Basketball


Basketball is a Fast-paced game played on a rectangular court by two teams of five players. The primary objective of the game is to score more points than the opposition by putting a round ball through a circular band, called a rim. The two rims are at each end of the court, placed 10 ft (3.1 m) above the ground and connected to a backboard, a rectangular board generally 4 by 6 ft (1.2 by 1.8 m).

Court and Teams :

Most basketball courts measure 84 ft (25.6 m) long and 50 ft (15.2 m) wide.Professional courts are slightly larger. Other court dimensions vary, such as the distance of the 3-point line (from beyond which a score counts for 3 points) from the basket. The 3-point line in high school and college games is 19 ft 9 in (6 m) from the basket, while in international play it is 21 ft 6 in (6.6 m) and in professional play it is 22 ft (6.7 m). The rims, or baskets, are 18 in (45.7 cm) in diameter. A white, nylon-mesh net hangs from each basket. The standard basketball is generally orange or brown, with an outer cover of leather or nylon. In men's play, a basketball is 29.5 to 30 in (74.9 to 76.2 cm) in diameter. In women's play the basketball is slightly smaller, 28.5 to 29 in (72.4 to 73.7 cm) in diameter.
A basketball team consists of five players-two guards, two forwards, and one centre. The point guard must have exceptional ball-handling and passing skills. The shooting guard is generally a good ball handler with excellent shooting talents. The small forward is usually a strong scorer from both near the basket and at a distance. The power forward primarily concentrates on defence and rebounding. The centre is usually the tallest player on the team, serving as the cornerstone of most play.
Basic Rules :
Recreational and high school basketball games have four 8-minute quarters; college and international games have two 20-minute halves; and professional games have four 12-minute quarters. Every game begins with a jump ball at the centre of the court, in which a referee tosses the ball into the air, and one player from each team attempts to direct the ball to a teammate. The team that gains possession plays offence, and the opposition plays defence. The offensive team has a set time, usually 35 seconds or less (depending on the level of competition), to score a basket, also called a field goal. An offensive player cannot run or walk with the ball without dribbling (bouncing the ball against the ground).
A team can score points in two ways: (1) by making a basket, which is worth 2 or 3 points, depending on the distance of the shot; or (2) by scoring a foul shot, also called a free throw, which is taken unopposed from the free-throw line, 15 ft (4.6 m) from the basket, and is worth one point. The defensive team attempts to stop the offensive team from scoring so that it can gain possession of the ball. When an offensive team misses a shot, the team that retrieves the ball has recovered a rebound.
Offence and Defence :
Basic offensive skills are passing, ball handling, rebounding, and shooting. Passing the basketball is the fastest and often most efficient way of advancing the ball. Ball handlers keep the ball low, protecting it from defenders, and can use either hand to dribble and change directions quickly. Good rebounding is determined by strength, natural instinct, good positioning, and timing. Shooting is the most important part of basketball. Basic shots include the lay-up, the jump shot, the foul shot, and the hook shot. The lay-up is the easiest shot in basketball, taken directly under the basket. The dunk shot is a different style of lay-up in which the ball is slammed forcibly through the basket. The jump shot is taken when the shooter leaps in the air and releases the ball towards the basket. A hook shot is taken when the shooter turns sideways to the basket and releases the ball in a high arc towards the basket.
The goal of defence is simple: to stop the opposition from scoring. Defenders want to force opponents away from the basket and to prevent opponents from taking easy shots. There are two types of basic defensive team play: man-to-man defence, in which each player guards a specific opponent, and zone defence, in which each player guards a specific area.
History :
In 1891 Canadian-American physical education teacher James Naismith set out to invent a new game to entertain athletes at the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) during the winter season. With a soccer ball, he outlined 13 original rules and sent the school janitor to find two boxes to serve as goals. However, the janitor found two half-bushel peach baskets, and the game was played with these. The first basketballs were made from panels of leather stitched together with a rubber bladder inside. The moulded basketball, introduced around 1942, was a significant advancement. It offered better reaction and durability, making play more consistent.
The development of collegiate leagues and conferences brought organization and scheduling to competition, and formal league play created rivalries. Professional basketball began in 1896 in Trenton, New Jersey, when a dispute between members of a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) team and a YMCA official led the players to form a professional team and play for money. The first successful national professional league was the American Basketball League (ABL, not related to the later women's league), which existed from 1925 to 1931. In the mid-1930s another professional league called the National Basketball League (NBL) was founded.
In 1946 a group of executives in New York formed the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Just before the 1948-1949 season, the four strongest teams in the NBL joined the BAA. The following season, the NBL's remaining teams also joined the BAA, forming a three-division league that was renamed the National Basketball Association (NBA). After the 1949-1950 season the NBA reduced its size and established two divisions. In 1967 the American Basketball Association (ABA) was formed. The league became known for the distinctive red, white, and blue basketballs it used. The ABA disbanded in 1976, although several of its teams joined the NBA.

Amateur and Professional Competition :
Basketball flourishes worldwide at amateur and professional levels for both men and women. The international game is regulated by the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA), and championship tournaments are held periodically. The amateur game played in the United States is regulated by the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the major professional basketball league in the world, with teams from the United States and Canada. The NBA includes 29 teams competing in two conferences, the Eastern and Western, in four separate divisions. At the end of the season the Eastern and Western conference champions compete to determine the NBA champion.
Women's Basketball :
The first collegiate basketball for women was played in America in 1893, and a separate set of rules for the women's game appears to have been drawn up in 1895. A game between the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University was played in April 1895, two years before the first officially recognized men's college game. The older, six-player women's "rover" game gave way to a five-player game similar to men's basketball in the late 1960s.

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