Basketball Printables

Basketball printables
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01
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What Is Basketball?

Basketball printables
Viorika / Getty Images

What Is Basketball?

Basketball is a sport made up of two opposing teams consisting of five players each. Points are scored by successfully tossing the ball through the opposing team's basket, which is a net suspended on a goal ten feet off the ground. (The net is often lower for younger players.)

Basketball is the only major sport that originated in the United States. It was invented by physical education instructor, James Naismith in December 1891.

Naismith was an instructor at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. During the cold winter months, his PE class developed a reputation for being unruly. The PE instructor was asked to come up with an activity that would keep the boys occupied, didn't require much equipment, and wasn't physically rough like football.

It is said that James Naismith came up with the rules in about an hour. The first game was played with peach baskets and a soccer ball - and it netted a grand total of one basket scored.

The game caught on quickly with the rules being published in the YMCA campus paper the following January. 

At first, the number of players varied depending on how many wanted to play and how much space was available. By 1897, five players became the official number, though pick-up games can be as little as one-on-one.

For the first two years, basketball was played with a soccer ball. The first basketball was introduced in 1894. It was a laced ball, 32 inches in circumference. It wasn't until 1948 that an unlaced, 30 inch version became the official ball of the sport.

The first collegiate game was played in 1896, and the NBA (National Basketball Association) was formed in 1946.

If you've got a child who is fascinated with basketball, capitalize on that interest. Help your student learn more about the sport with this set of basketball printables.

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Basketball Vocabulary

Print the pdf: Basketball Vocabulary Sheet

In this activity, students will be introduced to the terminology associated with basketball. Use a dictionary or the Internet to look up each of the terms on the basketball vocabulary sheet. Then, write each word on the blank line next to its correct definition.

Some terms, such as dribble and rebound may already be familiar to your students, while others, such as air ball and alley oop may sound strange and need a bit more explanation. 

 

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Basketball Wordsearch

Print the pdf: Basketball Word Search

Use this fun word search to review the basketball terms that your student defined with the vocabulary work sheet. Each term from the word bank can be found among the jumbled letters in the word search. 

Spend some time reviewing those terms your student doesn't remember. Illustrating them may be a fun activity for young basketball fans.

For more word puzzle, basketball-themed review, download the basketball crossword puzzle. Each clue define a basketball vocabulary term. Fill in each term to correctly complete the puzzle.

 

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Basketball Challenge

Print the pdf: Basketball Challenge

Test your student's grasp of basketball vocabulary with this challenge worksheet. Students will circle the correct word from the multiple choice options for each definition.

 

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Basketball Alphabet Activity

Print the pdf: Basketball Alphabet Activity

Does your young basketball fan need to practice alphabetizing words? Make the activity more fun with this list of basketball related words. Students will place each term from the word bank in correct alphabetical order.

 

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James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball Coloring Page

James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball Coloring Page
James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball Coloring Page. Beverly Hernandez

Print the pdf: James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball Coloring Page

Learn more about James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Print the coloring page which contains the following facts about the origins of the sport:

James Naismith was a Physical Education Instructor (born in Canada) who invented the game of basketball (1861-1939). He was born on November 6, 1939, in Ramsay Township, Ontario, Canada. At Springfield, Massachusetts, YMCA, he had a rowdy class that was stuck indoors due to the weather. Dr. Luther Gulick, head of YMCA Physical Education, ordered Naismith to come up with a new game that wouldn't take up too much room, would keep the athletes in shape, and would be fair for all players and not too rough. Thus, basketball was born. The first game was played in December 1891, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets.

Updated by Kris Bales