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"Hoops" redirects here. For other uses of that term, see hoop.

Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005.

Basketball is a sport in which two teams of five players each try to score points on one other by throwing a ball through a hoop (the basket) under organized rules.

Since its invention in 1891, it has developed to become a truly international sport. Organized league play originated in the YMCA and early leagues were formed in colleges. Basketball eventually became a professional sport and is one of the few women's sports
which developed in tandem with men's. Even though it was originally an
American sport, it quickly spread internationally and outstanding
players and teams are found today all over the world.


Points are scored for passing the ball through the basket from
above; the team with more points at the end of the game wins. The ball
can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Disruptive physical contact (foul) is not permitted and there are restrictions on how the ball can be handled (violations).

Through time, basketball has developed to involve common techniques
of shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as players' positions, and
offensive and defensive structures. While competitive basketball is
carefully regulated, numerous variations of basketball have developed for casual play. Basketball is also a popular spectator sport.

While competitive basketball is primarily an indoor sport, played on a basketball court,
less regulated variations have become exceedingly popular as an outdoor
sport among inner city groups, particularly African-Americans. Examples
of these variations include streetball
and one-on-one; a variation in which two players will use only a small
section of the court (often no more than a quarter of a court) and
compete to play the ball into a single hoop. Such games tend to be more
physical than competitive indoor basketball, and emphasize individual
dribbling and ball stealing skills over shooting and team play.

Outdoor basketball courts are commonly referred to as 'blacktop', a reference to the asphalt surface used on many outdoor recreation grounds. This term can apply regardless of the actual surface material used.




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