Basketball is a fast-paced team sport, popular around the world. The ball is passed between team mates or dribbled by bouncing it along the floor. The aim of the game is to score points by shooting the ball through a basket, scoring one, two or three points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The First Game
Since its invention by James Naismith in 1891, basketball has blossomed as a sport. At first players aimed a ball into a peach basket. Open nets were first used in 1903. Before then players retrieved the balls from the baskets.
A soccer ball was the first ball used to play basketball. Today’s basketball used in competition is orange and made of eight panels. It weighs 600 to 650g.
A basketball court is 28m long and 15m wide and the basket is 3m off the ground. The court is divided by a halfway line. Under each basket is an area called the key, where players can stay with the ball for only three seconds.
A Child’s Game
Smaller and lighter balls are made for children. Basketball is a good game for helping children to improve their physical fitness and co-ordination.
Two points are scored by making a successful regular shot. A long distance shot is worth three points. Each foul shot is worth one point.
Most professional basketball players are very tall, which gives them an advantage. Michael Jordan, a famous American player, is 1.98m tall. China’s Yao Ming is 2.29m tall. You don’t need to be tall to join in this sport, though.