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Basketball - Rules and Regulations - Famous basketball players


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The beginnings of basketball

The First basketball type game may have been played by the early Olmec people of ancient Mexico as early as 500 years go. The Aztec and Mayan cultures had a game similar to basketball, only instead of a rubber ball they used the decapitated skulls of their conquered foes.

The first true basketball game as we know it was on January 20th, 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Canadian Doctor James Naismith invented the game for the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association ) to play during the winter months. Naismith wrote simple rules for the game, and nailed up two peach baskets for hoops, most of original Naismith rules are still in place today. Some of the rules have changed a bit, and new rules have been added since then. Of the 13 rules, nine have been modified and kept in the modern game of basketball, the rest have been disregarded.

The First game consisted of 18 players, or nine to a team, which was standard to the baseball teams of the day. Since Naismith or the YMCA didnt have the money to design a new ball they used a soccer ball. The concept of the game must have been foreign to the players as the game was played for 30 minutes and the final score was 1-0. Halfway though the game however William R. Chase made the ball go into the peach basket, and thus became the first player to ever score in a basketball game. It was during this game that someone suggested a name for this new sport, Basketball.

The Game grew in popularity and within a few years, most of the YMCA centers in the Norther Eastern United States, and Southern Canada had facilities to accommodate players. However within a decade of its invention most YMCA centers began to ban the game because of the rough style of play associated with it. However other amateur groups picked up the slack and new basketball leagues began forming, including the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

The First Competitive Leagues

The First competitive basketball leagues where all local leagues (the league is a group of sports clubs which play each other over a period for a championship). On some occasions teams from other regions would travel to play another team. Once such occasion took place on November 7, 1896. This was the first known professional basketball game was played in Trenton New Jersey between the Trenton YMCA and the Brooklyn YMCA. The game was played at the Trenton Masonic temple, and an admission fee was charged for admittance into the game. Each player got $15 except Fred Cooper who got $16 dollars, and became the first highest paid player. Trenton defeated Brooklyn 15-1 to win the first ever professional basketball game.

Two years after the first professional basketball game was played six teams for Philadelphia and New Jersey formed the National basketball league (NBL). Shortly after the NBL formed, other leagues began to form all over the Eastern United States including the Philadelphia Basketball League, the Eastern League, the New York State League, and the Interstate league. Most early basketball leagues never lasted more than a few weeks, the NBL itself only lasted five seasons. In 1902 the New England Basketball League got a huge boost in national exposure when it allowed an African American named Bucky Lew play in a game.

Now existing leagues

Professional basketball leagues:

NBA - National Basketball Association

NBDL - National Basketball Development League

CBA - Continental Basketball Association

USBL - United States Basketball League

WNBA - Women's National Basketball Association

ABA - American Basketball Association

Amateur basketball leagues:

NCAA - College basketball (America)

PREP - High School Basketball (America)

Summer leagues:

Summer leagues - For NBA pro summer leagues.

International basketball leagues:

USA Basketball - All levels of TEAM USA competition.

Womens basketball league:

WNBA - Women's National Basketball Association

Basketball Rules and Regulations

The object of the game is to outscore one's opponents by throwing the ball through the opponents' basket from above while preventing the opponents from doing so on their own. An attempt to score in this way is called a shot. Two points are scored for a successful shot, three points for a successful long-range shot (6.25 meters from the basket), and one point for each successful free throw. 

The Original 13 Rules of Basketball

The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with a fist).

A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to made for a man who catches the ball when running if he tries to stop.

The ball must be held by the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it.

No shouldering, holding, pushing, tipping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule y any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.

A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of Rules 3, 4 and such as described in Rule 5.

If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the mean time making a foul).

A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the base key and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field of play by the person first touching it. He has a right to hold it unmolested for five seconds. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds; if he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on the side.

The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the account of the goals, with any other duties that are usually performed by the referee.

The time shall be two fifteen minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

The side making the most goals in the in that time shall be declared the winner. In the case of a draw, the game my, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

Basketball Equipment

The basketball court comes in different shapes and sizes. In the National Basketball Association, the court is 94 ft by 50 ft (28.65 m by 15.24 m). Under International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules, the court is slightly smaller, measuring exactly 28 m by 15 m (91'10.4' by 49'2.6'), although national federations are allowed to use smaller courts, as long as they are at least 26 m by 14 m (85'3.6' by 45'11.2'). A high school court is slightly smaller, at 84' by 50' and some elementary schools have courts measuring 42' x 74'. In amateur basketball, court sizes vary widely. The baskets are always 10' (3.05m) above the floor.

