This page will contain news stories about crips, as they become available.|
CripsThe blue bandannas worn by most Crip gangs. The purple bandanas worn by grape street Crip gangs. The black bandanas worn by shotgun Crip and other Crip gangs.
The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest and most notorious African American gangs in the United States. They are involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. The Crips are mostly identified by the blue color worn by their members. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around the United States and Canada. The gang is largely composed of African Americans, but is multiracial in many cities (i.e. New York) where "satellite" Crip gangs are present. The gang has an intense rivalry with the Bloods. They are also known to feud with Chicano gangs.
History of the Crips
The Crips were founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. Williams argued that this was after the two became fed up with random violence in their neighborhood. Law enforcement officials dispute this, pointing to the incredible amount of violent crimes the gang members participated in, even in the early years.
The original name of the gang founded by Raymond Washington in 1969 at the age of 15 was the Baby Avenues, derived from a gang of older boys in the 1960s, named the Avenue Boys with their turf on Central Avenue in East Los Angeles. This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. The name Crips was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). The name stuck.
Stanley "Tookie" Williams co-founded the gang in 1971, and started his own gang called the Westside Crips. The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more and more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1. In response, some of the besieged smaller gangs formed an alliance that later became the Bloods.
Contrary to popular misconception, Crip sets do not feud solely with Bloods, but also other Crip sets — for example, the Rollin' 60s and 83rd Street Gangster Crips ("Eight-Trey") have been rivals since 1979, and their rivalry is currently the largest in L.A.
In the 1980s, Crips moved into crack sales, a cheaper form of the drug cocaine. It was invented by deriving a cheaper process to extract the stimulant from the coca plant. Previously the only available form was an expensive powder; leading to the traditional use of cocaine as a status symbol for the wealthy hedonist. Now cheap, the Crips could market the highly addictive recreational substance to lower income brackets.
The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries.
To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was recently negotiated, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crip co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace". Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas.
For many years, Crips were characterized by their tendency to wear blue in order to easily identify each other. One suggested origin of the selected color is traced to the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. A particular set of Crips, the Grape Street Crips, have been known to wear purple in addition to blue. The SGCs are seperated into three sub-sets, the nine;139th street, the Foe;134th street, and the deuce;132nd street in the city of Gardena, California and have been known to wear dark-green, the city color of Gardena, in addition to blue to show that the Shotgun Crips are from Gardena. Crips also wear blue bandanas and British Knights sport shoes (using the company moniker BK, which the Crips use as a backronym meaning "Blood Killas"). They usually refer derisively to their rival, the Bloods, as "slobs."
In more recent years, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos.
Origin of the name "Crips"
There have been many different explanations for the origin of the name of the gang:
Crips, hip-hop, and C-walk
Many popular rappers, in particular West Coast rappers, have close ties to Crips gangs in L.A. County. Snoop Dogg is a former member of the Rollin' 20 Crips in Long Beach (as are Warren G, Nate Dogg, and Goldie Loc), while WC has an affiliation with the 111 Neighborhood Crips in South Central Los Angeles. The late N.W.A member Eazy-E reportedly had ties to the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Recently signed G-Unit rapper Spider Loc is a member of the 97th Street East Coast Crips. However, there are also many rappers who are not members of Crips sets, yet take on traits of the Crip image and behavior because they hope to self-promote and sell records by doing so. Ice Cube has at times claimed to be a member of the Rollin' 100s Nhood Crips, even though he has no proven ties to this gang (aside from the fact that he is from the same area), and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy has also claimed to be a Crip in some songs (also without any proof).
It is said that the popular hip-hop dance, the C-walk (Crip-walk), is meant to spell out one's set as an insult to rival gangs. On WC's song "The Streets" from his Ghetto Heisman album, he and Snoop Dogg rap about the C-walk's popularity in the mainstream, warning suburban teenagers and other non-gang members that it is a dance for Crips only.
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On WC's song "The Streets" from his Ghetto Heisman album, he and Snoop Dogg rap about the C-walk's popularity in the mainstream, warning suburban teenagers and other non-gang members that it is a dance for Crips only.
