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Basketball is a sport that requires strength, power, and agility. Athletes of all ages and skill levels play the game. It can be played as an organized sport or recreationally, such as pickup games. Basketball dates back to 1891, when Dr. James Naismith created an indoor recreational game to be played in the winter. The game originated with a leather soccer ball that was thrown into two peach baskets. Women formally began playing the sport at Smith College, and the first rules for women were adopted in 1903.1 Basketball was played for the first time as an Olympic sport in 1936. One of the most significant changes in the game of basketball over the years involves the jump shot. Prior to 1950, all shots were taken with one foot on the ground.

In the traditional game of basketball, there are five players. The positions are the center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard, and point guard. The athletes play both offense and defense. Depending on the players’ athleticism, they may play more than one position. It is common to see recreational games of one on one, two on two, three on three, four on four, or five on five in both half- and full-court formats.

The overall dimensions of the basketball court are different for secondary schools (high schools) as compared with collegiate and professional levels. In secondary schools, the court is 50 ft by 84 ft, whereas college and professional courts are 50 ft by 94 ft. The backboard is usually rectangular. The rectangular backboards are 72 in wide by 48 in high.1 The basketball rim has a diameter of 18 in and is positioned 10 ft above the ground. The ball varies in size and weight for both men and women. For men, the circumference of the ball is between 29 and 30 in, and it is inflated with 7 to 9 lb of air and weighs between 20 and 22 oz. For women, the circumference of the ball is between 27 and 29 in, and it is inflated with 6 to 8 lb of air and weighs between 18 and 20 oz. The ball and height of the rim may be smaller for ages 12 and under. The game can be played both indoors and outdoors. A leather composite ball is usually used indoors, and a rubber-based ball is used outdoors. The court construction can vary from suspended wood floors indoors to concrete and asphalt surfaces outdoors (Fig. 13.1).2


Bounce heights of a basketball, golf ball, racquetball, and baseball all dropped onto the same surface from a height of 1 m. (Reproduced, with permission, from Hall SJ. Basic Biomechanics. 7th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.)

The sport of basketball exposes the athlete to injury as a ...

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