Basketball: Invention, History, Rules and Techniques

Basketball is a sport that involves a total of ten players who makes two teams, five on each side playing against each other by passing a ball and shooting it into the basket, which is always10 foot high ring controlled by rules that make the game organized.

The players can bounce/ dribbling or pass the ball while advancing to the other side of the court. On passing the ball through the basket from above, a team is said to have scored, and the team with the highest or most score at the end of the game is declared the winner (Gifford 25).

In an attempt to keep his students engaged and fit during winters, Dr. Naismith James, who was a physician from Canada, wanted an indoor game that is vigorous. He invented basketball in 1891 in early December at International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) training school (nowadays know as Springfield College) in Springfield, MA, United States of America.

The students used soccer balls to play and shoot on the basket made of peach, and its bottom still maintained. In 1892, Berenson Senda invented the women’s basketball at Smith College by modifying the rules that Naismith had written so as to suit the women.

After the invention of basketball, the foremost game to be played officially at the gymnasium in the YMCA was on January 20th, 1892.

It involved nine players on each side of the team and ended one-nil with the only shoot that scored was made on a court that was half the size of the nowadays National Basket Association court, was 7.6m (25 foot) away from the basket.

The game then spread throughout the USA, even up to Canada. From the time of its invention, the ball that was being used to play was brown. But in the 1950s Hinkle Tony, while looking for a ball that can be easily seen by the players and the supporters, introduced a bill that was orange and these color is still being used up to the present day.

College basketball started to be played in 1892, thanks to Berenson and Naismith, who organized a game between Miss Head’s School and University of California women basketball (Ramen 39) From that time on, several inter-institutional basketball games were organized and played which also included high school games.

The game continued to be popular all over the USA and other European countries and lead to professional men basketball teams being formed in different cities and towns in the 1920s. Such teams included Original Celtics, the Renaissance Five from New York, and Harlem Globetrotters, who played their leagues of up to 200 games in a year in dance halls and armories.

The Association of American Physical Education formed rules of basketball for women in 1905 under the “National Women’s Committee” on basketball, which restricted the number of players per team that should be between six and nine with 11 officials.

In 1924, the International Sports Federation for Women was formed, which conducted a basketball league for women and afterward, with the support of Amateur Athletic Union in 1926, created a basketball championship for women that had the men’s rule completely included in women’s game. Due to this effort, in1938 the women’s game changed to having six players on each team in a 2-court game from the previously 3 -court game.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed in 1946 and lead to the popularity of the game professionally through organizing top men professional games and teams with the first game played on November 1st, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, between New York Knickerbockers and Toronto Huskies. From its formation, the NBA has become the best professional league in basketball in the world. In 1997, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was formed (National Basketball Association).

The International Basketball Federation was created in 1932 by different nations that involved only involved amateur players. In 1936, the game was included in the Olympic Games for the first time, with amateur players only allowed to play.

In 1989 FIBA dropped the separation between professional and amateur players, which lead to professional players playing for the first time in Olympic Games in 1992, with the women basketball introduced in 1976 (Helmer and Owens 20).

Basketball has a set of rules and regulations that help to manage or organize the game through officiating, as well as procedure and equipment of basketball. Different leagues like the NBA has there own rules, while FIBA determines the international playing rules.

But in general, the rules of the game are simple; for instance, each team is allowed to have only five players at a time on the court, the players are not allowed to walk or run with the ball, and if the ball dribbles out of bounds it becomes an offense.

The rules also determine fouls such as pushing someone, kicking the ball, reaching in for the ball, use of a bad language, and other conducts that are unsportsmanlike. The number of points scored, which can either be two or three, when on make a basket is also under the rules. When one shoots the ball while inside an arch that is drawn on the court, it is two points, and when one shoots outside the arch, it is three points.

The structures and positions of the game are not that specific, but with time, they have changed. From the 1980s, definite positions have been formed, such as the shooting guard, point guard, and the defense.

The shooting guards/ forwards make shots as well as seeking rebound and stealing the ball from the other team; the point guard organizes the offense of the team while the defense (either zone defense or center) protects the ball from entering their basket as well as stealing the ball.

The game also involves passing, dribbling, and shooting the ball. Passing is the movement of the ball from one player to another, dribbling is where the player bounces the ball continuously, and shooting is the throwing into the basket for the ball to score.

The height of most of the male players in a professional game is above six feet three inches (1.9 m) and the women above five feet seven inches (1.70 m), while the guard who is the shortest player due to their skills of ball handling and physical coordination.


Basketball, as a game, has evolved from the time of its invention in 1891 up to the present time and is one of the world’s most-watched sport in the world.

At the same time, it has its variations and other games similar to basketball which uses common basketball equipment and skills like the basket and the ball, for instance, the half-court game, children’s games and contests that are used to reinforce and improve the skills of the players with no strict rules or even without referees.

Works Cited

Gifford, Clive. Basketball: Tell Me about Sport Series. London: Evans Brothers, 2008.

Helmer, Diana & Owens, Tom. The History of Basketball. New York: the Rosen Publishing Group, 1999.

National Basketball Association. Official Rules of the National Basketball Association.

Ramen, Fred. Basketball: Rules, Tips, Strategy, and Safety. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2007.

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