Where did Basketball Originate?

Where did basketball originate?

Basketball is among the most recognized and popular sports in the world. Millions of fans around the world, especially in the USA, go crazy about basketball on a daily base. Its no wonder that’s the case since basketball is one of the most exciting and thrilling sports. Just watching a game can be a fantastic experience so we can only imagine how the players in the big leagues feel. Basketball is a sport that’s played on a court, where two teams, each with 5 players, try to score in the opposing basket. The idea is to score more baskets and get more points than your opponents. However, the ball can only be handled with your arms, your legs mustn’t be used to touch the ball. Keep reading to learn more about basketball and its history. Keep reading to find out where did basketball originate.

Basketball History

Dr. James Naismith is credited with inventing basketball back in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. They put up peach baskets on both sides of the field and the ball that was used was very similar to the one used in football. The baskets were placed on the railings of the gym balcony and players were supposed to get the ball in the basket. When that happened, the game was stopped and a person will go up a ladder to retrieve the ball. The first change they every did to basketball was to remove the bottom part of the basket so the ball falls down after someone scores.

James Naismith divided his class of 18 into two teams of 9 players and explained his idea to them. They loved the game and proposed to call it “Naismith Game”. However, since they were using baskets, they decided to call it basketball. Naismith also set up 13 original rules for the game which were later either modified or changed completely. With time, players started using an actual basket-ball, the Spalding ball which we know today. At this point, the question of where did basketball originate was already answered.

After that, the YMCA organization and the US army are credited for spreading basketball in the USA and all over the world. They organized games and tried to improve the rules and regulations. All of this lead to the creation of the first National Basketball League in 1898. Only 6 teams were a part of it and it was later abandoned in 1904. Nevertheless, basketball was increasing in popularity and all American colleges accepted it as a serious activity. With time, FIBA as the first international organization was formed, and later the NBA followed. The rest as we know it is history.

Basketball Rules

Modern basketball made several changes to the original Naismith rules. Some of the rules are slightly different, depending on the league or competition where they are used. This means that we can’t talk about where did basketball originate without talking about the rules of the sport.

  • Each team has 12 players; however, only 5 of them can be on the court. The others are used as substitutions.
  • The ball is moved around the court by dribbling/bouncing the ball or passing it. Once a player puts two hands on the ball (excluding catching the ball) its not allowed to dribble again. The player must pass or shoot the ball.
  • When a team recovers possession in their half, they have 10 seconds the move the ball out of it, If they fail to do so a foul play is called and the balled is turned over.
  • Each team has 24 seconds to take a shot at the basket. A shot means that the ball needs to go in the basket or hit the rim of the basket. If after the shot is taken and the ball fails to go in the basket or hit the rim, the team loses the ball to the opposition who also get 24 seconds.
Additional Rules
  • Fouls committed throughout the game will be accumulated and then when they reach a certain number, free throws will be awarded. A free throw involves one player from the offensive team (the player fouled) to take a shot from the free throw line, unopposed. Depending on where the foul was committed, the players can get 1, 2 or 3 free throws.
  • Violations in basketball include travelling (taking more than one step without bouncing the ball), double dribble (picking the ball up and dribbling, stopping then dribbling again with two hands), back court violation.
Where did basketball originate?
Basketball Rules

How To Play

The size of the court depends on the league, as well as the length of the game. However, the gameplay remains the same. There are 5 players on each side and the goal is to have more points than the opposing team. In European basketball the game lasts 4 quarters, each 10 minutes long with a 15 minute break after the 2nd quarter (half-time). In NBA, the only difference is that the quarters are 12 minutes long.

Pitch Rules, Players, and Equipment

Each team is made up of 12 players with only 5 allowed on the court at any time. The positions are broken up into Point Guard, Defensive Guard, Center, Offensive forward and Defensive Forward. Each player will then take up a position on the court but are allowed to move around as they please. The basketball field has a rectangular shape; however, the dimensions are different depending on the competition. For example:

The court is 28.65 x 15.24 meters and the distance of the three point line is
7.24 meters, 6.70 meters in the corner.

FIBA European Basketball
The court is 28 x 15 meters and the distance of the three point line is
6.75 meters, 6.60 meters in the corner.

Keep in mind that the dimensions for NCAA college basketball and Women’s basketball are different as well.

The court, the players, and the ball are the only things needed for a basketball match. Each team is made up of 12 players with only 5 allowed on the court at any time. The positions are broken up into Point Guard, Defensive Guard, Center, Offensive forward and Defensive Forward. Each player will then take up a position on the court but they are allowed to move around as they please.

They all wear jersey’s according to their team colors. The only difference is the numbers on their jersey which show the position the player has. Additionally, players can also use face masks and gum shields for protection.


In basketball, there is one main referee who controls the order of the match. Depending on the match, there can be a two-man or a three-man referee crew. In the NBA, they are known as crew chief and the two officials helping him are called referees. In FIBA matches, there is a main referee and one or two umpires that help him serve justice.

Where did Basketball Originate – Tournaments & Organizations

The two most important organizations in basketball are FIBA and the NBA. The first one is European based and they are in charge of organizing several tournaments. You can read more about FIBA on their website. The latter one on the other hand is the most popular league in the world and its US based. People that ask where did basketball originate should know that there are tons of tournaments out there both European and the rest of the world.

FIBA Tournaments

Unlike the NBA, FIBA has more responsibilities than just organizing the Basketball Champions League every year. That’s a competition very similar to the NBA where the best clubs in Europe battle for the trophy. Here are all the tournaments that FIBA handles:

  • Olympics
  • FIBA World Cup
  • Continental Championships (FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, FIBA Asia, FIBA Europe, FIBA Oceania)
  • Club Tournaments (FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Basketball Champions League, FIBA Europe Cup, etc.

There are even more competitions where basketball is player. We can mention NCAA basketball as well as younger categories. On top of that, there is women’s basketball. A lot of leagues and tournaments are player yearly, which is why basketball is so popular in sports betting.