Basketball – A Synopsis
Basketball is one of the most widely played sports in the world. The National Football League is considered to be the most popular professional basketball league. This sport is played by people all across the world irrespective of their gender. The competitions for this sport are held separately for both men and women. The FIBA Basketball World Cup for Men and Women, Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament and Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events among them.
Basketball was invented by a Canadian physical education professor, Dr. James Naismith in the year 1891. To keep his students fit and active during the long winters, he introduced this sport to play within the four walls of his gymnasium. He wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket on top of a 10-foot elevated post track. Unlike the current generation basketball, the ball retained at the bottom of the peach basket had to be retrieved manually by the player. As the manual retrieval became an ordeal, he decided to cut the bottom portion of the basket and allow the balls to fall through the basket to the ground.
The soccer ball was initially used to play this sport. The first balls used were mainly of brown color and in the late 1950s, Tony Hinkle introduced the orange colored balls to enhance the visibility of the players. The primary means of ball movement earlier included only the “Bounce passing”. Dribbling was introduced at a later stage once the shape of the ball was improved.
How to Play the Game
Basketball is an easy sport with a set of straightforward rules. It is played on a rectangular field called the “court” with a 10-foot elevated goal post on either side of the court. The court is divided into two sections by drawing a line in the middle called the “mid-court line”. The game involves two teams of 5 players each. Each team tries to score a goal by passing the ball through the basket mounted on the elevated post. Each team is provided with a goal post to defend which means that they have to score their goals from the opposite goal post. The ball moves towards the basket by dribbling and passing.
The team with the ball is called the offense and the team without the ball is called the defense. During the game, the defense team tries to steal the ball and deflect the passes. Each game played in the colleges is divided into two halves and these halves are again divided into eight-minute quarters. In the professional leagues, the quarters are 12 minutes long with short gaps in between.
Sometimes, a team tries to attack the opposite team through foul plays or physical contact. If a team exceeds a certain limit of foul plays, the opposite team gets a free throw.
At the professional level, the minimum height required for men is 6 feet 3 inches and for women, it is 5 feet 7 inches. Shorter players even though have a disadvantage in scoring the goals, they can easily steal the ball and navigate through the crowd.
There are also two types of defense strategies, namely, zone defense and man-to-man defense. In a zone defense, each player is given a particular area of the court to defend while in man-to-man defense, each player guards a specific opponent. Each player in a team has a specific position during the game. They are:
- Point Guard – the fastest player on the team who controls the ball and ensures that the ball is passed on to the right player at the right time.
- Shooting Guard – the player who guards the opponent ’s best perimeter player and is the one who makes a high volume of shots.
- Small Forward – the player who is responsible for scoring the points when in offense and in defense, he is responsible for stealing and rebounds.
- Power Forward – the player in the offense who plays with his back to the basket. On defense, he plays under the basket or against the opposing power forward.
- Center – the player who uses his height and size to either score the goal or to protect the basket.
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Basketball is a fairly easy game compared to all the other sports in the world. The most common techniques used in this game are shooting, rebounding, passing, dribbling, and blocking. Nowadays various games similar to this sport have also been introduced like wheelchair basketball, water basketball, etc. Basketball is a game that has evolved over a long period of time and is enjoyed by all the people irrespective of their age and gender.