Basketball 07-18-2004 18:09

Basketball鈥檚 progress throughout the years has been impressive. Its rules and tactics have set the standards for many other team sports.


Basketball is played by two teams. During a game, each team consists of five main players on the playing court and five to seven substitutes, depending on which Basketball association is organising the game. Substitutes replace main players during a break in play.

The aim of each team is to score in the opponents鈥 basket and to prevent the opposing team from scoring. The team with the highest score at the end of the fourth period wins the game.

ATHENS 2004 Basketball

The Basketball tournament in the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games will last 15 days 鈥 from 14 to 28 August.

The preliminary rounds and the classification games for places 9 & 10 and 11 & 12 will take up eleven game days (14-24 August). They will be held in the Indoor Arena of the Helliniko Olympic Complex, which has a total capacity of 15,000 seats.

The quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals will be held on the four final game days (25-28 August) at the Olympic Indoor Hall, within the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA), where the total capacity is 18,000 seats.


Basketball was first played in 1891, at Springfield College, Massachusetts. Its purpose was to keep the students busy during winter months.

The story has it that a Canadian physical education teacher, Dr James Naismith, got the idea for Basketball from throwing a scrunched-up ball of paper into a basket. It is said that the first Basketball game in history was played with fruit baskets.

The sport developed quickly. Precise rules were formulated and the equipment was improved. Consequently, Basketball won over fans in the USA, and soon after it was attracting attention internationally. It spread and became more popular around the world, leading to the creation, in the year 1932, of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). A Swiss, Leon Bouffard, served as the first president of the newly-founded Federation, with a Welshman, William Jones, as the general secretary.

Meanwhile, Basketball was sweeping the world. In 1935, the first European Basketball Championship was organised in Geneva, on outdoor courts. The World Basketball Championships were first held in Buenos Aires in 1950. 1939 ended with Oregon winning the first American college Basketball championships (NCAA). In 1949 the American National Basketball Association 鈥 the NBA - was founded. The N.B.A. is considered the premier Basketball players throughout the globe.

Basketball made its debut at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis as a display sport. FIBA was officially recognised by the IOC on 28 February 1935; this paved the way for the sport to be included in the programme of the Olympic Games, at the 1936 Berlin Games. The founder of Basketball, James Naismith himself, threw the jump ball for the inaugural game. The gold medal for this first Olympic Basketball event was won by the USA team, who beat Canada 19-8 in the final.

Women鈥檚 Basketball was introduced into the Olympics at the 1976 Montreal Games, this first tournament being won by the USSR, which, along with the USA, went on to dominate gold medals.

Men鈥檚 Olympic Basketball had been dominated by the USA for 36 years, until the USSR defeated them in a highly contested game in 1972. The Yugoslavian team won the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, which were boycotted by the USA, while the Soviet team went on to prevail once more at the 1988 Seoul Games.

After the Seoul Games the door opened for the participation of professional players. A vote taken at the FIBA world conference in Munich in 1989 abolished the distinction between amateur and professional players, thus enabling some of the best players in the world to take part in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Some of Basketball鈥檚 greatest names - 螠ichael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird 鈥 were in the USA 鈥楧ream Team鈥 that won the gold medal and gave an unprecedented demonstration of the game.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games


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