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What is Basketball?

Basketball is one of the most popular team sports in the world. With several popular professional leagues across the globe and recognition as an Olympic sport, the sports has attracted millions of fans. Outside of its worldwide popularity as a professional  competitive sport, basketball is also enjoyed by many as an accessible recreational sport.

Unlike other popular team sports, the origins of the game can be clearly traced back to a specific point in time. During the winter of 1891, Dr. James Naismith, was tasked to make a game that would keep his gym class students active. The game had to meet the following requirements:

  • Playable indoors – due to the local seasonal weather conditions
  • Sparked Interest – interesting enough to encourage participation
  • Physical – should be physical enough to provide ample exercise, but not enough to get people hurt
  • Large player accommodation – since it was a gym class, it had to accommodate a large number of players simultaneously.

With all these in mind, Naismith created the game of Basketball at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School or YMCA. After some time, the news about the new game spread across America, and later, the world.


How To Participate

At the very basic level, the goal is to throw or “shoot” the ball into a basket to score points. The person (if you’re playing one on one) or team with the most points at the end of regulation, wins the game. Basketball, as a recreational activity, can be played in a number of different ways, and rules may vary depending on the organizers, but the winner is almost always determined by the amount of points scored.

Where To Play 

Basketball can be and is played almost everywhere. It is a sport that doesn’t require a big area to play. Some leagues even play on just half the court. Ideally, it should be played in places with smooth surfaces, as the bounce of the ball would be more uniform. However, it can be played both indoors and outdoors, in most surfaces, and varying amounts of people. The only real requirement is a goal or hoop to score on.

As it is a globally popular sport, it is played everywhere. It is most popular in the United States of America, the Philippines, Canada, and Australia. 

Equipment Needed

 As a beginner, you will only need to bring two things, a basketball and footwear. As you improve your game and play it regularly, you might need extra support. Professionals and recreational players bring accessories that help them feel comfortable, while also offering them some protection. Some examples of accessories include elbow pads, knee pads, arm sleeves, and ankle braces.

Basic Terminology

  • Assist – When a player you passed to scores a basket, you get an assist
  • Rebound – When you catch the ball after it bounces off the ring, you get a rebound
  • Steal – When you take the ball during the other team’s possession
  • Block – When you stop the ball shot by an opposing player from going in the basket


History of Basketball

NBA Rules