The History

The game of basketball was invented in the United States in the late 1800's by Dr. James Naismith. Dr. Naismith was working at a Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) chapter when he had an idea to help young people become active and get more exercise. He hung a peach basket up high on a wall and began to teach players to toss a ball into the peach basket. This is how the sport became known as basketball. The rules of the game call for two five man teams to compete against each other by attempting to shoot the ball into a basket, known as scoring, while the opposing team tries to stop them from scoring, known as defending. The team with the most points at the end of a game is the winner.

The Basketball Court

The game of basketball is played on a rectangular basketball court of varying dimensions based on the level of competition. The peach basket has evolved into an iron rim with a net hanging from it known as the basketball goal. The basket or goal is mounted on a backboard these days. A backboard is usually made of a rectangular piece of wood or fiberglass. The court has a goal on each end of the court and is divided in the middle with a line called the mid court line.

The Officials

Basketball games are officiated by a crew of two to three referees that govern the game by enforcing the rules of the game. Their main functions are to assess fouls to players, manage time-outs and to keep the game moving. Referees are the final word on all matters during a basketball game and rarely change any of their calls.

The Leagues

The game of basketball is played at the youth, church, primary school, college and professional levels or leagues. The game is played and enjoyed by men and women alike. The game of basketball has spread all over the world and has even become an Olympic sport. That's a long way from Dr. Naismith and his peach baskets.