Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 to engage players in an indoor sport during winters that keeps them fit. He designed a sport loosely based on his childhood game Duck on a Rock where players have to hit a stone, called a duck in the game. The duck was protected by other players and placed high on a rock.
He also wanted the game to be safer and so the sport was played with soccer balls and peach baskets placed at about 10 feet high, involved less physical contact, drew players attention on the ball and not on other players. He developed a set of thirteen rules and the first match was held on December 21st, 1891 among two teams of nine players each at Springfield College.
The rules of the game were changed slightly and many more rules were added to make it better and more interesting with time. The actual game did not allow dribbling, used closed baskets and was played in a smaller court. The game was initially played in YMCA gyms. YMCA helped spreading the game to other parts of America and the game increased YMCA memberships too. It was popularized by cable televisions and spread to other parts of the globe by North American soldiers fighting in World War I.
The main objective of basketball is to make a goal and score points. A goal is made by shooting the ball through the basket or hoop. The goal post or basket for a team is in the opponent’s court. Each team should not only try to make a goal and prevent the opposite team from taking control of the ball, but should also try to protect the basket in their court and prevent the opponent from making a goal.
Each team may have twelve players entitled to play the game. Five players from a team can play at any time in the court and they may be substituted at anytime during the play. Each team may have a coach and an assistant coach. Each team may have a group of less than five non-players with different responsibilities. They are usually manager, doctor, physiotherapist, statistician, and interpreter.
As basketball originated in the United States, it is very popular in the country and has spread to other surrounding countries. NBA should be credited for expanding the game and creating a huge fan base throughout the world.
China dominates Asian Basketball Championships and has won many titles. Basketball is the most popular sport in Philippines. Iran, South Korea and Japan are also good competitors to China in FIBA Asia Championships. Russia defeated United States at 1972 Summer Olympics and caught the world’s attention.
Some of the countries that produced basketball champions are: Greece, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, France, Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy, Argentina, and Montenegro.