Basketball is one of the earliest and most played sports today. Essentially, the game is played by over 250 million people worldwide. It is, however, more popular in the US. According to the National Sporting Goods Association
, over 26 million people play basketball in the US. Notably, the game's simplicity and flexibility make it suitable for many, hence its popularity.
Unlike games such as association football, basketball's origin is well documented. Primarily, basketball was invented by Springfield College instructor James Naismith
. It was created in the winter of 1891.
Typically, basketball was created merely to keep the college's students active after the soccer season ended. But it was embraced by lots of other YMCAs in the state. It wasn't until 1896 that basketball became a national sport and intercollegiate matches started. The first match occurred on February 9, 1895, between Hamline University and the University of Minnesota's School of Agriculture.
While Springfield college was a recognized international school, the news of the invention of basketball hit various foreign nations. This led to significant recognition of the game. And eventually, a few years later, in 1905, the game became an official winter sport. It made its first entry into the Olympic program in the same year.
About three decades later, basketball officially became an Olympic game. The first Olympic basketball final was played on August 14, 1936.
Basketball Gameplay and Rules
Naismith, the basketball game inventor, wrote the first game rules. Notably, the rules and gameplay haven't changed much. As such, the rules of today's basketball are based on the initial 13 Naismith's original rules.
The 13 rules typically explain the format of the game and how it should be played. However, note that some guidelines vary in different states and leagues. More precisely, the professional basketball leagues, universities, and college game rules differ from the high school and below games.
In general, basketball is a two-team sport - offensive and defense teams. Each team consists of five players. The game entails advancing the ball towards the opponent's side and throwing it through their basket from above. Players can move the ball by passing it from player to player, throwing, tapping, rolling, or dribbling it.
Typically, the team that scores more shots within the game's time frame wins the game. If no team scores at the end of regulation, the match goes for overtime until a winner is found.
Notably, basketball grew extremely fast. It got its first league, NBL, in 1898.
Today, there are hundreds of basketball leagues in the world. Some are, however, more popular than others. The most followed basketball leagues include NBA
, Spain's Liga ACB, Africa Basketball League, National Basketball League (NBL – Australia), and EuroLeague.
Notably, NBA is the best and most followed professional basketball league in the world. Statistics show that the NBA is the world's fourth most watched sports league today.
Approximately 22 million people attend or follow regular NBA season games on tv and live basketball streaming sites. Recent stats show that roughly 17,000 people attend NBA games. The league was established in 1946, after the merger of BAA and NBL.
Live Basketball on TV and Streaming
Since the mid-20th
century, the television sports broadcasting experimental era, sports live broadcasting has significantly improved. Hundreds of basketball streaming sites have emerged, making it easy to follow the sport online. Also, dozens of tv channels have acquired basketball broadcasting rights. Thus, basketball fans have numerous options for watching basketball on tv and streaming.
Notably, different leagues have issued broadcasting rights to multiple channels. You can watch the same league through multiple national and international media.
Some of the top-tier basketball broadcasters include Fox Sports
, DAZN, NBC Sports
, beIN SPORTS
, and NBA TV.
Despite having small arenas, basketball is still among the sports that usually receive the most attendance per game.
Also, millions of people worldwide follow basketball games of various leagues on TV, PCs, tablets, and smartphones. While there are dozens of TV channels and basketball streaming platforms, you can seamlessly watch games from anywhere in the world.
You only need an internet connection to watch basketball on TV and stream live basketball matches. Cable TV users also need a channel subscription.