketball * ULEB Union des Ligues Européennes de Basket, in English Union of European Leagues of Basketball


Notes


References


General references

* * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * *


External links


Historical


Basketball Hall of Fame – Springfield, MA

National Basketball Foundation
runs the Naismith Museum in Ontario
Hometown Sports Heroes


Organizations


Basketball at the Olympic Games

International Basketball Federation

National Basketball Association

Women's National Basketball Association

Continental Basketball Association (oldest professional basketball league in the world)

National Wheelchair Basketball Association


Other sources


"Basketball"
''Encyclopædia Britannica'' Online. *
Eurobasket website

Basketball-Reference.com: Basketball Statistics, Analysis and History


{{Authority control Basketball, Sports originating in the United States Team sports Summer Olympic sports Ball games Articles containing video clips Games and sports introduced in 1891