The men's ball's circumference ranges between 749 and 762 mm (29.48 and 30 in). Its mass is from 567 to 624 g (1.246 to 1.374 lb). The smaller women's ball's circumference is between 724 and 737 mm (28.50 and 29.01 in) and its mass from 510 to 567 g (1.123 to 1.246 lb).

Playing Regulations

At the professional level, games are played in four quarters of 10 (international) or 12 minutes (NBA) each. Games take longer than this allotted game time, since the game clock only runs when the ball is in play. This is called using a stop clock, as the clock stops when the ball is not in play, for example, when it goes out of bounds or a foul is committed. Fifteen minutes are allowed at half-time, and two minutes are allowed at other intervals. At lower levels, various time regulations exist.

Time-outs and substitutions are permitted during a game. A substitution is that of one player on the court for another on the team bench. A time-out is a clock stoppage requested by the coach of either team, in which he can discuss tactics etc. A time-out lasts one minute in international basketball and either 100 seconds, 60 seconds or 20 seconds in NBA basketball. A limited number of time-outs is allowed. (In international basketball, 2 time-outs are allowed in the first two periods, 3 in the last two periods, and 1 in each extra period. In NBA basketball, six 100/60-second time-outs are allowed in the entire game of which a maximum of three can be in the last quarter and 3 100/60-second time-outs in each extra period, as well as one 20-second time-out per half.)

Playing the Ball

The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot, passed, thrown, tapped, rolled or dribbled. Passing is throwing the ball from player to player. Dribbling is when a single player runs while continuously bouncing the ball. The ball cannot be kicked deliberately or struck with the fist, and must stay within the playing court.

Running with the ball without bouncing it, or traveling is illegal; as is double dribbling, the act of dribbling with two hands or starting a second dribble after having caught the ball after a first one. A player's hand cannot pass the vertical while dribbling, so that his hand is partially below the ball; this is known as carrying the ball. In higher levels of basketball time limits are imposed on advancing the ball past halfway, remaining in the restricted area (also known as the 'paint') and attempting a shot. Rules with playing the ball are stricter in the NBA. Contrary to popular belief, there is no limit to the amount of steps a player can take between bounces while dribbling.

To interfere with the ball while on its downward flight for a basket, or while it is bouncing on the basket, is called goal tending and is a violation. Goal tending is one of the most complicated calls of basketball, and is significantly different in international basketball.


An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent with personal contact is illegal and is called a foul. These are most commonly committed by defensive players; however, they can be committed by offensive players as well. Normal fouls are called personal fouls. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again, or receive a free throw if they are fouled in the act of shooting. One point is awarded for making a free throw, which is attempted from a line 4.5 meters (15 feet) from the basket.

If a team surpasses a preset limit of team fouls in a given period (4 in international and NBA games), the opposing team is awarded free throws on all subsequent fouls for that period. Offensive fouls and double fouls are not counted as team fouls in the NBA, but they are in international games.

A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship such as arguing with a referee or fighting with another player can be charged with a technical foul. A player or coach with two technical fouls is disqualified from the game and is required to leave the stadium. Blatant fouls with excessive contact or that are not an attempt to play the ball are called unsportsmanlike fouls (or flagrant fouls in the NBA) and incur a harsher penalty; in some rare cases a disqualifying foul will require the player to leave the stadium.

If a player commits five fouls (including technical fouls) in one game (six in some professional leagues, including the NBA) he is not allowed to participate for the rest of the game, and is described as having 'fouled out'. If no substitutes are available, the team must forfeit the game. Some leagues, including the NBA, allow disqualified players to re-enter the game at the cost of a technical foul on the team.

Basketball Players

A team consists of five players and up to seven substitutes, though in series where there are three games or less, only five substitutes are allowed. Any number of player substitutions is allowed during the game, although substitutes can only enter a game during a stoppage of play.

Male players generally wear shorts and a sleeveless top, and high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. Female players have worn shirts and skirts in the past, but most female players now wear uniforms identical to those worn by men.


A referee and one or two umpires control the game, these are the officials. On the score bench, there are table officials, responsible for the administration of the game. The table officials include the scorer, who keeps track of the score and fouls by each player, the assistant scorer who controls the scoreboard, the timekeeper and the shot clock operator.

Referees and umpires generally wear a grey shirt and black trousers. These officials call fouls, award successful baskets, and so on.

