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Basketball

Basketball

Overview
Basketball is a team sport
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

 in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball
Basketball (ball)
A basketball is a spherical inflated ball used in the game of basketball. Basketballs typically range in size from very small promotional items only a few inches in diameter to extra large balls nearly a foot in diameter used in training exercises to increase the skill of players...

 through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules
Rules of basketball
The rules of basketball are the rules and regulations that govern the play, officiating, equipment and procedures of basketball. While many of the basic rules are uniform throughout the world, variations do exist. Most leagues or governing bodies in North America, the most important of which are...

. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports.

A regulation basketball hoop consists of a rim 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet high mounted to a backboard
Backboard (basketball)
A backboard is a piece of basketball equipment. It is a raised vertical board with a basket attached. It is made of a flat, rigid piece of material, often plexiglass. It is usually rectangular as used in NBA, NCAA and international basketball...

. A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the hoop during regular play.
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Encyclopedia
Basketball is a team sport
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

 in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball
Basketball (ball)
A basketball is a spherical inflated ball used in the game of basketball. Basketballs typically range in size from very small promotional items only a few inches in diameter to extra large balls nearly a foot in diameter used in training exercises to increase the skill of players...

 through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules
Rules of basketball
The rules of basketball are the rules and regulations that govern the play, officiating, equipment and procedures of basketball. While many of the basic rules are uniform throughout the world, variations do exist. Most leagues or governing bodies in North America, the most important of which are...

. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports.

A regulation basketball hoop consists of a rim 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet high mounted to a backboard
Backboard (basketball)
A backboard is a piece of basketball equipment. It is a raised vertical board with a basket attached. It is made of a flat, rigid piece of material, often plexiglass. It is usually rectangular as used in NBA, NCAA and international basketball...

. A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the hoop during regular play. A field goal
Field goal (basketball)
In basketball, the term field goal refers to a basket scored on any shot or tap other than a free throw, worth two or three points depending on the distance of the attempt from the basket. "Field Goal" is the official terminology used by the National Basketball Association in their rule book,...

 scores two points for the shooting team if a player is touching or closer to the hoop than the three-point line, and three points (a "3 pointer") if the player is "outside" the three-point line. The team with more points at the end of the game wins, but additional time (overtime) may be issued when the game ends with a tie. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling
Dribbling
In sports, dribbling refers to the maneuvering of a ball around a defender through short skillful taps or kicks with either the legs , hands , stick or swimming strokes...

) or passing it to a teammate. It is a violation (traveling
Traveling (basketball)
In basketball, traveling is a violation of the rules that occurs when a player holding the ball moves one or both of his feet illegally. Most commonly, a player travels by illegally moving his pivot foot or taking too many steps without dribbling the ball....

) to walk with the ball, carry it, or to double dribble
Double dribble
In the game of basketball, a double dribble is a violation in which a player dribbles the ball, clearly holds it with a combination of either one or two hands , and then proceeds to dribble again without first either attempting a field goal or passing off to a teammate...

 (to hold the ball and then resume dribbling).

Various violations are generally called "fouls". Disruptive physical contact (a personal foul) is penalized, and a free throw
Free throw
In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted area on the court , and are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team...

 is usually awarded to an offensive player if he is fouled while shooting the ball. A technical foul
Technical foul
In basketball, a technical foul is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct...

 may also be issued when certain infractions occur, most commonly for unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct is a foul or offense in many sports that is not necessarily a violation of the respective sport's rules of play, but violates the sport's generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and/or participant conduct...

 on the part of a player or coach
Coach (basketball)
Basketball coaching is the act of directing and strategizing the behaviour of a basketball team or individual basketball player. Basketball coaching typically encompasses the improvement of individual and team offensive and defensive skills, as well as overall physical conditioning.Coaching is...

. A technical foul gives the opposing team a free throw.

Basketball has evolved many commonly used techniques of shooting, passing, and dribbling, as well as specialized player positions
Basketball position
The three basketball positions normally employed by organized basketball teams are guard, forward, and center. More specifically, they can be classified into the five positions: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. The rules of basketball do not mandate them, and...

 and offensive and defensive structures (player positioning) and techniques. Typically, the tallest members of a team will play "center"
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

, "small forward
Small forward
The small forward, or colloquially known as three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but on occasion are just as tall...

", or "power forward
Power forward (basketball)
Power forward is a position in the sport of basketball. The position is referred to in playbook terms as the four position and is commonly abbreviated "PF". It has also been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center in what is called the "post" or "low...

" positions, while shorter players or those who possess the best ball handling skills and speed play "point guard
Point guard
Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...

" or "shooting guard
Shooting guard
The shooting guard , also known as the two or off guard, is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. Players of the position are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team...

".

While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, numerous variations of basketball
Variations of basketball
Variations of basketball are games or activities based on, or similar to, the game of basketball, in which the player utilizes common basketball skills. Some are essentially identical to basketball, with only minor rules changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but...

 have developed for casual play. Competitive basketball is primarily an indoor sport played on carefully marked and maintained basketball court
Basketball court
In basketball, the basketball court is the playing surface, consisting of a rectangular floor with tiles at either end. In professional or organized basketball, especially when played indoors, it is usually made out of a wood, often maple, and highly polished...

s, but less regulated variations are often played outdoors in both inner city and rural areas.

Creation


In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith
James Naismith
The first game of "Basket Ball" was played in December 1891. In a handwritten report, Naismith described the circumstances of the inaugural match; in contrast to modern basketball, the players played nine versus nine, handled a soccer ball, not a basketball, and instead of shooting at two hoops,...

, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (YMCA) (today, Springfield College
Springfield College
Springfield College is a private, coeducational university located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield College is most famous as the site where the sport of basketball was invented...

) in Springfield
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

, Massachusetts, USA, 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
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules
Rules of basketball
The rules of basketball are the rules and regulations that govern the play, officiating, equipment and procedures of basketball. While many of the basic rules are uniform throughout the world, variations do exist. Most leagues or governing bodies in North America, the most important of which are...

 and nailed a peach
Peach
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

 basket onto a 10-foot (3.05 m) elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, and balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored; this proved inefficient, however, so the bottom of the basket was removed, allowing the balls to be poked out with a long dowel
Dowel
A dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, usually made of wood, plastic or metal. In its original manufactured form, dowel is called dowel rod.Dowel rod is employed in numerous, diverse applications. It is used to form axles in toys, as detents on gymnastics grips, as knitting needles, as structural...

 each time.

Basketball was originally played with an association football. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, 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 only became a major part of the game around the 1950s, as manufacturing improved the ball shape.

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 on 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 Rock
Duck on a Rock
-Game play:Duck on a Rock is a game that combined tag and marksmanship. It is played by placing a somewhat large stone upon a larger stone or a tree stump. One player stays near the stone to guard it. The other players throw stones at the duck in an attempt to knock it off of the platform. Once it...

", as many had failed before it. Naismith called the new game "Basket Ball". The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York
Young Men's Christian Association Building (Albany, New York)
The former Young Men's Christian Association Building in Albany, New York, United States, is located on Pearl Street . It was built in the 1880s in the Romanesque Revival architectural style, with an existing neighboring structure annexed to it and a rear addition built in the 1920s. It was listed...

 on January 20, 1892 with nine players. The game ended at 1–0; the shot was made from 25 feet (7.6 m), on a court just half the size of a present-day Streetball
Streetball
Streetball or street basketball is a variation of the sport of basketball, typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less by way of formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules...

 or National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA) court. 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 USA and Canada. By 1895, it was well established at several women's high schools. While the 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 the 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
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Amateur Athletic Union
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (forerunner of the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

) 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.