Recently signed G-Unit rapper Spider Loc is a member of the 97th Street East Coast Crips. Most of the variations are played in informal settings without referees or strict rules. The late N.W.A member Eazy-E reportedly had ties to the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities intended to help the player reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect. Snoop Dogg is a former member of the Rollin' 20 Crips in Long Beach (as are Warren G, Nate Dogg, and Goldie Loc), while WC has an affiliation with the 111 Neighborhood Crips in South Central Los Angeles. Some variations are only superficial rules changes, while others are distinct games with varying degrees of basketball influences. County. Variations of basketball are activities based on the game of basketball, utilizing common basketball skills and equipment (primarily the ball and basket).
Many popular rappers, in particular West Coast rappers, have close ties to Crips gangs in L.A. Anthony "Spud" Webb was just 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall, but had a 42-inch (1.07 m) vertical leap, giving him significant height when jumping. There have been many different explanations for the origin of the name of the gang:. Some shorter players experience success at professional level. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos. The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues at 1.60 meters (5 ft 3 in). In more recent years, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. Currently, the tallest NBA player is Yao Ming, who stands at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in).
They usually refer derisively to their rival, the Bloods, as "slobs.". The tallest players ever to play in the NBA, Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan, are 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in). Crips also wear blue bandanas and British Knights sport shoes (using the company moniker BK, which the Crips use as a backronym meaning "Blood Killas"). Most centers are over 2.1 meters (6 ft 10.5 in) tall. The SGCs are seperated into three sub-sets, the nine;139th street, the Foe;134th street, and the deuce;132nd street in the city of Gardena, California and have been known to wear dark-green, the city color of Gardena, in addition to blue to show that the Shotgun Crips are from Gardena. Forwards in the men's professional leagues are almost all 2 meters (6 ft 6 in) or taller. A particular set of Crips, the Grape Street Crips, have been known to wear purple in addition to blue. Guards, for whom physical coordination and ball-handling skills are of greater importance, tend to be the smallest players although they can occasionally be quite tall.
One suggested origin of the selected color is traced to the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. At the professional level, most male participants are above 1.90 meters (6 ft 3 in) and most women are above 1.70 meters (5 ft 7 in). For many years, Crips were characterized by their tendency to wear blue in order to easily identify each other. Being tall is a clear advantage in basketball. Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas. A skilled player can dribble without watching the ball, using the dribbling motion or peripheral vision to keep track of the ball's location.By not having to focus on the ball, a player can look for teammates or scoring opportunities, as well as avoid the danger of someone stealing the ball from them. To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was recently negotiated, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crip co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace". It is common for beginners to dribble into a difficult position.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries. Alternatively, to switch hands, a player can dribble between their legs or behind the back. The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. This is because, when switching the hand that is dribbling, the ball travels in front of the player making it easier to steal. Now cheap, the Crips could market the highly addictive recreational substance to lower income brackets. The dribble is also lowered when switching hands. Previously the only available form was an expensive powder; leading to the traditional use of cocaine as a status symbol for the wealthy hedonist. Also, the dribble will be lowered so that its movement is more frequent.
It was invented by deriving a cheaper process to extract the stimulant from the coca plant. In this way, the defender will not be able to get to the ball without getting past the dribbler. In the 1980s, Crips moved into crack sales, a cheaper form of the drug cocaine. It is therefore important for a player to be able to dribble confidently with both hands. Contrary to popular misconception, Crip sets do not feud solely with Bloods, but also other Crip sets — for example, the Rollin' 60s and 83rd Street Gangster Crips ("Eight-Trey") have been rivals since 1979, and their rivalry is currently the largest in L.A. When dribbling past an opponent, the dribbler should dribble with the hand furthest from the player. In response, some of the besieged smaller gangs formed an alliance that later became the Bloods. When a player dribbles, he or she pushes the ball down towards the ground, rather than patting it, because this ensures greater control.
The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more and more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1. Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball continuously. Stanley "Tookie" Williams co-founded the gang in 1971, and started his own gang called the Westside Crips. For this reason, large arc-shaped passes are almost always avoided and cross-court passes, called skip passes, are only used in certain situations. The name stuck. The most important aspect of a good pass is that it is difficult for the defense to intercept. The name Crips was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). A pass is not necessarily between two players a distance from each other; sometimes a clever cut by a teammate can mean that a pass is to a directly adjacent teammate who is in motion, where either player's hands remain on the ball for the duration of the pass.
