The Evolution of Basketball Throughout The Years

Basketball has been one of the most popular sports worldwide for decades. It is thrilling, dynamic, and promotes team spirit. Being a member of a basketball team means being able to adapt and support your teammates in different situations.

However, over the years, the rules of this game have changed. And from the original 13 rules, basketball players now have to know more than 100 rules to be able to play on the court (that is, besides being extremely fit and skilled with the ball). In this article, we’ll take a look at how basketball changed over the years to become one of the most loved sports of the modern age.

The Number of Players

When the game of basketball was invented, there was no precise rule that determined the number of players. According to the initial draft of the game, any number of players per team could play against each other.

First games were played with 9 players on each team, and in 1897, the rule of a minimum of 5 players on each side was introduced. 


In the beginning, once the player left the game for any reason, that player didn’t have the right to get back in the game. This rule was applied until 1920 when the players were allowed to get back into the game once again. Another change to the rules happened in 1934, after which the players were allowed to return to the game twice. And only after 1945, the rule was permanently altered to allow the players to re-enter the game as many times as they want. 

The Original Basket

Although many people don’t know in the beginning players used peach baskets or even square boxes as hoops. During this period, these objects were hung at the height of 10 feet, and this rule still applies today. However, when the player managed to get the ball into the basket or the box, it took a lot of time to get it out, which slowed down the game. The first substitute for the baskets were wire rims, and then iron rims. The first bottomless nets were introduced in 1912.

This was a major change in the game since afterward, it became more dynamic without any unnecessary breaks to get the ball. 

The Evolution of the Ball

One fact that many basketball fans are unaware of is that when the game was invented players used soccer balls.  It was in 1894 that the first basketball was produced, which was specially made for this sport. The company “Spalding” took matters into their own hands at the turn of the century. The first balls were very hard to dribble because of the way that they were made. It wasn’t until 1929 that the balls were improved for better bounce and hidden laces. This was also the era when balls were bigger and easier to handle. 1942 brought a molded version that permanently replaced the first stitched ones.

The Way Players Scored 

The major difference between the basketball we know today and that one from more than a hundred years ago is that no matter where the player was standing when he was shooting at the basket, the team only got one point. The concept of free throws was added in 1894, and two years later the rules were altered to count certain positions as two points. The three points were added in 1967, but it wasn’t until 1977 that this rule was accepted by the NBA. 

As you can see the game has evolved in many different ways since it was invented to become one of the most fun sports in the history of mankind. 

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