A breakaway rim is a basketball hoop that can bend slightly when a player dunks a basketball, and then instantly snap back into a horizontal position when the player releases it. It allows players to dunk the ball without shattering the backboard, and it reduces the possibility of wrist injuries. Breakaway rims were invented in the mid-1970s and are now an essential element of high-level basketball. In the early days of basketball, dunking was considered "ungentlemanly", and was rarely used outside of practice or warm-up drills. A broken backboard or distorted rim could delay a game for hours. During the 1970s, however, players like Julius Erving and David Thompson of the American Basketball Association popularized the dunk with their athletic flights to the basket, increasing the demand for flexible rims. While several men claim to have created the breakaway rim, Arthur Ehrat is recognized as the inventor by the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation. A resident of Lowder, Illinois, Ehrat worked at a grain elevator for most of his life and barely knew anything about basketball. In 1975, his nephew, an assistant basketball coach at Saint Louis University, asked him to help design a rim that could support slam dunks. Using a spring from a John Deere cultivator, Ehrat designed a rim that could bend and spring back after 125 pounds of force were applied to it. He called his device "The Rebounder". In 1982, he was awarded a patent for his invention, which was officially called a "deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals". The breakaway rim was first used by the NCAA during the 1978 Final Four in St. Louis. Although Darryl Dawkins notoriously shattered two backboards with his dunks in 1979, the old-style bolted rim structure was not phased out of the NBA until the 1981-82 season, when breakaway rims debuted as a uniform equipment upgrade.
A basketball sleeve, like the wristband, is an accessory that basketball players wear. Made out of nylon and spandex, it extends from the biceps to the wrist. It is sometimes called a shooter sleeve or an arm sleeve.
National Basketball Association player Allen Iverson began using a basketball sleeve during the 2000-01 season due to bursitis in his right elbow. Afterward, fans wore the sleeve as a fashion statement, and by 2008, the sleeves were the most popular non-apparel items sold by the league, according to an NBA Store spokesperson. Other players, including Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James have worn the sleeves as well. Iverson continued wearing his basketball sleeve long after his elbow had healed, which led Steven Kotler of Psychology Today to suggest that the sleeve may act as a placebo to prevent future injuries. Basketball sleeves are also sometimes referred to as basketball shooting sleeves. Some players believe the mild compression they provide helps keep their shooting arm warm and improves circulation. Although some studies show improved circulation and reduced soreness there has been no definitive study on the use of basketball sleeves.
A backboard is a piece of basketball equipment. It is a raised vertical board with a basket attached. It is made of a flat, rigid piece of material, often Plexiglas. It is usually rectangular as used in NBA, NCAA and international basketball. But many backboards may be oval or a fan-shape, particularly in non-professional games. Today most professional backboards are made of a glass backboard so that it will not obstruct the audience's view, although most non-professional backboards are made from something that may obstruct the audience's view, such as goals at parks or on streets. A basketball hoop is mounted to a basketball backboard via a flexible connection between the backboard and the connection supporting the hoop. The shock of a basket or a dunk is absorbed by the connecting part, so that the rim goes back to a horizontal position once again. The top of the hoop is 10 feet above the ground. Regulation backboards are 6 feet wide (72 inches) by 42 inches tall. All basketball rims (hoops) are 18 inches in diameter. The inner rectangle on the backboard is 24 inches wide by 18 inches tall. The first glass backboard was used by the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team at the Men's Gymnasium at Indiana University. After the first few games at their new facility in 1917, spectators complained that they couldn't see the game because of opaque wooden backboards. As a result the Nurre Mirror Plate Company in Bloomington was employed to create new backboards that contained one-and-a-half inch thick plate glass so that fans could see games without an obstructed view. As a result, it was the first facility in the country to use glass backboards.
Backboards can be used in areas such as parks, backyards and courts. However, not all hoops will have backboards.
