Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Basketball is a sport in which two teams of five players each try to score points by throwing a ball through a hoop (the basket) under organized rules.
Since its invention in 1891, it has developed to become a truly international sport. It originated in the YMCA; early leagues were formed in colleges. Basketball eventually became a professional sport. Even though it was originally a North American sport, it quickly spread internationally and outstanding players and teams are found today all over the world.
Basketball is primarily an indoor sport, played in a relatively small playing area (the court). Points are scored for passing the ball through the basket from above (shooting); the team with more points at the end of the game wins. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Advantageous personal contact (fouls) is not permitted and there are restrictions on how the ball can be handled (violations).
Through time, basketball has developed to involve common techniques of shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as players' positions (which are not legally required) and offensive and defensive structures. While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, variations have developed for casual play. Basketball is also a popular spectator sport.

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