This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. This pass is also a fairly direct pass and can cover more distance than a chest pass. The original name of the gang founded by Raymond Washington in 1969 at the age of 15 was the Baby Avenues, derived from a gang of older boys in the 1960s, named the Avenue Boys with their turf on Central Avenue in East Los Angeles. The ball is passed from behind the passer's head, coming over it and aiming for around the chin of the receiver. Law enforcement officials dispute this, pointing to the incredible amount of violent crimes the gang members participated in, even in the early years. The overhead pass is used to pass the ball over a defender. Williams argued that this was after the two became fed up with random violence in their neighborhood. Thus, in crowded moments, or to pass the ball around a defender, this pass is often used.
The Crips were founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. It does take longer to complete than the chest pass, but it is more difficult for the opposing team to intercept (kicking the ball deliberately is a violation). . In this way, it is completed in the smallest amount of time possible for this pass. They are also known to feud with Chicano gangs. Like the chest pass, it is passed from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest, and it is passed as directly as possible, for example, there should be no downward motion of the ball between the bounce and the time the receiver catches it. The gang has an intense rivalry with the Bloods. In this pass, the ball bounces about two-thirds of the way from the passer.
New York) where "satellite" Crip gangs are present. Another type of pass is the bounce pass. The gang is largely composed of African Americans, but is multiracial in many cities (i.e. This has the advantage that it takes the least time to complete, as the passer tries to pass as directly straight as possible. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around the United States and Canada. The ball is passed directly from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest. The Crips are mostly identified by the blue color worn by their members. One of the most basic passes is the chest pass.
They are involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. Most passes are accompanied by a step forward to increase power and are followed through with the hands to ensure accuracy. The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest and most notorious African American gangs in the United States. A pass is a method of moving the ball between players. WC (111 Neighborhood Crips) . Realizing a shooting opportunity and using it is as important as basic technique; top players at the professional level rarely miss when given an unguarded look at the basket. Warren G (Rollin' 20 Crips) . The best shooters have good coordination, balance, courage and are well practiced.
Tray Deee (Insane Crips) . This provides much greater power and range, and it also allows the player to elevate over the defender. Spider Loc (97th Street East Coast Crips) . The jump shot is taken while in mid-air, near the top of the jump. Snoop Dogg (Rollin' 20 Crips) . The set shot is taken from a standing position, with neither foot leaving the floor, typically used for free throws. Nate Dogg (Rollin 20 Crips) . The two most common shots are the set shot and the jump shot.
MC Eiht (Tragniew Park Compton Crips) . Most players shoot directly into the basket, but in certain situations the shooter may use the backboard to redirect the ball into the basket. Jayo Felony (NHC 47 Blocc Crips) . The ideal trajectory of the shot is somewhat arguable, but generally coaches will profess proper arch. Eazy-E (Kelly Park Compton Crips) . Players often try to put a steady backspin on the ball to deaden its impact with the rim. Daz Dillinger (Rollin' 20 Crips) . Generally, the non-shooting arm is only used to guide the shot, not to power it.
Brotha Lynch Hung (Garden Blocc 24th Street Crips) . The ball is shot by extending the shooting arm to become straight; the ball rolls off the finger tips while the wrist completes a full downward flex motion. Some alleged backronyms for the name include:. The player holds the ball to rest in the dominant hand's fingertips (the shooting arm) slightly above the head, with the other hand on the side of the ball. Mis-pronounciation of "The Crypts.". While methods can vary with players and situations, the most common technique can be outlined here. Crip or crib originates from the carrying of a cane or stick — Los Angeles Times 14 April 1992: "Word spread about the tough-looking young men, who some said carried canes and walked with a limp — cripples, or crips, they were called for short.". Shooting is the act of attempting to score points by throwing the ball through the basket.
