The thirteen original rules of basketball created by James Naismith

The original rules of basketball were written by Dr. James Naismith in December 1891, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and published in January of the following year in The Triangle, the Springfield College school newspaper.

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction, with one or both hands.
  2. The ball may be struck in any direction, with one or both hands, but never with a fist.
  3. The player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw the ball from the place where he catches it. In the case that a player catches the ball in the middle of a race, as soon as he catches it he must try to stop.
  4. The ball must be carried in the hands or between the hands. The arms or body must not be used to hold it.
  5. It is not permitted to shoulder, grab, push, trip or otherwise strike the opponent. The first violation of this rule by any player shall be considered a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next basket is obtained or, in the case of clear intent to injure, he shall be disqualified for the entire match, without substitute.
  6. It is considered a fault to hit the ball with the fist, the violation of the rules 3 or 4 and the described in No. 5.
  7. If either team makes three consecutive fouls, a basket will be counted for the opposing team (consecutive means that during that time the opponent has not committed any foul).
  8. A basket shall be counted when the ball is thrown or hit from the ground into the basket and remains in the basket, provided that the defenders do not touch the ball or hinder the basket. If the ball stays on the edge of the basket without going in and the opponent moves the basket, it will be counted as a point.
  9. When the ball goes outside, the first person who touches it will throw it into the field of play. In case of an argument, the referee shall throw the ball directly into the court. The server has five seconds to do so; if he holds the ball longer, the ball goes to the opposing team. If either team persists in delaying play, the assistant referee shall call a foul. *
  10. The auxiliary referee will be the judge of the men, will write down the faults and will warn the main referee when three faults are committed in a row. He may disqualify the players as established in rule number 5.
  11. The main referee shall judge the ball and determine when the ball is in play or out of play, which team it belongs to, as well as keep track of the time. He decides when a goal has been scored and counts the baskets and also carries out the usual duties of a referee.
  12. The time will be distributed in two halves of fifteen minutes, with a break of 5 minutes between them.
  13. The team that obtains more points within that time will be considered the winner. In case of a draw, if the captains agree to do so, the match may continue until a basket is scored.

Women’s basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith’s rules to suit the needs of women.

Since Naismith had 18 students, she decided that the teams would be made up of nine players each. Over time, this number was reduced first to 7, and then to the current 5 players.

The board was created to prevent fans in the gallery where the baskets were hanging from getting in the way of the ball. Over time the peach baskets became metal hoops with a net without holes until they reached the current net.

Basketball was an exhibition sport at the 1928 Olympics and 1932 Olympics, reaching Olympic status at the 1936 Olympics. Here Naismith had the opportunity to see his creation converted into an Olympic category, when he was accompanied by Adolf Hitler in the box of honor, in Germany. Women’s basketball had to wait until 1976 for its admission as an Olympic sport.

The game was popular and soon established itself in the United States. Mexico was where it was first introduced for geographical reasons. In Europe, it arrived from YMCA venues in Paris, France. But it wasn’t until World War I that the game got a big boost, mostly from American soldiers playing in their spare time.

Today, basketball is widely spread in different countries around the world, being one of the sports with more participants and regular competitions in different areas and countries of the world. In the United States, the NBA, considered the best club basketball competition in the world, is played.

The three-point line (triple), was tested in the United States in 1933. However, it would not be adopted by the ABA until 1968, reaching the NBA in the 1979-80 season. In FIBA basketball, it was not until 1984 that it became part of the rules.

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