Dr. James Naismith was instrumental in establishing college basketball
College basketball
College basketball most often refers to the USA basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Basketball in the NCAA is divided into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III....

. His colleague C.O. Beamis fielded the first college basketball team just a year after the Springfield YMCA game at the suburban Pittsburgh Geneva College
Geneva College
Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States, north of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1848, in Northwood, Ohio, the college moved to its present location in 1880, where it continues to educate a student body of about 1400 traditional undergraduates in...

. Naismith himself later coached at the University of Kansas
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest point in Lawrence. The...

 for six years, before handing the reins to renowned coach Forrest "Phog" Allen. Naismith's disciple Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg was an American athlete and pioneering college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football...

 brought basketball to the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, while Adolph Rupp
Adolph Rupp
Adolph Frederick Rupp was one of the most successful coaches in the history of American college basketball. Rupp is fourth in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching...

, a student of Naismith's at Kansas, enjoyed great success as coach at the University of Kentucky
Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, representing the University of Kentucky, is the winningest in the history of college basketball, both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Kentucky's all-time record currently stands at 2058–647...

. On February 9, 1895, the first intercollegiate 5-on-5 game was played at Hamline University
Hamline University
-Red Wing location :Hamline was named in honor of Leonidas Lent Hamline, a bishop of the Methodist Church whose interest in the frontier led him to donate $25,000 toward the building of an institution of higher learning in what was then the territory of Minnesota. Today, a statue of Bishop Hamline...

 between Hamline and the School of Agriculture, which was affiliated with the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

. The School of Agriculture won in a 9–3 game.

In 1901, colleges, including the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

, the University of Minnesota, the U.S. Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, the University of Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest...

 and Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 began sponsoring men's games. In 1905, frequent injuries on the football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 field prompted President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 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 would change its name to the National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 (NCAA). The first Canadian interuniversity basketball game was played at the YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

 in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 on February 6, 1904, when McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

 visited Queen's University
Queen's University
Queen's University, , is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, the university pre-dates the founding of Canada by 26 years. Queen's holds more more than of land throughout Ontario as well as Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England...

. 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
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is an athletic association that organizes college and university-level athletic programs. Membership in the NAIA consists of smaller colleges and universities across the United States. The NAIA allows colleges and universities outside the USA...

 (NAIA) tournament
NAIA national men's basketball championship
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men's Basketball National Championship has been held annually since 1937 . The tournament was established by James Naismith to crown a national champion for smaller colleges and universities...

, was organized in 1937. The first national championship for NCAA teams, the National Invitation Tournament
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are two NIT events each season. The first, played in November and known as the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , was founded in 1985...

 (NIT) in New York, was organized in 1938; the NCAA national tournament
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 would begin one year later. College basketball was rocked by gambling scandals from 1948 to 1951, when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in match fixing
Match fixing
In organised sports, match fixing, game fixing, race fixing, or sports fixing occurs as a match is played to a completely or partially pre-determined result, violating the rules of the game and often the law. Where the sporting competition in question is a race then the incident is referred to as...

 and point shaving
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 point spread. Unlike other forms of match fixing, sports betting invariably motivates point shaving. A point shaving scheme generally involves a sports gambler and one...

. Partially spurred by an association with cheating, the NIT lost support to the NCAA tournament.

High school basketball


Before widespread school district consolidation, most United States highs 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
Franklin Wonder Five
The Franklin Wonder Five was a 1920s basketball team from Indiana's "Hoosier Hysteria" era. With basketball king in Indiana, the team from Franklin was dubbed the “Wonder Five”. This small town about 20 miles south of Indianapolis produced a team that captured the Indiana State Basketball...

, 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
Varsity team
In the United States and Canada, varsity sports teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, high school or other secondary school. Such teams compete against the principal athletic teams at other colleges/universities, or in the case of secondary schools, against...

 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 2003–04 season, 1,002,797 boys and girls represented their schools in interscholastic basketball competition, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations
National Federation of State High School Associations
The National Federation of State High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Most high schools, whether public or private, belong to their state's high school association; in turn, each state association...

. The states of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 and Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 are particularly well known for their residents' devotion to high school basketball, commonly called Hoosier Hysteria
Hoosier Hysteria
Hoosier Hysteria is the state of excitement surrounding basketball in Indiana, or more specifically the Indiana high school basketball tournament. In part, the excitement stemmed from the inclusion of all tournament entrants into the same tournament, where a small town's David might knock off a...

 in Indiana; the critically acclaimed film Hoosiers
Hoosiers
Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film about a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. It is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state championship....

shows high school basketball's depth of meaning to these communities.

There is currently no national tournament to determine a national high school champion. The most serious effort was the National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 from 1917 to 1930. The event organized by Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg was an American athlete and pioneering college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football...

 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
National Federation of State High School Associations
The National Federation of State High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Most high schools, whether public or private, belong to their state's high school association; in turn, each state association...

 and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools , also known as the North Central Association, is a membership organization, consisting of colleges, universities, and schools in 19 U.S. states, that is engaged in educational accreditation...

 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
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1870 under the title St...

. The National Catholic Invitational Basketball Tournament from 1954 to 1978 playing at a series of venues at Catholic University
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

, Georgetown
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 and George Mason
George Mason University
George Mason University is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County...

. The National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament for Black High Schools was held from 1929 to 1942 at Hampton Institute
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

. The National Invitational Interscholastic Basketball Tournament was held from 1941 to 1967 starting out at Tuskegee Institute
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...

. Following a pause during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it resumed at Tennessee State College
Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University is a land-grant university located in Nashville, Tennessee. TSU is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee.-History:...

 in Nashville. The basis for the champion dwindled after 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

began an integration of schools. The last tournaments were held at Alabama State College
Alabama State University
Alabama State University, founded 1867, is a historically black university located in Montgomery, Alabama. ASU is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.- History :...

 from 1964 to 1967.

Professional basketball


Teams abounded throughout the 1920s. There were hundreds of men's professional basketball 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
Barnstorm (sports)
Barnstorming in athletics refers to sports teams or individuals that travel to various locations, usually small towns, to stage exhibition matches....

 squads such as the Original Celtics
Original Celtics
The Original Celtics were a barnstorming professional basketball team in the 1920s. There is no relation to the modern Boston Celtics. The Original Celtics are often credited with extending the reach of basketball across America and for establishing the importance of aggressive defensive play...

 and two all-African American teams, the New York Renaissance Five
New York Renaissance
The New York Renaissance, also known as the Renaissance Big Five and as the Rens, was an all-black professional basketball team established February 13, 1923, by Robert "Bob" Douglas in agreement with the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom...

 ("Rens") and (still in existence as of 2010) the Harlem Globetrotters
Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

 played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours.

In 1946, the Basketball Association of America
Basketball Association of America
The Basketball Association of America was a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. The league merged with the National Basketball League in 1949, forming the National Basketball Association ...

 (BAA) was formed. The first game was played in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario, Canada between the Toronto Huskies
Toronto Huskies
The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America during the 1946–47 season, based in Toronto, Ontario...

 and New York Knickerbockers
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 on November 1, 1946. Three seasons later, in 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball League
National Basketball League (United States)
Founded in 1937, the National Basketball League, often abbreviated to NBL, was a professional men's basketball league in the United States. The league would later merge with the Basketball Association of America  to form the National Basketball Association  in 1949.- League history :The...

 to form the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (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 was founded in Springfield
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

, 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
American Basketball Association
The American Basketball Association was a professional basketball league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.-League history:...

, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the ABA-NBA merger
ABA-NBA merger
The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

 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 Mikan
George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. , nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association...

