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Реферат: History of basketball


Basketball is an extremely popular all around the world. The object is to put

a ball through a hoop, or basket, and thus score more points than the

opposing team. Teams comprise of ten players, with a maximum of five on court

at any one time. Substitutions are unlimited during the course of the game.

Although basketball can be played outdoors, it was invented to serve as an

exciting indoor exercise for the winter months in a northern climate. It

quickly became a spectator sport, however, and now attracts large audiences

to gymnasiums and arenas, especially in the United States, South America, and


The sport is played on the amateur level by schools, colleges, other groups,

and, since 1936 by national teams in the Olympic Games. It also is played by

professional athletes, notably in the United States and Europe.

The foremost American championships contended for are those of the National

Basketball Association (NBA) for professionals, the National Collegiate

Athletic Association (NCAA) for colleges. Britain has National Associations

for each country and the English Basketball Association (EBBA) runs amateur

national competitions, the National Basketball League (NBL) is run by

Basketball League Ltd for professionals. International competion is organised

by the Federation of International Basketball (FIBA).

The Early Days..

It all started with two peach baskets in a YMCA in Massachusetts.

In 1891 James A Naismith (1861-1939), a leader of the Springfield YMCA, was

thinking about ways of providing exercise for the young men in his care. As a

physical education instructor he taught gymnastics, however he was looking

for something new. He had the idea of nailing peach baskets onto the

balconies as goals, at either end of the gymnasium and throwing a soccer ball

into it from below.

So a National and International game was born.

In 1892 he published the first booklet containing the basic rules, almost

unchanged today (although expanded upon considerably!). These rules were

adopted by the YMCA and the Amateur Athletic Union.

Word spread quickly amongst YMCA's in the Eastern United States about this

new game. It took off so rapidly that the first intercollegiate game was

played in 1897, and the first professional league in the following year. The

Eastern Intercollegiate League was formed shortly afterwards, in 1902. Women

also took up the game before 1900.

The growing popularity of basketball resulted in improvements in equipment

and skills. The metal hoop was introduced in 1893, and backboards in 1895.

The soccer ball was replaced by the first basketball. As playing skills also

became more sophisticated, the game attracted more and more spectators.

Until the late 1930s, scores were low, sometimes in single digits. After each

score, opposing centers (one of the five positions, the others being two

guards and two forwards) lined up in the middle of the court and jumped for

the ball. Then the team that got the ball would pass or dribble until a

player was about 3 m (10 ft) from the basket before trying a shot. The slow

pace did not inhibit the growth of the game, however. By the 1920s,

basketball was being played all over the United States, and tournaments were

being conducted in high school and college gymnasiums. Most states held high

school championships for boys.

The Rise of the Modern Game

Several events in the 1930s spurred the growth of the game as a spectator

sport and at the same time made basketball more exciting for the players. The

first of these came in the 1932-33 season (basketball seasons tend to run

from Autumn through to Spring) rules designed to speed up play were adopted.

It became mandatory, under penalty of losing possession, to move the ball

past midcourt in less than ten seconds. In addition, no player was permitted

to remain within the foul lanes for more than three seconds. Then in 1934 a

New York sportswriter, Ned Irish, persuaded the promoters at New York's

Madison Square Garden, a large arena, to schedule doubleheaders between

college teams. These events proved successful, and similar promotions

followed in other cities. Before long, colleges began building their own

arenas for basketball.

Another significant advance occurred in 1936, when a Stanford University team

traveled from California to a Madison Square Garden promotion to challenge

the eastern powers in the "cradle of basketball." Opponents and fans were

stunned by the Stanford style of shooting--one-handed while jumping, which

contrasted to the prevalent method of taking two-handed shots while standing

still. One Stanford player, Hank Luisetti, was so adept at the "jump shot"

that he could outscore an entire opposing team. The new style gained

universal acceptance, and basketball scores rose remarkably.

In the 1937-38 season the center jump following each field goal was

eliminated. At the end of the next season, Madison Square Garden brought in

college teams from around the nation for the National Invitation Tournament

(NIT), a postseason playoff that was adopted (1939) on a wider scale by the

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Although the NIT is still

held annually, the NCAA tournament serves as the official intercollegiate


The University of Kentucky (coached, 1930-72, by Adolph Rupp), St. John's (in

New York), the University of North Carolina, Western Kentucky, Kansas

University, and Indiana University have been among the leading college

basketball teams for years. From 1964 to 1975 the University of California at

Los Angeles (UCLA), coached by John Wooden and led by the centers Lew

Alcindor and Bill Walton, dominated the intercollegiate play-offs, winning

the title an unprecedented 10 times in 12 years. The 1,250 college teams in

the United States now draw about 30 million spectators per season.

Although women have played the game since the 1890s, and even though a few

states (Iowa, for instance) have shown great participatory and spectator

interest in secondary-school women's basketball for some decades, significant

growth and serious recognition of women's basketball in the United States and

elsewhere did not occur until the 1970s. Almost all U.S. states now hold

girls' high school tournaments, and basketball is the fastest-growing women's

intercollegiate sport.

Professional Basketball

From 1898 on, many attempts were made to establish professional basketball as

a spectator sport-but success did not come until 1946. The best of the early

efforts was made by the Harlem Globetrotters, an all-black team that toured

first only the United States and then internationally to play local

professional or semi-professional teams. The Globetrotters, founded in 1926,

were not affiliated with a league. Their style was and is often showy

because, at least into the early 1950s, they could dominate all opponents.

In 1946 serious professional basketball had acquired a following among

American sports fans, who wanted to see the former collegians in action. That

year the Basketball Association of America, with teams from the United States

and one from Toronto, began competing in large arenas in the major cities.

Another professional league, the National Basketball League, was already in

existence, with many franchises in medium-sized midwestern cities. The two

leagues merged in 1949 as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and pared

away the weaker franchises.

Modern Times

With the signing of the country's best collegians through what was called a

player draft, the NBA could display both talent and balance. The NBA's

greatest spurt of growth occurred in the 1960s and '70s. Although the Boston

Celtics, led by Bill Russel, Bob Cousy, and John Havlicek and coached by Red

Auerbach, won 11 of 13 NBA titles beginning in 1957, fans also closely

followed such stars as Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain, Cincinnati's Oscar

Robertson, and Los Angeles's Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The NBA of the

1970s and 1980s exhibited a welcome balance of power: from 1970 until 1988 no

team won consecutive NBA titles, though the New York Knicks (with Willis

Reed, Walt Frazier, and Bill Bradley) won twice; the Boston Celtics, 5 times

(3 with Larry Bird); and the Los Angeles Lakers, 6 times (5 with Magic


In the 1970s the NBA expanded from 9 teams to 22. Some of the new franchises

were acquired when the American Basketball Association (1968-76) merged with

the NBA. Also, a Dallas franchise was added in 1980; Charlotte, Carolina, and

Miami, in 1988; and Minnesota and Orlando, in 1989.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s several women's professional leagues

were begun; all of them failed financially. Women in the USA are currently

under the WNBA.

The NBA today enjoys a massive worldwide following, and European basketball

is fast emerging. to challenge the domination of the Americans. Watch this



Written by

Kisel Dmitry

Petrozavodsk 1998