The 13 Original Rules of Basketball

basketballBasketball, as a game, started when Dr. James Naismith was given 2 weeks to create an indoor game that would be able to keep students busy during the brutal winters in New England. A game that started with 18 men in a Springfield, MA, YMCA gymnasium is played and watched worldwide today.

Dr. Naismith's original intention was to create an indoor game similar to lacrosse or soccer, but they were just to cumbersome to play indoors. So, after trial, error and much brainstorming, the 13 original rules of basketball were born. Initially, the game was played with a soccer ball with nine players on each side. Speculators say, the first real basketball game was played on December 21, 1891. Today, we have the National Basketball Association, NBA, a professional basketball league comprising of 30 franchise teams.

According to the NBA, the Thirteen Original Rules of Basketball are as follows:

  1. Players can throw the ball in any direction using one or both hands.
  2. Players can bat the ball in any direction using one or both hands, but players can never with their fist.
  3. Players cannot run while carrying the ball. The player must throw the ball from the spot on where it is caught.
  4. Players must hold the ball in or between their hands. Players can't use their arms or body to hold the ball.
  5. Players cannot shoulder, hold, push, strike or trip players on the opposite team.
  6. Striking the ball with one's fist is considered a foul.
  7. If one side makes three fouls in a row, it counts as a goal for the opposite team.
  8. When the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the net, it counts as a goal if the ball stays in the net.
  9. If the ball is thrown out of bounds, it has to be thrown into the field and played by the player who is holding it.
  10. The umpire judges when three consecutive fouls have been made and notifies the referee.
  11. The referee decides when the ball is in pay, which side gets the ball and keeps track of the time.
  12. The time is two 15-minute halves and a five-minute rest between each halves.
  13. The winning side is the side that gets the most goals.


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