The most well-known theories tie the current name with "crib" or "crib street" (alluding to an actual street or the young age of the members at the time of the gang's founding). Defensive and offensive structures, and positions, are more emphasised in higher levels in basketball; it is these that a coach normally requests a time-out to discuss. On court, the point guard is generally responsible for indicating which play will occur. Teams almost always have several offensive plays planned to ensure their movement is not predictable. Screens and cuts are very important in offensive plays; these allow the quick passes and teamwork which can lead to a successful basket.
The two plays are combined in the pick and roll, in which a player sets a pick and then "rolls" away from the pick towards the basket. A legal attempt by an offensive player to stop an opponent marking a teammate, by standing in the defender's way such that the teammate cuts next to him, is a screen or pick. A quick movement by an offensive player without the ball to gain an advantageous position is a cut. Offensive plays are more varied, normally involving planned passes and movement by players without the ball.
Variations of these two main structures are used. In man-to-man defense, each defensive player guards and follows a specific opponent and tries to prevent him from taking action. Zone defense involves players in defensive positions, guarding whichever opponent is in their zone. Two main defense concepts are used: zone defense and man-to-man defense.
On some occasions, teams will choose to use a three guard offense, replacing one of the forwards or the center with a third guard. Since the 1980s, more specific positions have evolved, namely point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. During the first five decades of basketball's evolution, two guards, two forwards, and one center were used. Although the rules do not specify any positions whatsoever, they have evolved as part of basketball.
A player who commits five fouls, including technical fouls, in one game (six in some professional leagues, including the NBA) is not allowed to participate for the rest of the game, and is described as having "fouled out". If a team surpasses a preset limit of team fouls in a given period (quarter or half) – four for international and NBA games – the opposing team is awarded one or two free throws on all subsequent fouls for that period, depending on the league. Blatant fouls with excessive contact or that are not an attempt to play the ball are called unsportsmanlike fouls (or flagrant fouls in the NBA) and incur a harsher penalty; in some rare cases a disqualifying foul will require the player to leave the playing area. The penalty involves free throws and varies between leagues; repeated incidents can result in disqualification.
A player or coach who shows poor sportsmanship, for instance, by arguing with a referee or by fighting with another player, can be charged with a technical foul. Contact in basketball is unavoidable, and the calling of a foul can vary between games, leagues and even between referees. This makes fouls sometimes controversial calls. There is some discretion with the referee when calling a foul — they consider if there was unfair advantage gained, for example, a player gained possession unfairly.
One point is awarded for making a free throw, which is attempted from a line 4.5 metres (15 feet) from the basket. Players who are fouled either receive the ball to pass inbounds again, or receive one or more free throws if they are fouled in the act of shooting, depending on whether the shot was successful. These are most commonly committed by defensive players; however, they can be committed by offensive players as well. An attempt to unfairly disadvantage an opponent through personal contact is illegal and is called a foul.
If a teammate of the shooter or dribbler goaltends, the basket is cancelled and the team loses possession. No player may interfere with the basket or ball on its downward flight to the basket, or while it is on the ring (or, in the NBA, while it is directly above the basket), a violation known as goaltending. If a defensive player goaltends, the attempted shot is considered to have been successful. These rules are designed to reward good defense. There are limits imposed on the time taken before progressing the ball past halfway (8 seconds in international and NBA), before attempting a shot (24 seconds), holding the ball while closely guarded (5 seconds), and remaining in the restricted area (3 seconds).
A violation of these rules results in loss of possession, or, if committed by the defense, a reset of the shot clock. The ball may not be kicked nor struck with the fist. A team, once having established ball control in the front half of the court, may not return the ball to the backcourt. A player's hand must remain on top of the ball while dribbling, failure to do so is known as carrying the ball.
The ball-handler may not move both feet without dribbling, known as travelling, nor may he dribble with both hands or catch the ball in between dribbles, a violation called double-dribbling. The ball must stay within the court; the last team to touch the ball before it travels out of bounds forfeits possession. The ball may be advanced toward the basket by being shot, passed between players, thrown, tapped, rolled or dribbled (bouncing the ball while running). While variation is possible in the dimensions of the court and backboard, it is considered important for the basket to be the correct height; a rim that is off by but a few inches can have an adverse effect on shooting.
