Basketball is a mostly played indoor ball sport where two teams of five players try to shoot the ball through a hoop. The hoops are high mounted at 3.05 meter to backboards at each end of the court, which measures 28×15 meter. As mentioned before, a team consists of 5 field players and up to seven substitutes, who can be changed as many times as desired.
Basketball belongs to the most exciting and fastest ball sports. The 5 against 5 game is not only played professionally in the different leagues of the world, but also on basketball courts in many parks and school campuses and enjoys absolute popularity with all age groups. The game was invented in 1891 and is part of the Olympic games since 1936. Until the 1940ies, laced basketballs for single tournaments and games were used. Today the balls are mostly made of synthetic materials, leather and nylon threads. This sport is especially popular in the United States of America, China and the South-European countries. The basketball world championship, where the best nations compete against each other, is staged in different countries in a four-year cycle. According to the international world basketball organization, more than 450 million people are active basketball players worldwide. Depending on the game, if one on one (often also two on two in the category of street ball) or, as previously mentioned, five against five, the counting differs. Usually two points are awarded for each scored goal. A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket during regular play. If a player, however, shoots from outside the circle, behind the so-called three-point line, three points are awarded. If a player receives a free throw because his opponent fouled him, one point is awarded if the shot is successful.
Originally the players were classified in forwards (attackers) and guards (defender). Meanwhile, almost every single player has an individual role. Basically, a rather tall player is positioned as Center at the very front and is flanked by two forwards and two guards (also called point guards). The Center tries to rebound underneath the hoop, which means to regain possession of the ball after a missed field goal or free throw and is mostly supported by the forwards.
The most known and, based on their statement, the best league of the world is the NBA (National Basketball Association). Looking at number of people watching games in the impressive sport halls, in front of the TV or at the numbers of new Internet streaming subscriptions, the North American Basketball league has undoubtedly the most fans worldwide. In general, the league mode, where the teams have to qualify for the play-offs, is used. In the play-offs, the knockout mode is used and the teams have to compete with each other to win the title. The Regular Season is divided into two conferences (Eastern and Western). In the play-offs, the best-of-seven system is used. This means that two teams compete against each other and the team, which wins more games with regards to the direct encounters, is promoted to the next round.
While games are played in four quarters of 12 minutes in the NBA, international games are played in four quarters of 10. Unlike football, for example, only the pure playing time is counted, which means that the clock is stopped whenever the official interrupts the play (example reasons could be fouls or foul balls). As compared to international standards, the United States of America is the measure of all things. With two Olympic and two world championship titles during the past six years, they have impressively won all big competitions. The so-called “Dream team” lives up to its name. Serbia, Turkey and Spain were the sparring partners of the US-team in the respective finals. The USA celebrated 21 Olympic victories and five world champion titles in both, the women’s and men’s category, so far.
As mentioned before, basketball has been played in different leagues in almost every country of the world for decades. The popularity of the sport went so far that the Olympic committee could not ignore this exciting sport anymore and therefore, basketball became an Olympic discipline in 1936. In some countries, like the United States of America, college basketball is highly rated as well. Numerous world stars passed through these leagues and made an impression on the scouts of professional teams of the NBA. Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille “Shaq Attack” O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and others have played their way into the spotlight and impressed scouts from the big clubs like the LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls or the Cleveland Cavaliers during their college days. More than a few of the just mentioned players have already reached cult status. Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, for example, have been producing and selling their own shoe lines in corporation with a well-known US-American sports label for years.
Basketball is the number one sport in other parts of the world as well. Spain and France are considered to be the top nations in Europe and also loom large internationally. Although not many European players are part of NBA teams, the national teams can regularly join the battle for the big titles. A further nation that has left an impression during the past five Olympic basketball tournaments was Lithuania. They advanced to the top leagues of basketball by winning three third and two fourth places. It remains to be seen if this trend continues and if the team can further confirm their status by further victories.
Further information about basketball and answers to questions like who is likely to advance to the squad of the top nations, who is fighting for the most desired titles and what else is happening in the world of basketball are answered on www.rivalo.com. There you can also find our extensive betting offer with attractive odds for the big basketball events and place your bets on your favourite. Make it your game!