Basketball, also known as basketball (AFI: [ˈbasket]; abbreviation of the term in English basketball), is a team sport in which two teams of five players each face each other to score with a ball in the opponent's basket, according to many rules fixed and with a score that varies from the shooting position.
Born in Springfield (a city in the United States of America) in 1891, thanks to the idea of James Naismith, Canadian physician and physical education teacher. Since the end of the 19th century, basketball has spread all over the world, thanks to the propaganda activity of the International Basketball Federation, founded in 1932. It is an Olympic sport since the XI Olympiad, which was held in Berlin in 1936.
Basketball was created by only one man: Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education professor. In 1891 Naismith was working at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was asked to find a sport that could train football players during the winter season as an alternative to gymnastic exercises.
Basketball saw the light on December 15, 1891, governed by thirteen rules, with a basket hanging at the ends of the gymnasium of the sports center and teams made up of a variable number of players. On January 15th the first game in the history of basketball was played between two teams of nine players: it ended 1 to 0 thanks to William Richmond Chase's basket. The name of the game was coined by one of James Naismith's pupils, Frank Mahan, after the inventor refused to call it Naismithball. On January 15, 1892 Naismith published the rules of the game: it is the official birth date of basketball. The basket was applied at the level of the grandstand, as a basket they used a wicker basket and when the ball entered a ladder was used to catch it.
The sport became popular in the United States in a very short time, soon after starting to spread all over the world, through the network of YMCA hostels. By 1895, the game was already well established in several girls' high schools. In the years leading up to World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (forerunner of the NCAA) competed to enforce their own regulations. In those years even the YMCA itself, although in the beginning it had been the main promoter of the game, began to discourage basketball as it was becoming too turbulent and far from its first intentions. Fortunately, other amateur sports clubs, colleges and professional clubs filled that void by continuing to spread and promote the game. The first professional league, the National Basket Ball League, was formed in 1898 to protect players from exploitation and to promote less aggressive and rude play (this league only lasted 5 years). On February 9, 1895, the first 5-on-5 intercollegiate game was played between Hamline University and the School of Agriculture, which was affiliated with the University of Minnesota. The School of Agriculture won the game with a score of 9–3. Basketball was added to the Olympic program at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (although there had previously been a basketball tournament during the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, not officially recognized by the IOC). On that occasion, Naismith handed the gold medal to the United States, which defeated Canada in the final.
In 1946 the National Basketball Association (NBA) was born in the USA, with the aim of organizing professional teams and making the sport more popular. In the rest of the world, its diffusion increased with the birth of the International Basketball Federation in 1932. In Europe, basketball had a particular resonance and above all the Soviet Union was the state that managed to compete