Basketball: rules and secrets of one of the most loved sports in the world

Basketball: the story behind one of the most famous team sports

“Basketball is the only sport aiming to the sky. For this reason, it’s revolutionary for those used to constantly looking at the ground”. Said former Boston Celtics basketball player William Felton “Bill” Russell, NBA captain who won many titles (with a team and in absolute), and is among the 50 best players in 50 years of the NBA.

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, consisting of five players each, compete to put the ball into the other team’s basket.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. During the XI Olympics in Berlin from the 1st to the 16th of August 1936, it became part of the Olympic program. The Fédération Internationale de Basketball is the governing figure of basketball in the world and was initially named the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur, also known by the acronym FIBA.

Basketball was invented by Canadian-American (American citizen since 1925) basketball coach and inventor James Naismith on December 15, 1891, in Springfield, capital of Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Naismith, a professor of physical education and a medicine graduate, worked in 1891 at the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in Springfield, an ecumenical Christian organization. The professor was assigned to the sports department, and he found alternatives to gymnastics exercises, which would help football players keep in training during the winter season. And so came basketball which initially had 13 rules, a wicker basket hanging on the extremities of the gym, and teams made of a variable number of players. The first game in basketball history was between two teams of nine players, and took place on January 15, 1982, and finished 1-0 scored by basketball player William Richmond Chase.

Frank Mahan, a pupil of Naismith, suggested calling the new game Naismithball, but the idea was rejected. In the end, the sport was named Basketball Ball.

The sport quickly spread to the United States and was soon a great success also in the rest of the world. In 1898 the National Basketball League was created, and on the 9th of February 1895, the first 5-on-5 intercollegiate game was played between Hamline University and the School of Agriculture, affiliated with the University of Minnesota, who won the challenge with a result of 9-3.

The first basketball tournament was held in 1904 at the St. Louis Olympics, however, it was not recognized officially by the International Olympic Committee, also known as IOC.

Basketball will enter the list of Olympic sports starting from Berlin’36, that year the United States defeated Canada in the final. The medals were handed out by James Naismith, inventor of the game, who was also invited to raise the first ball in two of the Olympic tournament and was appointed honorary president of the International Basketball Federation born in Geneva in 1932.

1946 is another important date in basketball history because of the foundation of the National Basketball Association, commonly known as NBA, the main professional league of the United States of America and Canada. The rules imposed by the NBA are slightly different from those applied internationally in all world competitions, including the Olympics, intended to make the game more spectacular.

Basketball: the roles, movements, rules of the game

In basketball, dribbling, passing, and shooting are fundamental movements on which the whole game is built. Other movements include running, shooting, dunking, so-called alley-oop, bouncing, tap-in, tap-out, stopping, blocking, pick & roll, unloading, and cutting.

During the first fifty years of the game, a player could have three roles: guard, wing, and center. Since the eighties, the positions have changed, and the five players who make up a team have each a well-defined role:

  • Playmaker: is the fastest player with good ball control using both hands
  • Shooting guard: the player with the best shot
  • Small Wing: is the player able to mark both small and fast opponents, as well as the taller and heavier ones
  • Big Wing: or Strong Wing, is the tallest player
  • Center: also called Pivot, is the highest and heaviest player in the team

Let’s now discover the main rules of basketball:

  • A basketball match begins when the referee is in the center of the field and throws the ball high, and two opposing players will jump for it. The ball must be touched exclusively with the hands, no dribbling on the ground while running, and passing it with feet or with a fist is considered an infringement. Accidentally hitting the ball with a leg is not considered a violation of the rules, however, the game is stopped and then resumed with a throw from the back of the field by the team that suffered the infringement.
  • The two teams competing are each composed of five players which have reserves that can vary from 5 to 7 depending on the championship. Reserves can replace holders without restrictions and can be replaced in turn. A player who has been replaced can return to the field to replace a teammate.
  • A player who is assigned 5 fouls or who has been expelled, can no longer play the game. If a team remains with only one player, the game ends with the victory of the opposing team.
  • Each game lasts 40 minutes divided into 4 periods of 10 minutes of actual play. Between the 2nd and the 3rd period, there is an interval of 10 to 20 minutes. At the resumption of the game, the teams must swap their field.
  • Each team has 24 seconds to complete an attack, if they fail, the ball possession passes to the opponents. The 24 seconds are restored every time the possession of the ball changes. When an attacking team is with the ball in hand again, after the same one has touched the iron ring, the stopwatch is 14 seconds. In case of a foul or foot infringement, if 13 seconds have elapsed, the stopwatch is reset to 14 seconds. On the contrary, if the playing time is more than 14 seconds, the count is continued.
  • The game is won by the team that scored the most points at the end of the 4th period of play. In the event of a tie, an additional time of 5 minutes is provided. If a tie persists, the game is played to the bitter end until one of the two teams can deploy two players because the others have committed five fouls, have been expelled, or are injured.

Each basket is assigned a point based on the position of the player and the type of shot made:

  • 1 point: is assigned for each basket made by performing a free throw
  • 2 points: are obtained for each basket made by making a shot within the area bounded by the line of 3 points.
  • 3 points: are given for each basket made by making a shot outside the 3-point area (both the shooter’s feet must not touch the line, the distance between the basket and the 3-point arc is 6.75 meters).

If a player suffers a foul during a roll and scores it anyway, then the two or three points are valid, and an additional free throw is added. If the player does not score, then he is assigned some free throws equal to the value of the basket not scored.

Who suffers an unsportsmanlike foul is always entitled to two free throws, while in case of a technical foul, only one free throw is provided. In both cases, the team that makes the free throws also has the subsequent possession with remittance to half the field. Finally, in other cases, at the last free throw, players position themselves in specific areas of the field to recover the ball in case the shot does not score.

Breaches of the Regulation require the conclusion of the current action and assignment, in favor of the opposing team, of a return to play from the point at the edge of the court nearest to the point of the infringement.

The offenses in basketball are numerous:

  • out of range
  • double or double dribble
  • ball accompanied
  • steps
  • 3 seconds offensive
  • 3 defensive seconds
  • 5 seconds or player closely marked
  • 8 seconds
  • 24 seconds
  • return of the ball to the zone of defense or field infringement
  • basket interference

Among the most common infractions are the foul on a shot and the breakthrough to which are added the unsportsmanlike, the technician, from expulsion and the expulsion from a fight. The fouls are grouped into 7 categories with the letters P, T, U, D, F, C, and B.

Basketball: the Basketball Academy of Forte Village with Ettore Messina

Holidays are the best time to dedicate yourself to your passions or to learn the secrets of a new sport.

In the Sports Academies of Forte Village, the award-winning resort of Santa Margherita di Pula in the province of Cagliari, Children aged 6 to 16 can learn everything there is to know about basketball by going to the Ettore Messina Basketball Academy by A|X Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano.

From Monday to Friday, within the Sports Area of the resort, future basketball champions can train under the watchful eye of Ettore Messina, current coach of the A|X Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano and in the past vice-coach of San Antonio Spurs and former technical commissioner of the Italian national team. Also, at the time of registration, each participant receives the magnificent ‘A|X Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano training kit.

Among the sports Academy of Forte Village, there isn’t only basketball, there is also space for football, freestyle, rugby, tennis, boxing, fencing, swimming, and much more.

Do you want to know all the secrets of basketball and live a dreamlike holiday in a real paradise? Discover Forte Village Resort in Sardinia.

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