What Is Basketball

Basketball is a ball game that is very simple to play. The point of the game is, like all other sports, to score as many points as possible, and at the end of the game, the team with the most points is the winner. Basketball doesn't really require much equipment. Everyone can play it; all you need is some sporting clothes suitable for playing basketball, a hoop, an area to play, and of course, a basketball. There are two teams, allowing five players at a time from each team on the court. Today basketball is a sport played by everyone, young and old, is played literally everywhere in the world.

Basketball first originated in Massechusetts, USA, and was created in 1981 by Dr. James Naismith. He was born in 1861 near the city of Almonte, Ontario, Canada. Originally he worked at McGill Universtiy in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but later he moved to the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massechusetts. The dilemma was that he had to create a sport that would satisfy the needs of the students indoor exercise during the winter. That same winter, Naismith created the sport of basketball, at first using a soccer ball as the ball, and two peach baskets. Later, the basketball was made with pig skin, and also appiled today.
Left: A statue of Dr. Naismith holding a basketball with a peach basket between his legs. Right: A real picture of Dr. Naismith holding a basketball and a peach basket.

To judge this game, Naismith devised a set of thirteen rules: From cited website at bottom of page

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
  2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist.
  3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man running at good speed.
  4. The ball must be held in or between the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it.
  5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed.
  6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5.
  7. If either side make three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).
  8. Goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponents move the basket, it shall count as a goal.
  9. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
  10. The umpire shall be judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have the power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.
  11. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and decide when it is in play in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
  12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves with five minutes' rest between.
  13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winners.


"Basketball History: Dr. James Naismith, Basketball Inventor,Founder, KU Basketball: Kansas History Web Sites." Kansas Heritage Group | Established 1993 | Kansas (KS) History, Old WestKS, Cities, Museums, Art, Racing, Cowboy Cooking, Laughead Web | www.kansasheritage.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2011. http://www.kansasheritage.org/people/naismith.html

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License