Basketball is a very popular team sport which has fans all around the world. Nowadays its biggest stars earns incredible amounts of money and the most important teams are real moneymakers. But the history of this sport started more than a century ago in a small gymnasium in the USA. Its creator, James Naismith, was a professor of physical education in one of the schools in Spingfield, Massachusetts. His aim was to occupy his students with some games in winter time when outdoor activities were not possible. And that is when he decided to attach a simple wooden peach basket to a wall. The first official game took place two months after Naismith invention and was quite different from what the game looks like today. First of all, teams consisted of nine players who used soccer balls. Because of that it was not possible to dribble a ball as players do nowadays. They were just passing the ball to their colleagues. Fortunately basketball evolve through the years making the game more spectacular for the viewers. The metal hoops were the replacement for wooden baskets and the number of players in each team was shrank to five. What is more, the new ball, made specifically for basketball, was finally introduced.
As we can see many things concerning the game changed, but the main rules remains the same. The aim of each team consisting of five players is to simply win by gaining more points. And to do that one team has to throw a ball through opponents’ basket. The number of points scored for such a throw depends on the distance from which the player shoot. If he was inside the semicircle, which is close to the basket, two points are given. In other situation, when the distance is longer the player may score three points. After the first half of the game teams have to exchange the baskets. The playing time in basketball depends on the league. In professional ones it last forty or forty eight minutes which are divided into quarters. In college it’s forty minutes in two halves and in high school the playing time is thirty two minutes. Of course, the referees are present on the basketball court to control the game. Usually there are three of them.
The popularity of basketball, especially in the USA and Europe, grew very fast and today it attracts huge audience. It is now played in schools and colleges and it is consider as great pastime or hobby. However, the biggest emotions are stirred up by the professional games under two major basketball associations. And these are The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and The National Basketball Federation (NBA). The second one is known all over the world even though it is a professional league just in North America. But thanks to the best players in the world who were the members of teams included in NBA, the popularity of it became incredible. The names of the biggest stars of this sport are known even by people who do not have interest in basketball. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neil or Kobe Bryant were not only great players but also a product for teams’ sponsors. So as it seems today basketball is not only an attractive sport but also a big business.