Basketball: The Fear To Stay Fit, Geared A New Sport



Winters are long in the West, who so ever it is would like to curl into a thick rug rather than working out in the gyms. This thought made the physical educationist James Naismith worry and he came up with what now is called as ‘Basketball’. There were no nets, no rim, no backboard all the game had was a small court precisely half of what is existing today and a peach basket which served the purpose of a net. His diary entry said that he came up with this game with constant alterations on the children’ game ‘Duck on a Rock’. His worries about this game gaining acceptance among the players were justified as it is just a complex variant of a children’ game. Back to the peach basket, every time a basket was shot one has to climb up and pick the ball which was tedious and got unexciting with time. Still it was the peach basket that existed for fifteen years since the game was begun. Changes happened when the base of the basket was removed; still it was not an easy task as it has to be poked with a dowel to make it fall down. This too passed away with the entry of a metal ring. Sooner or later the backboard was placed to shun the intervention of spectators above. This variation was a trump card for the players as the rebound shot came into existence.

The orange ball was not what used at the early stage. Basketball was played using a simple soccer ball. As it was unseen by the remote spectators there was demand to change the size of the ball. The first ball made exclusively for this game was brown in colour and changed to orange what is used these days. Consequent designs and manufacturing on the ball improvised on its size and shape.

This is the time the game got easier, interesting and popularized. ‘We can play it too’ felt Senda Berenson who went ahead to make changes in the rules framed by Naismith and was born the Women’s basketball.

The changes were made, it was for both the sexes, well recognized, there was enough space and players. The real game commenced. It spread throughout United States and Canada. Entities responsible for the growth of this game were mainly colleges and social associations like Young Men’s Christian Association, National Basketball Association, Amateur Athletic Union, University of Kansas, and Chicago. They widely sponsored the men’s game.

Basketball became international in the mid of twentieth century. The International Basketball Federation was formed by eight countries namely Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland in the year 1932. Until 1932 the game remained localized but it was in 1936 basketball made its entry into the Summer Olympics held at Berlin. The inventors of this game, the Americans always had an upper edge over other teams. Their dominance was remarkable until 1972 when Soviet Union emerged as winners at Munich.

Besides the typical hard game, many other forms of basketball exist where it is played for out and out fun and for the victory, played for fitness. The most surprising thing is the concept of ‘Midnight Basketball’ where it is believed that by making the urban youth play late at the nights would perhaps refrain them from their engagements with drinks and drugs.  Another variant is the prison basketball played to make the prisoners come out of their past, depression, generate unity in them.

Physically impaired are no exceptions, wheelchair basketball was created for the challenged people.

Derived from a kid’s game came the most primitive basketball with nine players, downed to a team of five. Naismith, his friends, Senda contributed to the game while the modern developments and inclusions of easier equipments and rules revived the game with its ingress into the Olympics. Qualified academies, physical trainers, referees contributed to the development while the fans and high school basketball aspirants have no words to be elucidated. Constant cheers from them have made the game grow bigger with improvisations. Their support and presence at the stadiums are priceless. At the end of the day it is important to realize that a game is to be played more than to be won.

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Bharathi Murali


Hello folks!

I am Bharathi Murali, 20, a Chemical Engineering student who always look at journalists or journalism students with a little jealousy in my eyes. I belong to Coimbatore now put up in Chennai. Besides writing, blogging I like traveling (on my bike), photography and silence. I have strong belief in philosophy. With regard to sports I just love watching them on TV when it comes to playing them I have tried to play most of the Indian sports with shallow knowledge in each. I am also a part of the University Basketball team and guess more than scoring I take care of defence better and well known for the fouls that I generally commit! I blog at In one line I have always admired Bhagat Singh more than Gandhi, I support radicalism!


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