Photo: Twitter/Basketball Champions League

You’ve probably heard of Basketball and names like; Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and his Jordan basketball shoes. It’s played in major leagues around the world today, but how did basketball get started? And why is it so popular?

Basketball in America

Basketball is so popular today that it is the biggest sport in America. No fewer than 9 million children play basketball there, which is half of the population of the Netherlands! In America, almost every high school has a basketball team that tens of thousands of people come to support every year. In America, you also have the most popular league the NBA, which is the biggest league in basketball with the best players. Some pros even earn more than $30 million playing basketball. In Europe, it is not as big as in America. However, Basketball holds a special place in European betting sites and it is safe to say that it comes after football in terms of popularity.

How Does Basketball Work & What Are the Rules?

Basketball Court

A basketball court is 28 meters long and 15 meters wide

The Basket

Nowadays it is more professional than just hanging a peach basket and throwing the ball in it. Now we are dealing with a basket, which is a ring through which you throw the ball. It hangs at a height of 3 meters and 5 cm.

The Ball

For youth, you have different basketballs, which can differ in size and weight. Basketballs have a circumference of 29.5 inches or 75 cm and a weight of 600 grams. The balls are made of the material rubber or leather.

The ball of professional basketball players has a circumference of between 75 and 78 cm and weighs 600 to 650 g. Mini basket is played with a ball weighing less than 500 g. The ball often has the colour orange with black stripes because then it stands out the most. And that’s only good.

Basketball Techniques


Pivoting is when you stay with one foot on the ground in the same place and you can turn around with the other foot.

Jump ball

In the centre of the field is a centre circle. When you start the game you are going to make a jump ball there. You are with 2 people, 1 from each team in the circle and the rest of the team is outside the circle. In between is a referee who throws the ball straight up and then you both have to jump up to tap the ball away to your fellow players. A fellow player is someone you play with on the same team.


Letting the ball bounce on the ground. You do that from your wrist. When you dribble you don’t look at the ball but at your teammates and your opponents. You can make a high dribble, this is running with big strides and dribbling about to your waist. And you can also do a low dribble, this is with small strides and dribbling from knee height. If you stop dribbling, you may not continue dribbling!

Free Throw

A free throw is when someone is going to score from a specified line. You are usually allowed to shoot 2 times (depending on the offence committed against you). If you shoot for the 2nd time, the basketball players may touch the ball when it has hit the backboard.

How Many Players Do You Need?

When playing a basketball game you have 2 teams of 5 players. The difference between football and basketball is that with basketball you can make unlimited changes.


There are several infractions you can make in basketball that will require you to hand in the opponent. There is a walking rule; you may not take more than one step with the ball. There is also a second dribble rule; after making action with the ball, you must pass the ball to one of your teammates within 5 seconds.

Points Scoring

If a teammate throws the ball through the opponent’s hoop, the team gets 2 points. You can score three points if you throw in front of the three-point line. You can also score 1 point, this is possible with a free throw. With each point, you score, play resumes at the centre line. The team with the most points wins.

The Duration of the Match

The basketball game is played in 4 parts of 10 minutes. Between parts 1 and 2 there is a break of 2 minutes that also applies to parts 3 and 4. In parts 2 and 3 there is a break of 15 minutes. If there is a tie between the two sides when the time is up, there will be an extra 5 minutes until there is a winner.


So a teacher had to invent a ball game for his students because it was too ‘cold’. Basketball has become one of the biggest sports in the world and today it can even be your job to throw a ball into a basket. Who would have thought, from a peach basket as a basket to major leagues around the world.