13 rules of playing basketball old days trivia

 13 rules of playing basketball old days trivia


Today’s Trivia: Basketball was invented on December 21, 1891, by Dr. James Naismith, a physical education teacher at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He devised the game to keep his students active during the winter months. 

Basketball is a sport that has seen a lot of change over the years. The game has constantly evolved from introducing the three-point line to developing new defensive strategies. However, some things about basketball have stayed the same since the game’s early days. Here are thirteen rules of playing basketball that would probably surprise modern players.


1. The court was originally half the size of a modern basketball court.

  • Most people are familiar with the modern basketball court, which measures 94 feet by 50 feet. However, the original court was only half that size, measuring just 47 feet by 50 feet. The reduced size made the game much less physical and more fast-paced, and it was cheaper and easier to build smaller courts. However, the demand for larger courts grew as the game became more popular. In 1891, the International YMCA Training School (now known as Springfield College) unveiled a new court double the original size. This new court quickly became the standard and remained unchanged in the ensuing century. As a result, today’s basketball fans can thank the early innovators at Springfield College for the larger court that they enjoy today.


2. There were only nine players on each team and five on each side of the court at any given time.

  • The game was also played with only nine players on each side, and there was no such thing as a jump shot. Today, the game is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, spawning a thriving professional league. While the rules have changed over the years, the fundamental goal of putting the ball through the basket remains the same. 

3. The basketball was placed 10 feet off the ground, two feet shorter than today’s baskets.

  • The game of basketball has come a long way since its early days. The baskets were initially placed 10 feet off the ground, two feet shorter than the baskets used today. 

4. Players could not dribble the ball; they could only pass it between teammates or shoot it at the basket.


5. There was no such thing as a “foul shot”; all shots were worth two points, regardless of whether they were made from inside or outside the foul line. 

  • Trivia: It wasn’t until 1904 that players were allowed to shoot from within a designated foul line, and the rule change meant that shots from close range were worth less than before. As a result, many players began to develop a hook shot, which could be taken from outside the foul line and was thus worth more points. The hook shot quickly became one of the most famous shots in basketball, and it remains a staple of the game today.


6. A player could not shoot again until another player had shot at the basket, even if they missed their shot. 

  • In basketball, there is a rule that a player cannot shoot again until another player has taken a shot, even if they miss their shot. This rule is known as the make-miss rule. This rule prevented players from constantly shooting and cutting, which would slow down the game and make it less exciting to watch. Today, the make-miss rule is no longer in place, but it remains an interesting piece of trivia for basketball fans.


7. You can only score by shooting from below the basket. In other words, players could not dunk the ball.

  • Did you know that in 1967, players were not allowed to score by dunking the ball? That’s right. Intriguing trivia isn’t? But in 1967, and since then, players have been able to dunk the ball. However, one restriction is still in place – players are not allowed to submerge during the final two minutes of regulation or any overtime period. So, next time you watch a game, keep an eye out for this rule violation. And if you see it happen, you can be sure that the player will be assessed a technical foul!


8. A game was divided into two halves, each 20 minutes long.

  • In the early days of basketball, the game was divided into two halves, each lasting 20 minutes. A significant change from the previous rules had been made, which had dictated that each half would be 15 minutes long. The new rule was designed to create a more evenly matched game, as longer halves would allow players to gauge their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses better. However, it soon became apparent that 20 minutes was too long for a single half, and they changed back to 15 minutes in 1908. 


9. If the scoring were tied at the end of regulation, the game would go into overtime periods until one team finally emerged victorious.

  • Trivia question: What year did the NBA introduce the five-minute overtime period? Answer: 1917.

10. There were no jump balls; instead, a player from each team would stand at opposite ends of the court and try to hit the other player with the ball.

  • The first person to do so would gain possession of their team. And it wasknown as the “pepper game,” a popular way to settle disputes between players until the mid-1950s. In those days, there were no Jump Balls, and a coin toss decided which team got the ball first. The offensive team had to make a basket within 10 seconds or lose possession. If both teams failed to score, the referee would toss the ball up between two players from each group. The first player to hit the ground with the ball would gain possession for their team. The method of playing games until 1951, whenJump Balls were introduced. Today, we take Jump Balls for granted, but it’s interesting to look back at things done in the old days. Thanks for reading!


11. A player could not cross the center line with the ball in their hands; they had to pass it to a teammate before advancing past half-court.

In the old days of basketball, some rules were very different from what they are today.

  • For example, did you know a player could not cross the center line with the ball in their hands? They had to pass it to a teammate before they could advance past half-court. For some exciting strategies and often resulted in some fascinating games.


12. there was no shot clock, so teams could hold the ball for as long as they wanted, and this would sometimes lead to very low-scoring games, but it also meant more opportunity for dramatic come-from-behind victories.

  • Today, basketball is played much faster, and the rules have been tweaked to encourage more scoring. However, those old-school games still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans.

13. Fouls were penalized by giving the opposing team possession of the ball.