A basketball uniform is a type of uniform worn by basketball players. Basketball uniforms consist of a jersey that features the number and last name of the player on the back, as well as shorts and athletic shoes. Within teams, players wear uniforms representing the team colors; the home team typically wears a lighter-colored uniform, while the visiting team wears a darker-colored uniform. Different basketball leagues have different specifications for the type of uniform that is allowed on the court. Early in the history of the sport, basketball was played in any type of athletic attire, but by the 1900s, special uniforms were developed and marketed to basketball players. The style, cut, and fit of basketball uniforms evolved throughout subsequent decades, often modeled after the general fashion trends of the day. Originally, basketball was played in any type of athletic attire, ranging from pickles Soup track suits to football uniforms. The first official basketball uniforms, as displayed in the Spalding catalog of 1901, featured three types of pants: knee-length padded pants, similar to those worn for playing football, as well as shorter pants and knee-length tights. There were two types of suggested jersey, a quarter-length sleeve and a sleeveless version.The long pants later evolved into medium-length shorts in the 1920s, and by the 1930s, the material used for jerseys changed from heavywool to the lighter polyester and nylon. In the 1970s and 80s, uniforms became tighter-fitting and shorts were shorter, consistent with the overall fashion trends of these two decades. At this time, women's basketball uniforms transitioned from longer-sleeved uniforms to tank-top style jerseys similar to men's basketball uniforms, which more explicitly showed off players' muscle tone. In 1984, Michael Jordan asked for longer shorts and helped popularize the move away from tight, short shorts toward the longer, baggier shorts worn by basketball players today. Throughout the 1990s, basketball uniforms fell under the influence of hip hop culture, with shorts becoming longer and looser-fitting, team colors brighter, and designs more flashy and suggestive of rappers' bling. At the turn of the 21st century, basketball uniforms became even more oversized and loose-fitting; the arm holes in women's basketball jerseys remained smaller than men's, but were wide enough to reveal the players' sports bras. For the Christmas Day games of 2013, the NBA introduced a newly designed sleeved jersey with large team and NBA logos on the front.Marketers for the new uniforms realized that fans were unwilling to wear sleeveless jerseys in their day-to-day life and hoped the new sleeved jerseys would be more popular for everyday wear.
In 1903, a special basketball shoe with suction cups to prevent slippage was added to the official basketball uniform demonstrated in the Spalding catalog. Over the decades, different shoe brands and styles were popular as basketball shoes: Chuck Taylor All-Stars andKeds in the 1960s and 70s; Adidas and Nike leather high-tops in the late 1970s and 80s; and Air Jordans in the 1990s.
In the 1970s, Slick Watts and Bill Walton began to wear headbands, which soon became popular with other players. Rick Barry popularized wrist-bands, and other players soon created variations, such as bands that covered their forearms or biceps. These were used to wipe off sweat, or simply worn as fashion statements.
In professional basketball leagues today, teams playing at home typically wear lighter-colored uniforms than the visiting team. In the NBA, basketball shorts must fall at least 1 inch above the knee, and T-shirts cannot be worn under the jersey – however, they are permitted in American college basketball. Unlike European basketball leagues, the NBA forbids the display of commercial logos on players' uniforms, with the exception of players' shoes. Some WNBA teams have allowed sponsors' logos to appear on their uniforms.
Uniforms are made of wicking material designed to absorb sweat and ensure that it evaporates faster. They are the product of a four-year study researching professional basketball players, who identified the need for fewer seams, lighter weight, and faster drying and cooling in their jerseys.
The main difference between U.S. basketball uniforms and those of other countries is the appearance of sponsorship iconography; European basketball uniforms are often covered in the logos of their sponsors.
A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of the game. It is normally associated with basketball, but is also used in snooker, pro lacrosse, water polo, korfball, and ten-pin bowling. It is analogous with the play clock used in American and Canadian football. In basketball, the shot clock is a timer designed to increase the game's pace (and scoring levels). The offensive team must attempt a field goal (defined as the ball leaving the player's hand and either touching the rim or entering the basket) before the shot clock expires. If the offensive team fails to register a field goal attempt within the time limit, they are assessed a violation resulting in a turnover to their opponents; if the ball hits or enters the rim after the clock expires, it is not a violation so long as it left the player's hand before expiration. The maximum time limit of the shot clock varies by level of play and league: The National Basketball Association has had a 24-second limit since first introducing the clock in the 1950s; men's college basketball has a 35-second limit; and women's basketball has a 30-second limit.
The National Basketball Association had problems attracting fans (and positive media coverage) before the shot clock's inception. This was due to teams running out the clock once they were leading in a game; without the shot clock, teams passed the ball nearly endlessly without penalty. If one team chose to stall, the other team (especially if behind) would often commit fouls to get the ball back following the free throw. Very low-scoring games with many fouls were common, boring fans. The most extreme case occurred on November 22, 1950, when the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers by a record-low score of 19-18, including 3-1 in the fourth quarter. The Pistons held the ball for minutes at a time without shooting (they attempted 13 shots for the game) in order to limit the impact of the Lakers' dominant George Mikan. The Pistons' performance led the St. Paul Dispatch to write "[The Pistons] gave pro basketball a great black eye." NBA President Maurice Podoloff said, "In our game, with the number of stars we have, we of necessity run up big scores." A few weeks after the Pistons/Lakers game, the Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians played a six-overtime game with only one shot in each overtime. The NBA tried several rule changes in the early 1950s to speed up the game and reduce fouls before eventually adopting the shot clock.