Famous basketball players

Earvin Johnson Jr.

Born: 1959 August 14in Lansing, Michigan
Height: 2.06 m

Weight: 115 kg
High School: Everett (Lansing)
College: Michigan State
Drafted by: L.A. Lakers, 1979

Nickname: Magic

After leading Michigan State University to a National Collegiate Athletic Association championship (1979), he played 12 years as a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers (198091). He was named to the All-NBA team nine times (198391), and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player three times (1987, 1990, 1991). He established records for most career assists and most playoff assists. He retired from the NBA in 1992 because of testing positive for the HIV virus, but returned to play for the Lakers in 1996. In the 1992 Olympics, he was a member of the dream team that won the basketball gold medal. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Michael (Jeffrey) Jordan

Born: 1963 February 17, in Brooklyn, NY
Height: 1.98 m

Weight: 98 kg
High School: Laney (Wilmington)
College: North Carolina

Drafted by: Chicago Bulls, 1984
Nickname: Air Jordan

He played with the Chicago Bulls from 1984, and was named as the National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1997. A member of the USA Olympic gold medal-winning team in 1984 and 1992, he holds the record for most points in an NBA play-off game (63), against Boston in 1986, and scored over 50 points in a game on 34 occasions. He earned his nickname for his remarkable athleticism.

One of the world's most idolized sportsmen, Jordan announced his retirement in 1993, turned to baseball, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995. In addition to his MVP award in 1996, he also took the NBA scoring title for the eighth time to break Wilt Chamberlain's record, and won it again in 1997. In 1998 he won his sixth NBA title with the Chicago Bulls.

Appearances in television commercials led to his role in the Warner Bros part-animated film Space Jam (1996). Jordan retired in 1999, but made a comeback with the Washington Wizards in 2001, finally retiring in 2003. In 2006, he became part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal

Born: 1972 March 6, Newark, New Jersey

Height: 2.16 m

Weight: 146 kg

High School: Cole (San Antonio)

College: Louisiana State University

Drafted: Orlando Magic, 1992

Nicknames: Shaq, Superman, Big Aristotle,


Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most dominant centers in the history of professional basketball. He started his NBA career in Orlando, but in 1996 moved to Los Angeles for $120 million and the chance to enhance his acting and rap music careers. With the help of guard Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson, O'Neal won the NBA championship three consecutive years with the Lakers, from 2000-2002. After eight seasons in Los Angeles, he was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. With young guard Dwyane 'Flash' Wade, O'Neal led the Heat to a national championship in 2006. A multi-media celebrity, his rap albums have included Shaq Diesel (1993) and You Can't Stop the Reign (1998). In films he has played a rapping genie in Kazaam (1996) and a supersized crimefighter in Steel (1997). On television he debuted in his own 'reality' show in 2007, helping children get physically fit in Shaq's Big Challenge.

Kobe Bean Bryant

Born: 1978 August 23, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Height: 1.98 m

Weight: 100 kg

High School: Lower Merion High School,


Drafted: Charlotte Hornets, 1996

Nicknames: Black Mamba

Is the son of former Philadelphia 76er player and Los Angeles Sparks head coach Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant. At the age of six Kobe and his family moved to Italy where his father began playing professional basketball and he learned to play soccer and became fluent in Italian.
In 1991, his family moved back to the United States, and he attended Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia. The 17-year-old Kobe made the controversial decision to skip college and go directly into the NBA. He was the 13th pick overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for starting center Vlade Divac. Kobe led the Lakers to three NBA tittles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and was an NBA all-star in 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002. He met his wife, Vanessa, during a visit to the set of one of Snoop Dogg's videos, and they have two daughters Natalia Diamante Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.

Other famous players: Larrry Bird, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tracy McGrady, Karl Malone, Bill Russell, 'Pistol' Pete Maravich, Julius Erving, Steve Nash, Dwayne Wade, John Stockton, Kevin Garnett, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, George Mikan, Vince Carter, Luke Walton, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Manu Ginobili, Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Joakim Noah, Jerry West, Esteban Batista, Gilbert Arenas, J.J. Redick, Clyde 'the Glide' Drexler, Bob Cousy, Richard Hamilton, Moses Malone, David Thompson, Earl Boykins, Peja Stojakovic, Earl 'The Goat' Manigault, Ray Allen, Pau Gasol, Amare Stodumire, Dwight Howard, Len Bias, Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, John Havlicek, Larry Johnson,Boris Diaw, Rick Barry, Shawn Marion.

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