, the first dominating "big man"; ball-handling wizard Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy
Robert Joseph "Bob" Cousy is a retired American professional basketball player. The 6'1" , 175-pound Cousy played point guard with the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics from 1951 to 1963 and briefly with the Cincinnati Royals in the 1969–70 season...

 and defensive genius Bill Russell
Bill Russell
William Felton "Bill" Russell is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association...

 of the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

; Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain
Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters prior to playing in the NBA...

, who originally played for the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters
Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

; all-around stars Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson
Oscar Palmer Robertson , nicknamed "The Big O", is a former American NBA player with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks...

 and Jerry West
Jerry West
Jerry Alan West is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . His nicknames include "Mr...

; more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired American professional basketball player. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points. During his career with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships and a record six regular season...

, Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal , nicknamed "Shaq" , is a former American professional basketball player. Standing tall and weighing , he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA...

 and Karl Malone
Karl Malone
Karl Anthony Malone , nicknamed "The Mailman", is a retired American professional basketball power forward who spent the majority of his career with the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association . Malone spent his first 18 seasons with the Jazz and formed a formidable duo with his teammate...

; playmaker John Stockton
John Stockton
John Houston Stockton is a retired American professional basketball player who spent his entire career as a point guard for the Utah Jazz of the NBA from 1984 to 2003. Stockton is regarded as one of the best point guards of all time, holding the NBA records for most career assists and steals by...

; crowd-pleasing forward Julius Erving
Julius Erving
Julius Winfield Erving II , commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim....

; European stars Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association...

 and Dražen Petrović
Dražen Petrovic
Dražen Petrović 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 American NBA in 1989...

 and the three players who many credit with ushering the professional game to its highest level of popularity: Larry Bird
Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish...

, Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Magic Johnson
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers...

, and Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a former American professional basketball player, active entrepreneur, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats...

. In 2001, the NBA formed a developmental league, the NBDL
NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, or NBA D-League, is the National Basketball Association's official minor league basketball organization. Known until summer 2005 as the National Basketball Development League , the NBA D-League started with eight teams in the fall of 2001...

. As of 2008, the league has 16 teams.

International basketball


The International Basketball Federation
International Basketball Federation
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA , from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball...

 was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations: Argentina, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. At this time, the organization only oversaw amateur players. Its acronym, derived from the French Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur, was thus "FIBA
International Basketball Federation
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA , from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball...

". Men's Basketball was first included
Basketball at the Summer Olympics
Basketball has been a Summer Olympics sport for men consistently since 1936. Prior to its inclusion as a medal sport, it was held as demonstration event in 1904 and 1932, both in the United States. Women's basketball was played in the Olympics only since 1976....

 at the Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain on April 26, 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona...

, 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 loss in a controversial final game in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 in 1972
Basketball at the 1972 Summer Olympics
-Group B:-Medal bracket:-Classification brackets:5th–8th Place9th–12th Place13th–16th Place Forfeited match.-Gold Medal Match controversy:...

 against the Soviet Union. In 1950 the first FIBA World Championship
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship is an international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation , the sport's global governing body...

 for men was held in Argentina. Three years later, the first FIBA World Championship for Women
FIBA World Championship for Women
The FIBA World Championship for Women is a world basketball tournament for women's national teams held quadrennially...

 was held in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976, which were held in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Canada with teams such as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Brazil
Brazil women's national basketball team
Brazil women's national basketball team is the official women's basketball team for Brazil. They won the 1994 FIBA World Championship for Women in Australia.-Olympic Games:* 1992: 7th place* 1996: 2nd place * 2000: 3rd place...

 and Australia
Australia women's national basketball team
The Australia Women's National Basketball Team is the women's National Basketball team for Australia. They won Gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006 defeating New Zealand's Tall Ferns in the final match with a score of 77–39. They then followed it up with a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA...

 rivaling the American
United States women's national basketball team
The United States women's national basketball team are the defending Olympic champions in women's basketball. The team is composed of some of the top American players in the WNBA and the women's college game....

 squads.

FIBA dropped the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1989, and in 1992, professional players played for the first time in the Olympic Games. The United States' dominance continued with the introduction of their Dream Team
1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team
The 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, nicknamed the "Dream Team", was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players. Often considered one of the strongest teams assembled in any sport, it defeated its opponents by an average of almost 44 points en route to the gold ...

. However, with developing programs elsewhere, other national teams started to beat the United States. A team made entirely of NBA players finished sixth in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

, behind Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia national basketball team
The Yugoslavian national basketball team represented the Kingdom and socialist Yugoslavia. Its of governing body was the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia, whose seat was in Belgrade....

, Argentina
Argentina national basketball team
The Argentina national basketball team represents Argentina in basketball international competitions, and is controlled by the Argentine Basketball Federation....

, Germany
Germany national basketball team
The German national basketball team for men is the basketball side that represents Germany in international competitions. Their biggest successes are the victory in the European Championship of 1993 at home in Germany, the silver medal in the 2005 European Championships and the bronze medal in the...

, New Zealand
New Zealand national basketball team
The New Zealand national basketball team represents New Zealand in international basketball competitions. It is nicknamed the Tall Blacks, derived from the name of New Zealand's Rugby union team, the All Blacks.-History:...

 and Spain
Spain national basketball team
The Spanish national basketball team is the basketball team representing Spain in international competitions, organized and run by the Spanish Basketball Federation...

. In the 2004 Athens Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

, the United States suffered its first Olympic loss while using professional players, falling to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico national basketball team
The Puerto Rico men's national basketball team represents Puerto Rico in international basketball competitions such as the Olympics, the World Championship, and the Americas Championship...

 (in a 19-point loss) and Lithuania
Lithuania national basketball team
The Lithuanian national basketball team is the representative for Lithuania in international men's basketball. Lithuania won bronze medals in three out of five Olympic tournaments it participated in....

 in group games, and being eliminated in the semifinals by Argentina
Argentina national basketball team
The Argentina national basketball team represents Argentina in basketball international competitions, and is controlled by the Argentine Basketball Federation....

. It eventually won the bronze medal defeating Lithuania, finishing behind Argentina and Italy
Italy national basketball team
The Italian national basketball team is the national basketball team representing Italy. It is administrated by the Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro ....

. In 2006, in the World Championship of Japan, the United States advanced to the semifinals but were defeated by Greece
Greece national basketball team
The Greece national basketball team is the representative for Greece in international men's basketball competitions, organized and run by the Hellenic Basketball Federation. Traditionally, Greece is considered among the world's top basketball powers; they were runners-up in the 2006 FIBA World...

 by 101–95. In the bronze medal game it beat team Argentina
Argentina national basketball team
The Argentina national basketball team represents Argentina in basketball international competitions, and is controlled by the Argentine Basketball Federation....

 and finished 3rd behind Greece and Spain. After the disappointments of 2002 through 2006, the U.S. regrouped, reestablishing themselves as the dominant international team behind the "Redeem Team", which won gold at the 2008 Olympics
Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Basketball contests at the 2008 Olympic Games were held from August 9, 2008 to August 24, 2008. Competitions were held at the Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China...

, and the so-called "B-Team", which won gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was the international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams. The tournament ran from August 28 to September 12, 2010. It was co-organized by the International Basketball Federation , Turkish Basketball Federation and the...

 in Turkey despite featuring no players from the 2008 squad.

The all-tournament teams at the 2002
2002 FIBA World Championship
The 2002 FIBA World Championship was an international basketball tournament held by the International Basketball Federation in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA from August 29 to September 8, 2002.-Venues:-Squads:...

 and 2006
2006 FIBA World Championship
The 2006 FIBA World Championship was an international basketball competition hosted by Japan from August 19 to September 3, 2006. It was co-organised by the International Basketball Federation , Japan Basketball Association and the 2006 Organizing Committee...