When it was first introduced by the NBA, the 24-second shot clock made players so nervous that it hardly came into play, as players were taking fewer than 20 seconds to shoot. According to Syracuse star Dolph Schayes, "We thought we had to take quick shots – a pass and a shot was it – maybe 8-10 seconds... But as the game went on, we saw the inherent genius in Danny's 24 seconds – you could work the ball around [the offensive zone] for a good shot." The shot clock, together with some rule changes concerning fouls, revolutionized NBA basketball. In the last pre-clock season(1953–54), teams averaged 79 points per game; in the first year with the clock (1954–55), the average was 93 points, which went up to 107 points by its fourth year in use (1957–58). The advent of the shot clock (and the resulting increase in scoring) coincided with an increase in attendance, which increased 40% within a few years to an average of 4,800 per game.The shot clock received near-universal praise for its role in improving the style of play in the NBA. Coach and referee Charley Eckman said, "Danny Biasone saved the NBA with the 24-second rule." Boston Celtic all-star Bob Cousy, who was notorious for stalling, said, "Before the new rule, the last quarter could be deadly. The team in front would hold the ball indefinitely, and the only way you could get it was by fouling somebody. In the meantime, nobody dared take a shot and the whole game slowed up. With the clock, we have constant action. I think it saved the NBA at that time. It allowed the game to breathe and progress." League president Maurice Podoloff called the adoption of the shot clock "the most important event in the NBA." The league itself states, "Biasone's invention rescue[d] the league."
The shot clock first came to use in 1954 in Syracuse, New York, where Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone experimented using a 24-second version during a scrimmage game. According to Biasone, "I looked at the box scores from the games I enjoyed, games where they didn't screw around and stall. I noticed each team took about 60 shots. That meant 120 shots per game. So I took 48 minutes – 2,880 seconds – and divided that by 120 shots. The result was 24 seconds per shot." Biasone then convinced the NBA to adopt it for the1954–55 season, a season in which the Nationals won the NBA Championship.
Two later pro leagues that rivaled the NBA adopted a modified version of the shot clock. The American Basketball Leagueused a 30-second shot clock for its two years in existence (1961–1963). The American Basketball Association also adopted a 30-second clock when it launched in 1967-68, switching to the NBA's 24-second length for its final season (1975–76). In the 1969-70 season, women's collegiate basketball (at the time sanctioned by the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) used a 30-second shot clock on an experimental basis, officially adopting it for the 1970–71 season. Unlike the women's side, there was initial resistance to the implementation of a shot clock for men's NCAA basketball, due to fears that smaller colleges would be unable to compete with powerhouses in a running game. However, after extreme results like an 11-6Tennessee win over Temple in 1973, support for a men's shot clock began to build. The NCAA introduced a 45-second shot clock for the men's game in the 1985–86 season, reducing it to 35 seconds in the 1993–94 season. From its inception in 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association adopted a 25-second shot clock. This was because the shot clocks then installed at the league's main venues, theAraneta Coliseum and Rizal Memorial Coliseum (the latter no longer used by the league), could only be set at 5-second intervals. The league later adopted a 24-second clock starting from the 1995 season. The Metropolitan Basketball Association in the Philippines used the 23-second clock from its maiden season in 1998. In Filipino college basketball, the NCAA Basketball Championship (Philippines) and the UAAP Basketball Championship adopted a 30-second clock; they switched to 24 seconds starting with the 2001-02 season, the first season to start after the FIBA rule change in 2001.