At almost all levels of competition, the top of the rim is exactly 10 feet (3.05 m) above the court and 4 feet (1.2 m) inside the endline. A cast-iron basket with net and backboard hang over each end of the court. Most courts are made of wood. 92 by 49 ft) and in the NBA is 94 by 50 feet (29 by 15 m).
A regulation basketball court in international games is 28 by 15 meters (approx. The women's ball's circumference is about 29 inches (73 cm) and weighs about 1 lb 3 oz (540 g). The men's ball's circumference is about 30 inches (76 cm) and weighs about 1 lb 5 oz (600 g). Competitive levels require the use of more equipment such as clocks, scoresheets, scoreboards, alternating possession arrows, and whistle-operated stop-clock systems.
The only essential equipment in basketball is the ball and the court: a flat, rectangular surface with baskets at opposite ends. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each teams scoring, timekeeping, individual and team fouls, player substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock. The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee, one or two umpires and the table officials. They generally last no longer than one minute unless, for televised games, a commercial break is needed.
A limited number of time-outs, clock stoppages requested by a coach for a short meeting with the players, are allowed. Often, team names and players' names and sometimes sponsors are printed on the uniforms, too. Players also wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support. For both men's and women's teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a sleeveless tank top with a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back.
Teams also have a coach, who oversees the development and strategies of the team, and other team followers such as assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors and trainers. Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. Teams can have up to seven substitutes. There are five players from each team on the court at any time.
Therefore, games generally take much longer (about two hours). The time allotted is actual playing time; the clock is stopped while the play is not active. Teams exchange baskets for the second half. Overtime periods are five minutes long.
Fifteen minutes are allotted for a half-time break, and two minutes are allowed at the other breaks. Games are played in four quarters of 10 (international) or 12 minutes (NBA). A successful shot is worth two points, or three points if it is taken from beyond the three-point arc which is 6.25 meters (20 ft 5 in) from the basket in international games and 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m) in NBA games. An attempt to score in this way is called a shot.
The object of the game is to outscore one's opponents by throwing the ball through the opponents' basket from above while preventing the opponents from doing so on their own. Measurements and time limits discussed in this section often vary among tournaments and organizations; international and NBA rules are used in this section. The team featured Nowitzki, Ginobili, Peja Stojakovic of Serbia and Montenegro, Yao Ming of China, and Pero Cameron of New Zealand; all except Cameron were or became NBA players. The all-tournament team at the most recent World Basketball Championships held in 2002 in Indianapolis demonstrates the globalization of the game equally dramatically.
The San Antonio Spurs feature a trio of stars from outside the United States in Tim Duncan of the Virgin Islands, Manu Ginobili of Argentina, and Tony Parker of France. Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki, is German. Steve Nash, who won the 2005 NBA MVP award as the Most Valuable Player in the NBA, is a South African-born Canadian player. Players from all over the globe can be found in NBA teams.
The global popularity of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. Worldwide, basketball tournaments are held for boys and girls of all age levels, from five- and six-year-olds (called biddy-biddy), to high school, college, and the professional leagues. In the 2004 Olympics, the United States suffered its first Olympic loss while using professional players, falling to the Puerto Rican national basketball team and eventually came in third after Argentina and Italy. A team made entirely of NBA players finished sixth in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, behind Serbia and Montenegro, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand and Spain.
However, with developing programs elsewhere, other national teams have now caught up with the United States. The United States' dominance briefly resurfaced with the introduction of their Dream Team. FIBA dropped the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1989, and in 1992, professional players played for the first time in the Olympic Games. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics in 1976, with teams such as Brazil and Australia rivaling the American squads.
Three years later, the first World Championships for women were held in Chile. In 1950 the first World Championships for men were held in Argentina. This competition has usually been dominated by the United States, whose team has won all but three titles, the first loss in a controversial final game in Munich in 1972 against the Soviet Union. Basketball was first included in the Olympic Games in 1936, although a demonstration tournament was held in 1904.
Its acronym, in French, was thus FIBA; the "A" standing for amateur. At this time, the organisation only oversaw amateur players. The International Basketball Federation was formed in 1932 by eight founding nations: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. Other professional women's basketball leagues in the United States have folded in part because of the success of the WNBA.