 FIBA World Championship
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship is an international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation , the sport's global governing body...

s, respectively held in Indianapolis and Japan, demonstrate the globalization of the game equally dramatically. Only one member of either team was American, namely Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Kiyan Anthony , nicknamed "Melo", is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association...

 in 2006. The 2002 team featured Nowitzki, Ginobili, Yao, Peja Stojakovic
Predrag Stojakovic
Predrag Stojaković , also known by his nickname Peja , is a Serbian professional basketball player who last played for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association . Standing at 6 ft 10 , Stojaković plays the small forward position...

 of Yugoslavia (now of Serbia
Serbia national basketball team
The Serbian national basketball team represents Serbia in international basketball matches....

), and Pero Cameron
Pero Cameron
Sean Pero MacPherson Cameron MNZM, known as "Pero", is a former New Zealand professional basketball player. Cameron captained the NZ National Team from 2000 - 2010...

 of New Zealand. Ginobili also made the 2006 team; the other members were Anthony, Gasol, his Spanish
Spain national basketball team
The Spanish national basketball team is the basketball team representing Spain in international competitions, organized and run by the Spanish Basketball Federation...

 teammate Jorge Garbajosa
Jorge Garbajosa
Jorge Garbajosa Chaparro, Jr., nicknamed "Garbo" , is a Spanish professional basketball player. At 2.07 m , he plays both power forward and small forward.-Pro career:*1994-97 Taugres*1997-00 TAU Cerámica...

 and Theodoros Papaloukas
Theodoros Papaloukas
Theódoros "Teó" Papaloukás is a Greek professional basketball player. He currently plays as a point guard for the Israeli League, Adriatic League and Euroleague club Maccabi Tel Aviv....

 of Greece
Greece national basketball team
The Greece national basketball team is the representative for Greece in international men's basketball competitions, organized and run by the Hellenic Basketball Federation. Traditionally, Greece is considered among the world's top basketball powers; they were runners-up in the 2006 FIBA World...

. The only players on either team to never have joined the NBA are Cameron and Papaloukas. The all-tournament team from the 2010 edition
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was the international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams. The tournament ran from August 28 to September 12, 2010. It was co-organized by the International Basketball Federation , Turkish Basketball Federation and the...

 in Turkey featured four NBA players—MVP Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant
Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association . A 6'9" small forward/shooting guard who is also capable of playing power forward, Durant was the consensus 2007 National College Player of the Year and the...

 of Team USA and the Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a professional basketball franchise based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ; their home court is at Chesapeake Energy Arena....

, Linas Kleiza
Linas Kleiza
Linas Kleiza is a Lithuanian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national team. He can play either forward position. Kleiza signed a four year, $18.8 million contract prior to the 2010–11 NBA...

 of Lithuania
Lithuania national basketball team
The Lithuanian national basketball team is the representative for Lithuania in international men's basketball. Lithuania won bronze medals in three out of five Olympic tournaments it participated in....

 and the Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's re-expansion...

, Luis Scola
Luis Scola
Luis Alberto Scola Balvoa is an Argentine professional basketball player. The power forward-center for the Argentine national team is currently signed with the NBA's Houston Rockets. He formerly was a Euroleague star with the ACB's Saski Baskonia...

 of Argentina and the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

, and Hedo Türkoğlu of Turkey
Turkey national basketball team
The Turkish national basketball team is the basketball section that represents Turkey in international competitions. The team is nicknamed "12 Dev Adam" ....

 and the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

. The only non-NBA player was Serbia's Miloš Teodosić
Miloš Teodosic
Miloš Teodosić is a professional basketball player from Serbia. He is 1.96 m tall. He can play at either the point guard or shooting guard position. He is currently a member of the pro club CSKA Moscow.-Player profile:He can play at either guard position...

. The strength of international Basketball is evident in the fact that Team USA won none of the three world championships held between 1998 and 2006, with Serbia (then known as Yugoslavia) winning in 1998 and 2002 and Spain in 2006.

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 1990's, including Croatians Dražen Petrović
Dražen Petrovic
Dražen Petrović 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 American NBA in 1989...

 and Toni Kukoč
Toni Kukoc
Toni Kukoč is a retired Croatian professional basketball player. He was renowned for his versatility and passing ability; although his natural position was small forward, he played all five positions on the court with prowess and demonstrated court vision and an outside shooting touch that were...

, Serbian Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac is a retired Yugoslav and Serbian professional basketball player who spent most of his career in the NBA. At , he played center and was known for his passing skills...

, Lithuanians Arvydas Sabonis
Arvydas Sabonis
Arvydas Romas Sabonis is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player and a businessman. He was an eight-time European Player of the Year, winning the Euroscar Award six times, and the Mr...

 and Šarūnas Marčiulionis
Šarunas Marciulionis
Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player. He was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the North American National Basketball Association...

 and German Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf is a retired German NBA basketball player.-High school and college career:...

. John Hollinger of ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 has analyzed foreign players' performance in the NBA and his research suggests that players moving from the Euroleague to the NBA experience, on average, a 25 per cent drop in scoring rate, an increase of 18% in their rebound rate, a 31% increase in their assist rate, a drop of 12 per cent in shooting percentage and a 30 per cent drop in Player Efficiency Rating
Player Efficiency Rating
The Player Efficiency Rating is ESPN Insider writer John Hollinger's all-in-one basketball rating, which attempts to boil down all of a player's contributions into one number. Using a detailed formula, Hollinger developed a system that rates every player's statistical performance.-Introduction:PER...

.

In the Philippines, the Philippine Basketball Association
Philippine Basketball Association
The Philippine Basketball Association , is a men's professional basketball league in the Philippines composed of 10 company-branded franchised teams. It is the first and oldest professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest in the world after the NBA...

's first game was played on April 9, 1975 at the Araneta Coliseum
Araneta Coliseum
The Smart Araneta Coliseum, known as The Big Dome is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena located in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines...

 in Cubao, Quezon City
Quezon City
Quezon City is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L...

. 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
1979 NBL Season
Here are results and statistics from the National Basketball League season of 1979.-End of Season Ladder:This is the ladder at the end of season, before the finals. In all, 90 games were played, 18 for each team...

, playing a winter season (April–September) and did so until the completion of the 20th season in 1998. 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
Football in Australia
Football in Australia can refer to several different variations of football as there are regional variations of the use of the word "Football" in Australia....

. It features 8 teams from around Australia and one in New Zealand. A few players including Luc Longley
Luc Longley
Lucien James "Luc" Longley is a retired Australian professional basketball player, who was the first Australian to play in the NBA, where he played for eleven seasons...

, Andrew Gaze
Andrew Gaze
Andrew Barry Casson Gaze is Australia's best known basketball player, and one of its most successful. He is considered as the greatest player in the history of the NBL....

, Shane Heal
Shane Heal
Shane Douglas Heal is a retired Australia professional basketball player who last played with the Gold Coast Blaze of the National Basketball League, retiring at the end of the 2008/09 season. During his early years as a player, Heal played for the Brisbane Bullets and the Geelong Supercats...

, Chris Anstey
Chris Anstey
Christopher John Anstey is a former Australian professional basketball player. At 7'0" his career included stints in the NBA, Russia and Spain. Anstey was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played for the Melbourne Tigers in the Australian NBL...

 and Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut
Andrew Michael Bogut is an Australian professional basketball player. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks of the United States' National Basketball Association....

 made it big internationally, becoming poster figures for the sport in Australia. The Women's National Basketball League
Women's National Basketball League
The Women's National Basketball League is the pre-eminent women's professional basketball league in Australia. It currently is composed of ten teams. The league was founded in 1981 and is the women's counterpart to the National Basketball League...

 began in 1981.

