Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players compete. The goal of the game is to score points by shooting the ball into the basket or by passing it to a teammate. Players can also use other techniques to reach the basket.
One of the first versions of basketball was played in a YMCA gymnasium in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical instructor, created the sport. Five of the original players were Canadians, making Canada the first country outside the United States to play the game.
Basketball became popular in the early 20th century and was introduced to other countries. The first international version of the game was played in China and India from 1895 to 1900, and in Japan and Australia in the same time. Amos Alonzo Stagg became the athletic director at the University of Chicago in 1892. He aided in the development of basketball by establishing the first rules committee for colleges and the Amateur Athletic Union, which created a joint set of rules. In 1936, the National Basketball Committee was formed to develop rules for the game.
During the early decades of basketball, teams agreed to play under different rules for each half of the game. At the same time, individual skills were improved greatly. Several rules were established to help promote more offense.
Typically, a player in the offense can move the ball around the court by dribbling or passing it to a teammate. An offensive player cannot stay in the opposing key for more than three seconds without attempting a shot. If a player in the defense touches the ball while the ball is in the air, the defender is considered to be in foul territory and a free throw is awarded.
Two-on-two and three-on-three games can be played. Usually, the fastest player on the team is the point guard. His role is to control the ball and execute the coach’s game plan. As the game progresses, he will be responsible for passing the ball, intercepting passes, and collecting rebounded shots.
A slam dunk involves a player leaping high and throwing the ball through the basket. This is the most crowd-pleasing shot.
Other shooting options include the shot called an “air ball” which misses both the backboard and the rim. The basketball is out of bounds when it touches the boundary line, and the opposing team will win a point if they can prevent the shot from being completed.
When a player is fouled while shooting, he or she is awarded one free throw for each point. Another type of shot is a four-point play, which consists of an additional free throw.
Depending on how many people are on the court, a player can also choose to play one-on-one. These players are usually shorter, and can quickly navigate through crowded areas of the court. They can also shoot the ball directly into the basket.
While playing basketball, the shortest player is typically the point guard, while the tallest is usually the center. Those in the middle are usually the small forward or power forward.