History of Basketball


How was it created?

The history of basketball began with its invention in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith as a less injury-prone sport than football. The game became established fairly quickly, very popular as the 20th century progressed, first in America and then throughout the world. After basketball became established in American colleges, the professional game followed; the National Basketball Association (NBA), established in 1949, grew to a multibillion-dollar enterprise by the end of the century, and basketball became an important part of American culture.

Rules and Regulations

Basketball is a team sport. Two teams of five players each try to score by shooting a ball through a hoop. The game is played on a rectangular floor called the court, and there is a hoop at each end. With every sport comes fouls and violations, so here are the most popular ones.

Fouls: (A player is not allowed to play the rest of the game if a combination of six of these are committed in that game.)

  • Personal foul: This includes any type of illegal physical contact. A personal foul results in either free throws, or inbounding the ball.
  • Charging foul: This foul is called when one player runs into another player, and knocks them over. Players have a tendency to "flop", or purposely fall down to get the referees to call the foul. A charging foul results in turnover of possession.
  • Blocking foul: A blocking foul is called when a defensive player makes illegal contact with the person he or she is guarding. A blocking foul results in inbounding the ball.
  • Flagrant foul: A flagrant foul is like a personal foul, but to the extreme. A flagrant one foul is called when extreme physical contact is made, and results in a free throw for the fouled player, and no change in possession. A flagrant two foul is about the same thing. The only differences are that flagrant twos usually result in bleeding, or worse physical condition, and the player who committed the foul is not allowed to play the rest of the game.


  • Traveling: Taking more than 'a step and a half' without dribbling the ball is traveling. Moving your pivot foot once you've stopped dribbling is traveling. This results in a turnover.
  • Carrying: When a player dribbles the ball with his hand too far to the side of or, sometimes, even under the ball. This results in a turnover
  • Double Dribble. Dribbling the ball with both hands on the ball at the same time or picking up the dribble and then dribbling again is a double dribble. This results in a turnover.
  • Held ball: Occasionally, two or more opposing players will gain possession of the ball at the same time. In order to avoid a prolonged and/or violent tussle, the referee stops the action and awards the ball to one team or the other on a rotating basis, or if you're in the NBA, a jump ball occurs.
  • Goaltending: If a defensive player interferes with a shot while it's on the way down toward the basket, or while it's on the way up toward the basket after having touched the backboard. This results in however many points the shot was worth rewarded to the opposing team, and the defense's possession.
  • Backcourt violation: Once the offense has brought the ball across the mid-court line, they cannot go back across the line during possession. If they do, the ball is awarded to the other team to pass inbounds. This results in a turnover.


Point guard: Usually bringing the ball up the court, the point guard specializes in dribbling. This position often leads in assists, but will occasionally lead the league in points.

Best point guards of all-time: Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Oscar Robinson, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas

Example of point guard greatness: Oscar Robinson, or "The Big O" averaged a triple double his 1961-62 season, a stat that no other player has achieved. (A triple double is when you your points, assists, and rebounds into the double digits.)

Shooting guard: The shooting guard is usually a great ball handler with a gift to put points on the board. A majority of the time, a shooting guard will lead it's team in points.

Best shooting guards of all-time: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Clyde Drexler, Jerry West

Examples of shooting guard greatness: Michael Jordan led his team to win the NBA championship six times, and became MVP numerous times, becoming known as the best player of all time in many people's eyes.

Small forward: The small forward position is a difficult position to play, requiring great athleticism on both sides of the court. A small forward is the most balanced position, where it's not a surprise if one puts up the most points, assists, or rebounds on the board.

Best small forwards of all-time: Lebron James, Scottie Pippen, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kevin Durant