The sight of a basketball court should come as no surprise to any Singapore resident. In almost every other housing estate, a basketball court will be available within walking proximity. At school, as part of the physical education curriculum (PE), most students would have at least a chance to try out their hands on playing basketball.
But how much do you know about basketball?
Do you know that…
… basketball is not an evolution from any other sports?
In 1891, James W. Naismith invented basketball after being tasked to keep his students fit and warm throughout cold winters. As the inventor, Naismith had also devised 13 rules to govern the games which are still largely applicable till date.
…basketball was originally played with a soccer ball?
The sport first made its debut with a soccer ball before having a ball of its own. However, soccer balls were proved to be difficult for dribbling. Hence, the search for the ideal basketball began.
The first balls designed specifically for basketball were coloured brown. Years after, the colour was modified to orange in a bid to make the ball more visible to both players and spectators. Not just the colour, but also the material, shape, size and design of balls had undergone much modifications to achieve the ideal basketball.
…basketball was played with peach baskets?
In the initial stages, basketball was played with peach baskets that was sealed at the bottom. That said, each ball had to be retrieved manually after every score. Following, a hole was introduced to the bottom of the basket such that balls can be pushed out with greater ease using a long pole.
In 1906, peach baskets were eventually replaced to what we see today – metal hoops with blackboard.
…no substitution was allowed in a basketball game?
Before 1920, the governing rule of basketball game had forbidden substitution; no players were allowed to re-enter the game. The rule was then changed to allow a player to re-enter the game once.
Again, the substitution rule was then modified in subsequent years.
In 1934, the new rule allowed players to re-enter the game two times.
In 1945, the new and ongoing rule no longer placed a restriction on the number of times that players are allowed to re-enter the game.
…there are many other modifications made to the game of basketball?
The above list of fun-facts and modifications made to the game of basketball is definitely non-exhaustive and there are many more that one could learn about basketball.
Now, do you know a bit more about basketball?
Photo courtesy of Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)