Women's basketball


In 1891, the University of California
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 and Miss Head's School played the first women's interinstitutional game. Women's basketball began in 1892 at Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 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. Her rules were first published in 1899 and two years later Berenson became the editor of A.G. Spalding
Spalding (sports equipment)
Spalding is a sporting goods company founded by Albert Spalding in Chicago, Illinois, in 1876 and now headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The company specializes in the production of balls for many sports, but is most-known for its basketballs...

’s first Women's Basketball Guide. Berenson's freshmen played the sophomore class in the first women's intercollegiate basketball game at Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

, March 21, 1893. The same year, Mount Holyoke
Mount Holyoke
Mount Holyoke, a traprock mountain, elevation , is the western-most peak of the Holyoke Range and part of the 100-mile Metacomet Ridge. The mountain is located in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, and is the namesake of nearby Mount Holyoke College. The mountain is located in...

 and Sophie Newcomb College (coached by Clara Gregory Baer
Clara Gregory Baer
Clara Gregory Baer was an American physical education instructor and women's sports pioneer. Baer introduced the first teacher certification course for physical education in the Southern United States, and authored the first published rules of women's basketball...

) women began playing basketball. By 1895, the game had spread to colleges across the country, including Wellesley, Vassar
Vassar College
Vassar College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the United States. The Vassar campus comprises over and more than 100 buildings, including four National Historic Landmarks, ranging in style from Collegiate Gothic to International,...

, and Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College is a women's liberal arts college located in Bryn Mawr, a community in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, ten miles west of Philadelphia. The name "Bryn Mawr" means "big hill" in Welsh....

. The first intercollegiate women's game was on April 4, 1896. Stanford
Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal is the nickname of the athletic teams at Stanford University.-Nickname and mascot history:Following its win over Cal in the first-ever Big Game in 1892, the color cardinal was picked as the primary color of Stanford's athletic teams...

 women played Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, 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
American Physical Education Association
American Physical Education Association is an American association, founded in 1885 to support gymnastics education. The name was changed in 1903, to the American Physical Education Association...

. These rules called for six to nine players per team and 11 officials. The International Women's Sports Federation
International Women's Sports Federation
The Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale - or, in English, the International Women's Sports Federation - was founded in October 1921 because of the unwillingness of existing sports organisations, such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Amateur Athletics 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 national women's basketball championship
NAIA national women's basketball championship
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women's Basketball National Championship has been held annually since 1981. It was established one year before the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament. It was created to crown a women's national title for smaller colleges and universities. Since...

, complete with men's rules. The Edmonton Grads
Edmonton Grads
The Edmonton Grads were a Canadian women's basketball team. While long disbanded, the team continues to hold the North American record for the sports team with the best winning percentage of all time. The Grads won the first women's world title in basketball in 1924.-Origin:In 1912, J. Percy Page...

, a touring Canadian women's team based in 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 which 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 AAU
Amateur Athletic Union
The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.-History:The AAU was founded in 1888 to...

 All-America team was chosen in 1929. Women's industrial leagues sprang up throughout the United States, producing famous athletes, including Babe Didrikson
Babe Zaharias
Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias was an American athlete who achieved outstanding success in golf, basketball, and track and field...

 of the Golden Cyclones
Golden Cyclones
The Golden Cyclones were a 1930s group of women athletes who played Amateur Athletic Union softball, basketball and track-and-field. Based in Dallas, Texas they were sponsored by the Employers Casualty Insurance Company and coached by "Colonel" Melvin J...

, and the All American Red Heads Team
All American Red Heads Team
The All American Red Heads was one of the first professional women's basketball teams. In 1936, almost 50 years after women's basketball began, C. M. "Ole" Olson started a barnstorming team which would play around the country until 1986. The name of the team came from Olson's wife, who owned a...

, which competed against men's teams, using men's rules. By 1938, the women's national championship changed from a three-court game to two-court game with six players per team.

The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

 (WNBA) began in 1997. Though it had shaky attendance figures, several marquee players (Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie
Lisa Deshaun Leslie-Lockwood is a former American professional women's basketball player in the WNBA. She is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner...

, Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi
Diana Lorena Taurasi is a professional basketball player who plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA and Galatasaray Medical Park from Turkey...

, and Candace Parker
Candace Parker
Candace Nicole Parker is an All-American basketball player for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and is also the younger sister of NBA player Anthony Parker. She was drafted to the team from Tennessee in 2008...

 among others) have helped the league's popularity and level of competition. Other professional women's basketball
Women's professional sports
Professional athletes are distinguished from amateur athletes by virtue of being paid. Throughout the world, most top female athletes are not paid, and work full-time or part-time jobs in addition to their training, practice and competition schedules. Women's professional sports organizations defy...

 leagues in the United States, such as the American Basketball League (1996-1998)
American Basketball League (1996-1998)
The American Basketball League, often abbreviated to the ABL of 1996 was an independent professional basketball league for women in the United States. At the same time the ABL was being formed, the National Basketball Association was creating the Women's National Basketball Association...

, 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
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

. The new television deal runs 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" will be "dispersed to the league's teams." The WNBA gets more viewers on national television broadcasts (413,000) than both Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 (253,000) and the NHL (310,732). In a March 12, 2009 article, NBA commissioner David Stern
David Stern
David Joel Stern is the commissioner of the National Basketball Association. He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984 succeeding Larry O'Brien...

 said that in the bad economy, "the NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA. We're losing a lot of money amongst 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 points
Three-point field goal
A three-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game, made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket...

 if it is taken from beyond the three-point arc which is 6.25 metre from the basket in international games and 23 in 9 in (7.24 m) in NBA games. A one-point shot can be earned when shooting from the foul line after a foul is made.

Playing regulations


Games are played in four quarters of 10 (FIBA
International Basketball Federation
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as FIBA , from its French name Fédération Internationale de Basketball, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball...

) or 12 minutes (NBA). College games use two 20-minute halves, while high school varsity games use 8 minute quarters. 15 minutes are allowed for a half-time break under FIBA, NBA, and NCAA rules and 10 minutes in high school. 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. 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
Jersey (clothing)
A jersey is an item of knitted clothing, traditionally in wool or cotton, with sleeves, worn as a pullover, as it does not open at the front, unlike a cardigan. It is usually close-fitting and machine knitted in contrast to a guernsey that is more often hand knit with a thicker yarn...

 with a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back. Players wear high-top
High-top
The high-top is a shoe that extends significantly over the wearer's ankle. It is commonly an athletic shoe, particularly for basketball. It is sometimes confused with the slightly shorter mid-top. Examples of basketball shoes that are high-tops are Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars; Nike Air Forces...

 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 officials
Official (basketball)
In basketball, an official is a person who has the responsibility to enforce the rules and maintain the order of the game. The title of official also applies to the scorers and timekeepers, as well as other personnel that have an active task in maintaining the game...

 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 teams scoring, timekeeping, individual and team fouls, player substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock
Shot clock
A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of the game. It is normally associated with basketball, but has also found use in sports such as snooker, professional lacrosse, water polo, and korfball....

.

Equipment


The only essential equipment in a basketball game is the basketball 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
Basketball court
In basketball, the basketball court is the playing surface, consisting of a rectangular floor with tiles at either end. In professional or organized basketball, especially when played indoors, it is usually made out of a wood, often maple, and highly polished...

 in international games is 91.9 feet long and 49.2 feet wide. In the NBA and NCAA the court is 94 feet by 50 feet. Most courts have wood flooring
Wood flooring
Wood flooring is any product manufactured from timber that is designed for use as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Bamboo flooring is often considered a wood floor, although it is made from a grass rather than a timber....

