BasketballPublished: | Updated:
Basketball is an American sport. The founder of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, worked as a physical instructor in 1891 at Springfield College, Massachusetts when he invented the sport. In the winter of 1891, Springfield had a snow blizzard, and many couldn’t go outside for days. As a result, students and employees had to stay in school for extended periods. The blizzard required Dr. Naismith to be creative and engage students indoors for a long time.
Dr. James Naismith realized he needed to invent something new when the students got tired of regular indoor sports and activities. He nailed two old peach baskets that he found on each side of a court, then split his students into teams of 9 and handed them an old soccer ball. He explained to the teams that the goal of basketball was to score the ball in the opposing team’s peach basket. Dr. Naismith blew a whistle to start the game, and so basketball was born!
The Growing Popularity of Basketball
The students were very competitive when they tried basketball, and many became hurt as the first game got violent. Yet, the students begged Dr. James Naismith to organize another basketball game. To avoid more basketball injuries, he decided on some very significant rules. The most crucial rule to stop tackling and slugging was that there would be no running with the ball during a game.
Over the next decade, fans would spread basketball across the nation. Forty years later, in 1936, Dr. James Naismith attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where basketball was played on outdoor tennis courts. The founder himself presented the basketball medals to the top three teams at the Olympics.
Game and Equipment
The basketball game consists of two baskets on each side of a court and a ball. Today, the baskets are still placed 10 feet tall because of the founding rule by Dr. James Naismith. The only place he could fit the baskets in his school court was on the railing of the ten-foot-above-ground running track built in their school. There was no other specific reason for the baskets to be placed at that height. Over a century later, we still have today’s baskets at 10 feet tall.
The basket and ball in basketball have changed over the years. In 1891, they used a soccer ball, but in 1894, Dr. Naismith invented a new ball with Albert Spalding to better suit the new sport.
The Ball in Basketball
Spalding was previously known for making gloves and balls for baseball, so the first ball was very similar to baseball with stitching. In the 1950s, the ball’s color was changed from brown to orange to make it more visible on a moving court. Over the years, the ball also changed material and got more panels to increase the grip and bounce.
The Basket in Basketball
We have since switched from peach baskets to boards with nets instead. The nylon net and glass boards of basketball are what make some of the famous noises of today’s scores. In the 1980s, they had to implement hydraulic systems to prevent impressive dunks from breaking the baskets. Hydraulic systems didn’t stop some players, like Shaquille O’Neal, from continuously breaking baskets when doing slam dunks. As a result, today’s baskets have to be drilled into the courts to be even stronger.
Basketball Leagues and Communities
Unlike the NFL, players in NBA avoid collision and injury. However, football is more popular than basketball in terms of viewership. NFL players also earn substantially more money than players in the NBA. Regarding ice hockey, viewership in NHL has recently been surpassing the NBA.
The first professional league National Basketball League (NBL), was founded in 1898 in The United States. Internationally, basketball is governed by FIBA (International Basketball Federation/Fédération Internationale de basket-ball), which was created in 1932.
In the 1940s, the NBL was merged into the new league National Basketball Association (NBA) by the newly founded Basketball Association of America (BAA). NBA consists of 30 teams, where 29 teams are from the US and one from Canada.
Duration and Time Stoppages
Although NBA games are played in four quarters of twelve minutes each, most basketball games last around 2-3 hours. There is a 15-minute halftime interval and two minutes between the other quarters. An average game in the NBA lasts 2,5 hours because of substitute changes, breaks, reviews, commercials, and other stoppages. There is no limit on substitutions.
Each team is allowed seven timeouts of 1 minute and 15 seconds each, totaling 14 timeouts per game. Only the coaches can call the timeouts.
The most important rule of basketball is the 24-second rule, which requires the team in control of the ball to put up a shot within 24 seconds. The ball must have left the shooter’s hand and been in the air before 24 seconds passed.