Basketball was invented in a pursuit for an indoor game, which would provide complete fitness. Dr James Naismith, a Canadian physical instructor, wrote down the basic rule for the game after initial rejection of many ideas, at a YMCA Training School. This game was officially played for the first time on January 20, 1892, in the YMCA Gymnasium, at Springfield College. Women began playing basketball in 1892, at Smith College, and different sets of rules were laid down for them.
This is a team sport where two teams, consisting of nine members each, throw ball into a ten-foot high basket of the opponent in order to get a score. While one team member aims for the basket, member of the other team prevents him from doing so. The team that has the highest score wins the game. The ball is dribbled and carried forward. In competitive basketball variation there are lot of regulations and the handling of the ball is restricted. Less regulated versions have been developed for recreational purposes and in some countries, this game is considered as a spectator sport.
Initially a soccer ball was used in basketball after which a brown colored ball was introduced. But to increase the visibility of the ball to the players and spectators alike the color was changed to orange, in 1950s by Tony Hinkle. Initially dribbling wasn’t a part of the game. It was included in the game in the 1950s.
Different versions have different rules and time limits. According to NBA, some of the rules have been discussed here. The basketball court should be 94 X 50 feet. There should be baskets on two opposite ends of the court. The court is either made out of wood or cement. The ten feet high basket is made out of steel rim with a net attached. One score, also called shot, is counted as two points or three points when aimed from a distance of 7.24 meter. The game is divided into four quarters which each of them with a time limit of twelve minutes.
A break of fifteen minutes is allowed after the first two quarter and in between each quarter, there is a break of two minutes. In the third quarter, both the teams exchange their baskets. At a time five members of each team are present on the court. Permission is given to have up to seven substitutes. Other than the coach assistant coaches, statisticians, managers, trainers and doctors assists a team. Other equipments, other than the ball, required during the game are scoreboard, score sheets, clocks, stop clocks, whistles, and alternating possession arrows.
The male and the female player require to wear a pair of shorts and a jersey with clear number printed on the front and the back. High-top sneakers can be worn to provide extra ankle support. Sometimes the coach can request clock stoppages in between the game, if he wants to discuss something important with his team members. Usually three referees watch over the game. Other things like timekeeping, fouls by an individual or a team, score, team possession arrow, shot clock and player substitutions are taken care of by the table officials.
Over the period of time, various positions have been developed in basketball. Initially there were one guard, two forwards, and two centers or two guards, two forwards, and one center. Later on point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center positions were added.
Actions, which lead to violations are double dribbling, traveling, and carrying the ball and shot clock. Foul is illegal physical contact with the opponent team members, which would hinder them.
The other variations of the professional basketball are wheelchair basketball for the physically handicapped, water basketball to be played in a swimming pool, beach basketball which has very few or no regulations, half court game which has only one basket, and street ball and one-on-one which has two players and smaller court.