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This is the "Basketball" page of the "Westwood Physical Education" guide.
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Guide to IB Physical Education Class
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Basketball Print Page

Basketball Vocabulary


Double Dribble


Chest Pass

Overhead Pass

Bounce Pass

Free Throw

Jump Shot

Lay up




Basketball was invented in December 1891 by the Canadian clergyman, educator, and, later, physician James Naismith, then an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Mass. Naismith formulated the game on the request of his superior, Dr. Luther H. Gulick (1865-1918), that he organize a vigorous recreation suitable for indoor winter play. The game took over elements of football, soccer, and hockey, and the first ball used was a soccer ball. Teams had nine players, and the goals were wooden peach baskets affixed to the walls. By 1897-98, teams of five became standard. The game rapidly spread nationwide and to Canada and other parts of the world, played by both women and men; it also became a popular informal outdoor game. U.S. servicemen in World War II popularized the sport in many other countries.

Many U.S. colleges adopted the game between about 1893 and 1895. In 1934 college games were staged in New York City's Madison Square Garden for the first time, and college basketball began to attract much interest. By the 1950s it had become a major college sport, thus paving the way for a growth of interest in professional basketball.

The first pro basketball league, the National League, was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote a less rough game. One of the first and greatest pro teams was the Original Celtics, organized about 1915 in New York City. They played as many as 150 games a season and dominated basketball in the 1920s. The Harlem Globetrotters, founded in 1927, a notable exhibition team, specializes in amusing court antics and expert ballhandling.

Author Last Name, Author First Name, Author Initials(s). "Basketball: History." Encyclopedia. Today’s Science. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.



The game commences when the referee tosses the ball into the air over the center circle, in which the opposing centers stand face to face. The centers then leap into the air and attempt, with their hands, to tap the ball to their teammates. The team that gets the ball tries to advance it toward the basket defended by the opposing side, to try for a field goal, or basket, which scores two or three points, depending on whether a player shoots from within or behind the three-point line. A player may advance the ball by passing it to a teammate or by bouncing (dribbling) it while running toward the basket. If a player walks or runs with the ball without dribbling it--a violation called traveling--that player's team surrenders possession of the ball. After a basket is scored, the team scored on puts the ball into play from behind its end line and in turn tries to move the ball upcourt to score.

Basketball: The Game." Encyclopedia. Today’s Science. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.



Basketball rules have changed over the years with the intent of speeding its action, increasing the scoring, and offsetting the advantages given to teams with extremely tall players. Slightly different regulations govern international basketball and the college, scholastic, professional, and women's games in the U.S. In 1971 rules for women's basketball were redrawn, making it more like the men's game. Games are supervised by referees, umpires, official scorekeepers, and timers.

Basketball: The Game." Encyclopedia. Today’s Science. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.


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