, usually constructed from maple
Maple
Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in...

 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 18 inches diameter with an attached net affixed to a backboard that measures 6 feet by 3.5 feet and one basket is at each end of the court. The white outlined box on the backboard is 18 inches high and 2 feet wide. At almost all levels of competition, the top of the rim is exactly 10 feet above the court and 4 feet 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 size of the basketball is also regulated. For men, the official ball is 29.5 inches in circumference (size 7, or a "295 ball") and weighs 22 oz. If women are playing, the official basketball size is 28.5 inches in circumference (size 6, or a "285 ball") with a weight of 20 oz.

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 touches or crosses over a boundary line, or touches a player who is out of bounds. This is in contrast to other sports such as football, volleyball, and tennis (but not rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

 or American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

) where the ball (or player) is still considered in if any part of it is touching a boundary line.

The ball-handler may not move both feet without dribbling, an infraction known as traveling
Traveling (basketball)
In basketball, traveling is a violation of the rules that occurs when a player holding the ball moves one or both of his feet illegally. Most commonly, a player travels by illegally moving his pivot foot or taking too many steps without dribbling the ball....

, nor may he dribble with both hands or catch the ball in between dribbles, a violation called double dribbling
Double dribble
In the game of basketball, a double dribble is a violation in which a player dribbles the ball, clearly holds it with a combination of either one or two hands , and then proceeds to dribble again without first either attempting a field goal or passing off to a teammate...

. A player's hand cannot be under the ball while dribbling; doing so is known as carrying the ball. A team, once having established ball control in the front half of the court, may not return the ball to the backcourt and be the first to touch it. The ball may not be kicked, nor be struck with the fist. A violation of these rules results in loss of possession, or, if committed by the defense, a reset of the shot clock
Shot clock
A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of the game. It is normally associated with basketball, but has also found use in sports such as snooker, professional lacrosse, water polo, and korfball....

 (with some exceptions in the NBA).

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 men's play and high school for both sexes, but no limit in NCAA women's play), before attempting a shot (24 seconds in FIBA and the NBA, 30 seconds in NCAA women's and Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada, comprising the majority of degree granting universities in the country. Its equivalent body for organized sports at colleges in Canada is The Canadian Colleges Athletic Association...

 play for both sexes, and 35 seconds in NCAA men's play), holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds), and remaining in the restricted area below the foul line (the lane, or "key
Key (basketball)
The key, officially referred to as the free throw lane by the National Basketball Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association , the restricted area by the international governing body FIBA, and colloquially as the shaded lane and the paint, is an area in a basketball court...

") (3 seconds). These rules are designed to promote more offense.

No player may touch the ball on its downward flight to the basket, unless the ball has no chance of entering the basket (goaltending). In addition, no player may touch the ball while it is on or in the basket; when any part of the ball is in the cylinder above the basket (the area extended upwards from the basket); or when the ball is outside the cylinder, if the player reaches through the basket and touches it. This violation is known as "basket interference". If a defensive player goaltends or commits basket interference, the basket is awarded and the offending team gets the ball. If a teammate of the shooter goaltends or commits interference, the basket is cancelled and play continues with the defensive team being given possession.

Fouls




An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through physical contact is illegal and is called a 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
Free throw
In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted area on the court , and are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team...

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 15 feet (4.6 m) from the basket.

The referee may use discretion in calling fouls (for example, by considering whether an unfair advantage was gained), sometimes making fouls controversial calls or no-calls. The calling of fouls can vary between games, leagues and even among referees.

A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship, such as by arguing with a referee or by fighting with another player, can be charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul
Technical foul
In basketball, a technical foul is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct...

. The penalty involves free throws (where, unlike a personal foul, the other team can choose any player to shoot) and varies among leagues. Repeated incidents can result in disqualification
Ejection (sports)
In sports, an ejection is one of several disqualifying actions assessed to a player or coach by a game official , usually for unsportsmanlike conduct....

. Blatant fouls with excessive contact or that are not an attempt to play the ball are called intentional fouls (or flagrant fouls in the NBA). In FIBA, 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 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 and high school games, 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, it is said to be "in the penalty". On scoreboards, this is usually signified with an indicator light reading "Bonus" or "Penalty" with an illuminated directional arrow 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, then, receives two shots. A player fouled while attempting a three-point shot, on the other hand, 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).

Positions




Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever, they have evolved as part of basketball. During the first five decades of basketball's evolution, one guard, two forwards, and two centers or two guards, two forwards, and one center were used. Since the 1980s, more specific positions have evolved, namely:
  1. point guard
    Point guard
    Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...

    : 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
  2. shooting guard
    Shooting guard
    The shooting guard , also known as the two or off guard, is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. Players of the position are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team...

    : creates a high volume of shots on offense; guards the opponent's best perimeter player on defense
  3. small forward
    Small forward
    The small forward, or colloquially known as three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but on occasion are just as tall...

    : 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
  4. power forward
    Power forward (basketball)
    Power forward is a position in the sport of basketball. The position is referred to in playbook terms as the four position and is commonly abbreviated "PF". It has also been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center in what is called the "post" or "low...

    : 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)
  5. center
    Center (basketball)
    The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

    : uses height and size to score (on offense), to protect the basket closely (on defense), or to rebound.


The above descriptions are flexible. On some occasions, teams will choose to use a three guard offense, replacing one of the forwards or the center with a third guard. The most commonly interchanged positions are point guard and shooting guard, especially if both players have good leadership and ball handling skills.

Strategy


The strategies also evolve with the game. In the 1990s and early 2000s, teams played with more "isolation". Teams that had one superstar would let one player, usually the point guard or shooting guard, run most of the offense while the other four offensive players get out of his/her way. Nowadays, teams tend to play with more teamwork. The "Center" position has evolved to become more of a taller "Small Forward" position. Since teams play more teamwork, ball movement has evolved with the game, and more jump shots have been taken as a result.

There are two main defensive strategies: zone defense and man-to-man defense. In a zone defense
Zone defense
Zone defense is a type of defense, used in team sports, which is the alternative to man-to-man defense; instead of each player guarding a corresponding player on the other team, each defensive player is given an area known as a "zone" to cover....

, each player is assigned to guard a specific area of the court. In a man-to-man defense
Man-to-man defense
Man-to-man defense is a type of defensive tactic used in American football, association football, and basketball in which each player is assigned to defend and follow the movements of a single player on offense. Often, a player guards his counterpart , but a player may be assigned to guard a...

, each defensive player guards a specific opponent. Man-to-man defense is generally preferred at higher levels of competition, as it is intuitively easier to understand and avoids mismatches between players who play different positions. However, zone defenses are sometimes used in particular situations or simply to confuse the offense with an unexpected look.

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 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 or pick. The two plays are combined in the pick and roll
Pick and roll
The pick and roll in basketball is an offensive play in which a player sets a screen for a teammate handling the ball and then slips behind the defender to accept a pass...

, 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.

Defensive and offensive structures, and positions, are more emphasized in higher levels in basketball; it is these that a coach normally requests a time-out to discuss.

Shooting


Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket. Methods can vary with players and situations.

Typically a player faces the basket with both feet facing the basket. A player will then allow the ball to rest 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 typically shot by jumping (though not always) and straightening 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 deaden its impact with the rim. The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat arguable, but generally coaches recommend a proper arch. 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 and the jump shot. The set shot is taken from a standing position, with neither foot leaving the floor, typically used for free throws. The jump shot is taken while in mid-air, when the ball is 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 ground is considered a traveling violation.

Another common shot is called the layup
Layup
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 shot. The layup is considered the most basic shot in...

. 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
Slam dunk
A slam dunk is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim. This is considered a normal field goal attempt; if successful it is worth two points. The term "slam dunk" was...

, in which the player jumps very high and throws the ball downward, straight through the hoop.

Another shot that is becoming common 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 shot that misses both the rim and the backboard completely is referred to as an air ball
Air ball
In basketball, an air ball is a shot that misses both the rim and the backboard.The usage may have an ironic subtext to it; "air" is generally used positively in basketball, often relating to jumping ability. The "air ball", on the other hand, is widely perceived as the opposite: a signifier of an...

. A particularly bad shot, or one that only hits the backboard, is jocularly called a brick.

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
Peripheral vision
Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze. There is a broad set of non-central points in the field of view that is included in the notion of 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
Goaltending
In basketball, goaltending is the violation of interfering with the ball when it is on its way to the basket and it is in its downward flight, entirely above the rim and has the possibility of entering the basket, and not touching the rim...

. 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 hitting the rim the ball it is again legal to touch the ball 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 6 in 3 in (1.91 m) and most women above 5 in 7 in (1.7 m). Guards, for whom physical coordination and ball-handling skills are crucial, tend to be the smallest players. Almost all forwards in the men's pro leagues are 6 in 6 in (1.98 m) or taller. Most centers are over 6 in 10 in (2.08 m) tall. According to a survey given to all NBA teams, the average height of all NBA players is just under 6 in 7 in (2.01 m), with the average weight being close to 222 pounds (100.7 kg). The tallest players ever in the NBA were Manute Bol
Manute Bol
Manute Bol was a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist. At 7 feet, 7 inches , Bol was one of the tallest players ever to appear in the National Basketball Association, along with Gheorghe Mureşan. Unlike Mureşan, however, Bol was naturally tall and did not have a Pituitary disease...

 and Gheorghe Mureşan
Gheorghe Muresan
Gheorghe Dumitru Mureşan, , also known as Ghiţă or George, is a retired Romanian professional basketball player. At 7 ft 7 in , he is one of the tallest players in NBA history, along with Sudanese player Manute Bol, who was also 7 ft 7 in. Both Mureşan's parents are of average size, and,...

, who were both 7 in 7 in (2.31 m) tall. The tallest current NBA player is Žydrūnas Ilgauskas
Žydrunas Ilgauskas
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas , or "Big Z" , is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball center who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association...

, who stands at 7 in 3 in (2.21 m). At 7 in 2 in (2.18 m), Margo Dydek
Margo Dydek
Małgorzata Dydek , known as Margo Dydek in the United States, was a Polish international professional basketball player. Standing tall, she was famous for being the tallest active professional female basketball player in the world...

 was the tallest player in the history of the WNBA.

The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues
Muggsy Bogues
Tyrone Curtis "Muggsy" Bogues is a retired American professional basketball player and former head coach of the now-defunct Charlotte Sting of the Women's National Basketball Association . The shortest player ever to play in the NBA, the Bogues played point guard for four teams during his...

 at 5 in 3 in (1.6 m). Other short players have thrived at the pro level. Anthony "Spud" Webb
Spud Webb
Anthony Jerome Webb , also known as Spud Webb, is a retired American NBA professional basketball point guard most notable for winning a slam dunk contest despite being one of the shortest NBA players in the history of the league...

 was just 5 in 7 in (1.7 m) tall, but had a 42-inch (1.07 m) vertical leap, giving him significant height when jumping. The shortest player in the NBA (and second shortest ever in the NBA) as of the 2009–10 season is Earl Boykins
Earl Boykins
Earl Antoine Boykins is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Standing at 5 feet, 5 inches in height, he is the second shortest player in NBA history behind Muggsy Bogues, who was 5 feet, 3 inches tall. His NBA listed...

 at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m). While shorter players are often not very good at defending against shooting, their ability to navigate quickly through crowded areas of the court and steal the ball by reaching low are strengths.

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
Wheelchair basketball
Wheelchair basketball is basketball played by people in wheelchairs and is considered one of the major disabled sports practiced. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation is the governing body for this sport. It is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as the sole...

, Water basketball
Water basketball
Water basketball is a water sport which mixes the rules of basketball and water polo. Developed and promoted by Italian teacher Francesco Rizzuto in 1986, it is played in a swimming pool...

, Beach basketball
Beach basketball
Beach Basketball is a modified version of basketball, played on beaches. It was invented in the USA by Philip Bryant.- USA :Beach basketball is played in a circular court with no backboard on the goal and no out-of-bounds rule, with the ball movement to be done via passes or 2½ steps, as dribbling...

, Slamball
Slamball
Slamball is a form of basketball played with 4 trampolines in front of each net. It is played "full contact" and has boards around the court....

, Streetball
Streetball
Streetball or street basketball is a variation of the sport of basketball, typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less by way of formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules...

and Unicycle basketball. An earlier version of basketball was Six-on-six basketball
Six-on-six basketball
Six-on-six basketball or basquette is a largely archaic variant of women's basketball. It is played with the same rules as regular basketball, with the following exceptions:...

played until the end of the 1950s. Horseball
Horseball
Horseball is a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a high net . The sport is like a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball. It is one of the ten disciplines officially recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian...

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
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

, rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

, and basketball. There is even a form played on donkeys known as Donkey basketball
Donkey basketball
Donkey basketball is a variation on the standard game of basketball, played on a standard basketball court, but in which the players ride donkeys. A donkey basketball game is usually staged as a one-shot fundraising event, typically in public schools. Commercial firms provide donkeys and equipment,...

, but that version has come under attack from animal rights groups.

Games using basketball skills and equipment include popular versions of the half-court game played in informal settings without referees or strict rules. Perhaps the single most common variation is the half court game. Only one basket is used, and the ball must be "cleared" – passed or dribbled outside the half-court or 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 games also raise the number of players that can use a court, an important benefit when many players want to play. Half court games are also played when there is an insufficient number of players to form full 5-on-5 teams.

There are also other basketball sports, such as:

  • 21 (also known as American, cutthroat and roughhouse)
  • 42
  • Around the world
  • Bounce
  • Firing Squad
  • Fives
  • H-O-R-S-E
  • Hotshot
    Hotshot (game)
    Hotshot is a basketball shooting game. Played mainly in New England, hotshot may be played by one or more players. Hotshot is unique in that it is easy to provide handicaps for less experienced players, allowing them to compete with better shooters...

  • Knockout
    Knockout (game)
    Knockout is a basketball activity. The objective of the game is to make shots in order to survive elimination and, in turn, to eliminate other players. The basic rule of the game is if the trailing player makes a shot before the leading player, the leading player is eliminated...

  • One-shot conquer
  • Steal The Bacon
  • Tip-it
  • Tips
  • "The One"
  • Basketball War.
  • One-on-One, 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.

Wheelchair basketball: Wheelchair basketball, created by disabled World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 veterans, is played on specially designed wheelchairs for the physically impaired. The world governing body of wheelchair basketball is the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation is the international governing body for the sport of wheelchair basketball. IWBF is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as the sole competent authority in wheelchair basketball world wide...

 (IWBF).

Water basketball: Water basketball, played in a swimming pool, merges basketball and water polo
Water polo
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

 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 2½ 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 (aka 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
Goaltending
In basketball, goaltending is the violation of interfering with the ball when it is on its way to the basket and it is in its downward flight, entirely above the rim and has the possibility of entering the basket, and not touching the rim...

