Is Basketball the Right Sport for My Child?
What sports should my child play? If you have a young child and want to encourage an active lifestyle, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. When determining what sport is best for your child, it’s important to do your research. Not all sports are appropriate for children, particularly high-contact sports or sports with complex rules. Thankfully, basketball IS suitable for children, even younger children ages 3-12. Read on to learn more about what makes basketball such a great choice for your little one.
The History of Basketball
Basketball was invented in Massachusetts in 1891 by Canadian-American professor James Naismith. He sought to create a vigorous indoor game that his students could play during the winter and on cold or rainy days. The sport was originally played with an altered version of the soccer ball until the late 1950s when the orange ball we know today was introduced.
Basketball soon became a feature in YMCAs across the United States and Canada. Naismith himself played a considerable role in establishing basketball in high schools and colleges throughout the US, with the first intercollegiate game happening in 1895. Basketball became widespread in the first decades of the 20th century and is now present in almost every high school in the US and many across Australia.
The Beginnings of Professional Basketball
The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed in 1946. The BAA quickly merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). As North America’s professional basketball league, the formation of the NBA led to basketball becoming a major college sport in the 1950s.
It didn’t take long for basketball to reach Australia. In fact, basketball took off in Australia in 1897, just six years after it was invented by Naismith. Oceania’s professional league, the National Basketball League, was formed in 1979. Today, Australia has nine basketball teams in the league, and New Zealand has one.
The Evolution of Basketball
Basketball has naturally undergone several changes in the 130 years since the very first basketball game. The ball has been altered to be more visible and bouncy, with bounce patterns that players can control and predict to some degree. The baskets used to consist of crates with solid bottoms, which players would then have to retrieve after every goal. These were soon swapped out for nets, a far more convenient alternative.
Basketball’s Safety-Related Changes
Many changes to the game have made basketball a safer sport for children and professionals alike. There was some uncertainty during the early years as to how many people should play the game at once. It was eventually determined that two teams of five were the safest and most functional.
Out of bounds rules also underwent a major evolution. Originally, ball possession would be given to the first player to touch the ball once it went out of bounds. This led to considerable physical contact, including shoving, elbowing, diving, and all-out fights. In 1913, the out of bounds rules were updated to what they are today — the team that caused the ball to go out of bounds or touched it last before it went out of bounds loses possession.
Is Basketball Appropriate for Children?
Yes! Though basketball can be very physical when played at a high level, this isn’t a concern for children’s basketball. As described above, basketball has only gotten safer over the years. Plus, dividing youth basketball programs by age prevents children from playing with other kids that may be significantly bigger or smaller than them. The kids will also be much more gentle with each other, as they’re playing for fun rather than fame or glory.
Enrol Your Child in a Little Boomers Basketball Program
Looking for sports for kids near you? There’s no better place for children to learn basketball in Australia than with Little Boomers Basketball. Since our founding in 2018, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating grassroots basketball programs for children of all skill levels and abilities.
Run by accredited and passionate coaches, our programs are safe and supportive environments where kids can learn to play basketball, make new friends, and of course, have fun. That said, there are many other non-basketball-related skills that we pass on to the kids. This includes good sportsmanship, cooperation, being a team player, and leadership skills.
We Put Your Children’s Needs First
To ensure that each child has the best possible experience with us, we divide our participants by age into different programs. There’s the Preschoolers, ages 3-4; the Mini Boomers, ages 4-5; the Little Boomers, ages 6-8; and the Mighty Boomers, ages 9-12.
Interested in joining the Boomers Family? Have any questions about our grassroots basketball programs or how the sport can benefit your child? Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team by calling 1300 702 719, emailing [email protected], or filling out our enquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you!