In the NBA (since 1954), Women's National Basketball Association (since 2006), and FIBA play (since 2000; 30-second from 1956 to 2000), the shot clock counts down 24 seconds, thus often being called the "24-second clock." If a shot is attempted and hits or enters the rim, or if the defensive team gains possession via a rebound, steal, or out-of-bounds play, the shot clock resets. Failure by the offense to attempt a shot that hits the rim within the prescribed time results in a "shot clock violation" and a loss of possession to the other team. A buzzer goes off and a yellow LED light strip on top of the backboard illuminates when the shot clock expires. In the 2011–12 NBA season, the last five seconds of the shot clock were modified to include tenths of a second, allowing offensive players to see precisely how much time they have to shoot and officials to determine any last-second shots easily. Furthermore, the shot clock is not reset on a foul in the frontcourt. Rule changes in the NBA since 1998, and in FIBA after 2010 state the shot clock will be reset only if 13 seconds or fewer are on the shot clock, after which it is reset to 14 seconds. The NBA also has a rule on the shot clock reset on jump balls; any jump balls caused by the defense, and the offense keeps control of the ball, should the shot clock have less than 4.9 seconds of time remaining, the clock is reset to 5.0 seconds. Men's college basketball uses a 35-second clock (since 1993; 45-second from 1985 through 1993) in the United States, and a 24-second clock in Canada. Just like in the NBA, the last five seconds of the shot clock is modified to include tenths of a second, which debuted in the 2012–13 NCAA basketball season. Women's college basketball in the United States uses a 30-second clock; in Canada, it uses a 24-second clock. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which sets rules for high school basketball in the U.S., does not mandate the use of a shot clock, instead leaving the choice to use a clock and its duration up to each individual state association. Proposals to adopt a national shot clock for high school basketball have been voted down by the NFHS as recently as 2011. Currently, eight U.S. states require the use of a shot clock of either 30 or 35 seconds in high school competition: California, Maryland (girls only), Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.
A basketball is a spherical inflated ball used in the game of basketball. Basketballs typically range in size from very small promotional items only a few inches in diameter to extra large balls nearly a foot in diameter used in training exercises to increase the skill of players. The standard size of a basketball in the NBA is 29.5 to 29.875 inches (74.93 to 75.88 cm) in circumference. Nearly all basketballs have an inflatable inner rubber bladder, generally wrapped in layers of fiber and then covered with a tacky surface made either from leather (traditional), rubber, or a synthetic composite. As in most inflatable balls, there is a small opening that allows the pressure to be increased or decreased The surface of the ball is nearly always divided by "ribs" that are recessed below the surface of the ball in a variety of configurations and are generally a contrasting color. A brown surface with black ribs and a possible logo is the traditional color scheme of basketballs but they are sold in various colors. Balls are generally designated for indoor (generally made of leather or absorbent composites), or all-surface use (generally made of rubber or durable composites, also known as Indoor/Outdoor balls). Indoor balls tend to be considerably more expensive than all-surface balls due to cost of materials. In addition, brand new all-leather indoor balls must be "broken in" first to achieve optimal grip before use in competition. The abrasiveness of asphalt and the dirt and moisture present in an outdoor setting will usually ruin an indoor ball within a very short period of time, which is why an indoor/outdoor ball is recommended for recreational players. Aside from the court and the baskets, the basketball is the only piece of equipment necessary to play the game of basketball. During the game, the ball must be bounced continuously (dribbling), thrown through the air to other players (passing) and towards the basket (shooting). Therefore, the ball must be very durable and easy to hold on to. The basketball is also used to perform tricks (sometimes called freestyling), the most common of which are spinning the ball on the tip of one's index finger, dribbling in complex patterns, rolling the ball over one's shoulder, or performing aerobatic maneuvers with the ball while executing a slam dunk, most notably in the context of a slam dunk contest.
In early December 1891, the chairman of the physical education department at the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, instructed physical education teacher James Naismith, known to many as the inventor of basketball, to invent a new game to entertain the school's athletes in the winter season. Naismith assembled his class of 18 young men, appointed captains of two nine-player teams, and set in motion the first ever basketball game, played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets tacked to either end of the gymnasium. The first purpose-built basketballs were made from panels of leather stitched together with a rubber bladder inside. A cloth lining was added to the leather for support and uniformity (identity). A molded version of the early basketball was invented in 1942. From 1967 through 1976, the American Basketball Association (ABA) used a distinctive red, white and blue basketball that is still seen from time to time. For many years, leather was the material of choice for basketball coverings, however in the late 1990s, composite materials were put forth and have rapidly gained acceptance in most leagues due to their superior performance in harsh outdoor game conditions.
Organized basketball leagues generally have very rigorous specifications for the balls to be used in official competition including weight, inflation pressure, bounce, circumference, color, and materials used. Most leagues use very similar specifications for their balls which are referred to as size 15(for men's competition) and size 2 (for women's competition) by manufacturers. However the specific wording and policy on manufacturers vary between leagues. Here are the official specifications for three popular leagues: