Basketball is an extremely popular all around the world. The object is to put
a ball through a hoop, or basket, and thus score more points than the opposing
team. Teams comprise of ten players, with a maximum of five on court at any one
time. Substitutions are unlimited during the course of the game. Although
basketball can be played outdoors, it was invented to serve as an exciting
indoor exercise for the winter months in a northern climate. It quickly became a
spectator sport, however, and now attracts large audiences to gymnasiums and
arenas, especially in the United States, South America, and Europe.
The sport is played on the amateur level by schools, colleges, other groups, and,
since 1936 by national teams in the Olympic Games. It also is played by
professional athletes, notably in the United States and Europe.
The foremost American championships contended for are those of the National
Basketball Association (NBA) for professionals, the National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) for colleges. Britain has National Associations for each
country and the English Basketball Association (EBBA) runs amateur national
competitions, the National Basketball League (NBL) is run by Basketball League
Ltd for professionals. International competion is organised by the Federation of
International Basketball (FIBA).
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