Though it had an insecure opening season, several marquee players (Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, and Sue Bird among others) have helped the league improve its popularity and level of competition, as in the NBA. The NBA-backed Women's National Basketball Association began play in 1997. The NBA has featured many famous players, including George Mikan, the first dominating "big man"; ball-handling wizard Bob Cousy and defensive genius Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics; Wilt Chamberlain (who originally played for the barnstorming "Harlem Globetrotters"); all-around stars Oscar Robertson and Jerry West; more recent big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, playmaker John Stockton; and the three players who many credit with ushering the professional game to its highest level of popularity: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the rival leagues merged in 1976.
In 1946, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed, organizing the top professional teams and leading to greater popularity of the professional game. The states of Indiana and Kentucky are particularly well known for their residents' devotion to high school basketball; the critically acclaimed film Hoosiers shows high school basketball's depth of meaning to these rural communities. In the 2003–04 season, 1,002,797 boys and girls represented their schools in interscholastic basketball competition, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Today virtually every high school in the United States fields a basketball team in varsity competition, and its popularity remains high, both in rural areas where they carry the identification of the entire community, as well as at some larger schools known for their basketball teams where many players go on to participate at higher levels of competition after graduation.
In the days before widespread television coverage of professional and college sports, the popularity of high school basketball was unrivaled in many parts of America. high schools were far smaller than their present day counterparts and during the first decades of the 20th century basketball quickly became the ideal interscholastic sport due to its modest equipment and personnel requirements. Before widespread school district consolidation, most U.S. Leagues came and went, and barnstorming squads such as the New York Rens and the Original Celtics played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours.
There was little organization to the professional game, as players jumped from team to team, and teams played in armories and smoky dance halls. In the 1920s, there were hundreds of professional basketball teams in towns and cities all over the United States. Today, the NCAA tournament is rivaled only by the baseball World Series and the Super Bowl of American football in the American sports psyche. Partially spurred by the association of the NIT with many of the cheaters, the NCAA national tournament surpassed the NIT in importance.
College basketball was rocked by gambling scandals from 1948 to 1951, when dozens of players from top teams were implicated in game fixing and point-shaving. College leagues date back to the 1920s, and the first national championship tournament, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in New York, followed in 1938. Naismith disciple Amos Alonzo Stagg brought basketball to the University of Chicago, while Adolph Rupp, a student of Naismith at Kansas, enjoyed great success as coach at the University of Kentucky. Naismith himself was instrumental in establishing the college game, coaching at University of Kansas for six years before handing the reins to renowned coach Phog Allen.
The first balls made specially for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules of the game. Other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void.
Interestingly, while the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade, it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of his students, was popular from the beginning, and with its early adherents being dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, the game was soon played all over the country. At that time, it was played with nine players on a court just half the size of a present-day NBA court. The first official game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892.
Legend has it that, after rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules, and nailed a peach basket onto the gym wall. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physician and minister on the faculty of a college for YMCA professionals (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, sought a vigorous indoor game to keep young men occupied during the long New England winters. In early December 1891, Dr. Basketball is unique in that it was invented by one person, rather than evolving from a different sport.
. Basketball is also a popular spectator sport. While competitive basketball is carefully regulated, variations have developed for casual play. Through time, basketball has developed to involve common techniques of shooting, passing and dribbling, as well as players' positions (which are not legally required) and offensive and defensive structures.
Advantageous personal contact (fouls) is not permitted and there are restrictions on how the ball can be handled (violations). The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates. Points are scored for passing the ball through the basket from above (shooting); the team with more points at the end of the game wins. Basketball is primarily an indoor sport, played in a relatively small playing area (the court).
Even though it was originally a North American sport, it quickly spread internationally and outstanding players and teams are found today all over the world. Basketball eventually became a professional sport. It originated in the YMCA; early leagues were formed in colleges. Since its invention in 1891, it has developed to become a truly international sport.
Basketball is a sport in which two teams of five players each try to score points by throwing a ball through a hoop (the basket) under organized rules. URL accessed on January 11, 2006.. HowStuffWorks. How Basketball Works: Who's Who.
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Official Basketball Rules.. International Basketball Federation (June 2004). URL accessed on July 16, 2004.. Official Rules of the National Basketball Association.
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