The sport of basketball is a team sport where the goal is to score points by throwing the ball into a basket hung at each end of a court. The game was invented by James Naismith in 1891 and has since become a global phenomenon that is enjoyed by millions of people. It has even attracted some of the world’s best athletes, who compete professionally for millions of dollars. The game has many rules that are designed to ensure fair play and safety. A game of basketball can be played with as few as two players (although official games require at least 10). The basic equipment for a game of basketball is a ball, a court, and two baskets. The ball must be bounced continuously (dribbling) or thrown through the air to other players (passing). It can also be tossed towards the basket and slammed down on it with force (shooting). In addition to the shooting of baskets, there are various maneuvers that can be performed with the ball in order to create scoring opportunities. These are known as freestyle moves and include tricks such as spinning the ball on the tip of one’s index finger or dribbling in complex patterns.
In its early years, the game of basketball was played by college students on a small gym floor with a soccer ball and peach baskets nailed to the lower railings. The janitor had to come and retrieve the fruit baskets after each score, which was not ideal. Naismith devised a set of 13 basic rules that eventually became the foundation for the modern game of basketball.
As the game of basketball grew in popularity, it was soon adopted by colleges and professional teams. By 1905, there were at least five sets of rules in use: the collegiate rules, those of the YMCA-Amateur Athletic Union, and two varieties of the national militia group’s rules. To bring some measure of consistency to the game, the colleges formed their own rules committee in 1905. This committee was renamed the National Basketball Committee in 1936 and served as the game’s sole amateur rule-making body until 1979.
The game of basketball is a fast-paced sport that requires players to pass the ball quickly to one another. To facilitate this, teams are allowed to call a timeout during the course of a game. These brief stoppages of the active play allow the coaches of the two competing teams to talk with their players about specific facets of the game’s strategy. They may also ask for injury time-outs if necessary.
In addition to the passing and dribbling of the ball, the game of basketball includes a number of defensive strategies. These generally involve the quick movement of teammates without the ball in order to prevent the opponent from guarding them. This movement is called a cut, and it can be combined with the setting of a screen or pick by a teammate to form the pick and roll.