Basketball, fast-paced game played on a rectangular court, generally indoors, by two five-player teams. The primary objective of the game is to score more points than the opposition by putting a round ball through a circular band, called a rim. James Naismith (1861-1939), Canadian-American teacher of physical education, recognized as the inventor of the sport of basketball. He was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada, and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montréal. He taught physical education at McGill University, and from 1890 to 1895 at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1891, aided by the American physical-education specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, he invented basketball as an indoor sport. Naismith developed the game as an activity for his students during the harsh winter months. He was director of physical education at the Young Men's Christian Association in Denver and at the University of Kansas. As one of the most significant contributors to the sport of basketball, Naismith was voted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. Officially called the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, the institution was named in his honor and is located in Springfield.While the dimensions of individual basketball courts vary, a playing area 84 ft long and 50 ft wide—predominantly used in recreational, high school, and intercollegiate competition—is considered ideal for most players.

Professional basketball courts are slightly larger, 94 ft long and 50 ft wide. In addition to size, courts can vary in other ways, such as in the radius of the circle situated at the center of the court and in the distance of the 3-point line from the basket.

Posted 2011-01-24 and updated on Jan 24, 2011 2:34pm by crisd

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