History of Basketball
In early December 1891, Luther Gulick, chairman of the physical education department at the School for Christian Workers(now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, instructed physical education teacher James Naismith to invent a new game to entertain the school’s athletes during the winter season.
With an ordinary soccer ball, Naismith assembled his of 18 young men, appointed captains of two nine-player teams, and introduced them to the game of Basket Ball (then two words). Naismith, who had outlined 13 original rules, dispatched the school janitor to find two boxes to be fastened to the balcony railing at opposite sides of the gymnasium, where they would serve as goals. The school janitor, however only found two half-bushel peach baskets, and the game was played with these.
In Naismith’s original 13 rules, the ball could be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but it could not be dribbled because players could not move with the ball. Beginning in 1910 a player could dribble the ball, but could not shoot after dribbling. It was not until 1916, following heated debate, that players were allowed to shoot after dribbling
Court and Teams
While the dimensions of individual basketball courts vary, a playing area 84 feet long and 50 feet wide – predominantly used in recreational, high school and intercollegiate competition – is considered ideal for most players. Professional basketball courts are slightly larger, 94 feet long and 50 feet wide.
In addition to size, courts can vary in other ways, such as in the radius of the circle situated at the center of the court and in the distance of the 3 – point line (from beyond which a score counts for 3 points) from the basket. For example, the 3 – point line in high school and college games is 19 feet 9 inches from the basket, while in international play it is 21 feet 6 inches, and in the National Basketball Association (NBA) it extends as far as 23 feet 9 inches. The NCAA, the NAIA, and the NJCAA all sponsor postseason national championship tournaments. The men’s and women’s Division I NCAA Championship basketball tournaments are the most high profile of these. They are also two of the premier sporting events in the United States. Both tournaments are held over three weeks in March and early April, using the same format to determine a national champion. Each tournament involves 64 teams in a single-elimination competition, meaning that one loss knocks a team from the tournament. An infringement for which the ball is put in play from out-of-bounds Held Ball: occurs when a player holds the ball more than 5 seconds when closely guarded.