 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
Backboard (basketball)
A backboard is a piece of basketball equipment. It is a raised vertical board with a basket attached. It is made of a flat, rigid piece of material, often plexiglass. It is usually rectangular as used in NBA, NCAA and international basketball...

 are four trampolines set into the floor which serve to propel players to great heights for slam dunk
Slam dunk
A slam dunk is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim. This is considered a normal field goal attempt; if successful it is worth two points. The term "slam dunk" was...

s. The rules also permit some physical contact between the members of the four-player teams.

Streetball: Streetball is a less formal variant of basketball, played on playground
Playground
A playground or play area is a place with a specific design for children be able to play there. It may be indoors but is typically outdoors...

s 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
Midnight basketball
Midnight basketball was a 1990s initiative to curb inner-city crime in the United States by keeping urban youth off the streets and engaging them with alternatives to drugs and crime. It was originally founded by G...

. 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 whilst 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.

Spin-offs from basketball that are now separate sports include:
  • Korfball
    Korfball
    Korfball is a mixed gender team sport, with similarities to netball and basketball. A team consists of eight players; four female and four male. A team also includes a coach. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1902 by Nico Broekhuysen. In the Netherlands there are around 580 clubs, and over a...

    (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
    Netball
    Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

    (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.

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, 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
      National Collegiate Athletic Association
      The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

       (NCAA) intercollegiate basketball.
  • Disabled basketball played by various disabled groups, such as
    • Bankshot basketball,
    • Deaf basketball
      Deaf basketball
      Deaf basketball is basketball played by deaf people. Sign language is used to communicate whistle blows and communication between players.-National associations:...

      ,
    • Wheelchair basketball
      Wheelchair basketball
      Wheelchair basketball is basketball played by people in wheelchairs and is considered one of the major disabled sports practiced. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation is the governing body for this sport. It is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as the sole...

      , a sport based on basketball but designed for disabled
      Disability
      A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.Many people would rather be referred to as a person with a disability instead of handicapped...

       people in wheelchair
      Wheelchair
      A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

      s and considered one of the major disabled sports
      Disabled sports
      Disabled sports are sports played by persons with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities. As many of these based on existing sports modified to meet the needs of persons with a disability, they are sometimes referred to as adapted sports...

       practiced.
  • Ethnic and Religion-based basketball: Examples of ethnic basketball include Indo-Pak or Russian or Armenian leagues in the United States or Canada, for example, or Filipino expatriate basketball leagues in the Gulf or the United States. Religion-based basketball includes, most notably, church-related Christian basketball leagues, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu basketball leagues, and so on. or denominational leagues like Coptic, Syriac/Assyrian basketball leagues in the United States or Canada.
  • Gay basketball played in gay, lesbian, bisexual
    Bisexuality
    Bisexuality is sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females, especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation, all a part of the...

     and transgender
    Transgender
    Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

     communities in gay basketball leagues. The sport of basketball is a major part of events during the Gay Games
    Gay Games
    The Gay Games is the world's largest sporting and cultural event organized by and specifically for LGBT athletes, artists, musicians, and others. It welcomes participants of every sexual orientation and every skill level...

    , World Outgames
    World Outgames
    The World Outgames are a sporting and cultural event hosted by the gay community. With over 12,000 participants, the 1st World Outgames, held in 2006, was the largest international event to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since the 1976 Summer Olympiad. These first Outgames were not as...

     and EuroGames
    Eurogames (LGBT sporting event)
    The EuroGames are a gay and lesbian sporting event in Europe, hosted by license of the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation and organised by one or more of the federation's member clubs....

    .
  • Midnight basketball
    Midnight basketball
    Midnight basketball was a 1990s initiative to curb inner-city crime in the United States by keeping urban youth off the streets and engaging them with alternatives to drugs and crime. It was originally founded by G...

    , 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.
  • Prison basketball, practiced in prisons and penitentiary institutions. Active religious basketball missionary groups also play basketball with prisoners. Some prisons have developed their own prison basketball leagues. At times, non-prisoners may play in such leagues, provided all home and away games are played within prison courts. Film director Jason Moriarty
    Jason Moriarty
    Jason Moriarty is an American film director and producer. Most notably he directed and produced the 2004 documentary film Prison Ball about sport of basketball played in American prisons....

     has released a documentary relating to the sport, entitled Prison Ball
    Prison Ball
    Prison Ball is a 2004 an American documentary film directed by Jason Moriarty and written by Jeff Scheftel. The 90-minute film is narrated by Ice-T.Prison Ball is about prison basketball as practiced by prisoners within prison walls...

    .
  • Rezball
    Rezball
    Rezball, short for reservation ball, is the term used to describe the avid Native American following of basketball and in some areas the style of play of their Native American teams.-Style of Play:...

    , short for reservation ball, is the term used to describe the avid Native American following of basketball and, in some areas, the style of play of Native American teams.
  • School or High school basketball, the sport of basketball being one of the most frequently exercised and popular sports in all school systems.
  • Show basketball as performed by entertainment basketball show teams, the prime example being the Harlem Globetrotters
    Harlem Globetrotters
    The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

    . There are even specialized entertainment teams, including
    • 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
      Short stature
      Short stature refers to a height of a human being which is below expected. Shortness is a vague term without a precise definition and with significant relativity to context...

       offering shows using basketball;
    • Slamball
      Slamball
      Slamball is a form of basketball played with 4 trampolines in front of each net. It is played "full contact" and has boards around the court....

      offered as entertainment events.

Fantasy basketball



Fantasy basketball was inspired by fantasy baseball
Fantasy baseball
Fantasy baseball is a game where participants manage an imaginary roster of real Major League baseball players. The participants compete against one another using those players' real life statistics to score points...

. Originally played by keeping track of stats by hand, it 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 NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 players and compute their basketball statistics
Basketball statistics
Statistics in basketball are kept to evaluate a player or a team's performance.Some statistics are* GP, GS: games played, games started* PTS: points* FGM, FGA, FG%: field goals made, attempted and percentage...

. The game was popularized by ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 Fantasy Sports, NBA.com, and Yahoo!
Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine , Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping ,...

 Fantasy Sports. Other sports websites provided the same format keeping the game interesting with participants actually owning specific players.

See also


  • Basketball moves
    Basketball moves
    Basketball moves are generally individual actions used by players in basketball to pass by defenders to gain access to the basket or to get a clean pass to a teammate.- Dribbling :...

  • Basketball at the Summer Olympics
    Basketball at the Summer Olympics
    Basketball has been a Summer Olympics sport for men consistently since 1936. Prior to its inclusion as a medal sport, it was held as demonstration event in 1904 and 1932, both in the United States. Women's basketball was played in the Olympics only since 1976....

  • Continental Basketball Association
    Continental Basketball Association
    The Continental Basketball Association was a professional men's basketball league in the United States, which has been on hiatus since the 2009 season.- History :...

  • Hot hand fallacy
    Hot hand fallacy
    In sports psychology, the hot-hand fallacy is the idea that a streak of positive successes is likely to continue.In fact, statistics show that the events in sports are nearly independent; however, when skill is involved, hot players are more likely to have longer good streaks, so betting on a...

  • National Basketball Association
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

  • Premier Basketball League
    Premier Basketball League
    The Premier Basketball League, often abbreviated to the PBL, is a men's professional basketball minor league in the United States that began play in January 2008. The league had ten teams for the 2008 season and thirteen teams for the 2009 season. Nine teams from Canada and the United States...

  • ULEB
    ULEB
    ULEB was founded in 1991, with the aim to help in the cooperation and development of European professional club basketball leagues...

     Union des Ligues Européennes de Basket, in English Union of European Leagues of Basketball
  • Professional#Sports


External links


Historical

Organizations

Other