How Long Has Basketball Been Around?

The immense popularity of basketball has given rise to professional leagues like the NBA, national/professional leagues, and even college games. Players from all around the world want to join the NBA.

Now, even shorter but talented players have a chance at playing since the evolution of basketball has made more room for variety.

So, how long has basketball been around? And, how has it changed since its invention?

How Long Has Basketball Been Around, And Who Invented It?

The basketball game has been around for nearly a century. A Canadian man named James Naismith was the inventor of this game. He was a physical education teacher in Ontario and invented the game in 1891.

As a PE teacher at Springfield College, his job was to keep students occupied with exciting games and exercises. Since James did not want to lose his job, he started looking for inspiration for new activities to keep his students engaged.

James studied football, rugby, soccer, and other games closely to see if he could create a mockup. He ended up inventing basketball. However, the game then had 18 players (the number of students in his class) with 2 teams and 9 players each.

The students played with a soccer ball, and their goal was to shoot the ball into a peach basket. There was also no running around, or dribbling involved initially. The playground or court was relatively small too.

It’s been over 128 years since basketball was first invented. Over the decades, the ball and the game underwent many changes. All these have turned basketball into what it is today.

11 Golden Rules

James Naismith came up with 11 golden rules that he expected his students to follow at the time:

  1. The ball must be passed and played using hands only.
  2. Fisting the ball is not allowed.
  3. Players cannot run around with the ball and must immediately halt after grabbing/catching it.
  4. No hitting or pushing is allowed, and the first offense is a foul, while the second leads to disqualification.
  5. The ball must sit in the basket for a point, and the basket cannot be toyed with.
  6. No other body part can be used to carry the ball except the hands.
  7. Three fouls count as a goal for the opponent. 
  8. Only 5 seconds are allowed to inbound the ball back into the court. More than 5 seconds leads to a turnover.
  9. One game is half an hour long with two halves and a 5-minute break.
  10. Most goals decide the winner.
  11. A referee decides everything related to the game.

What Is A Layup Shot?

Even though basketball has undergone many changes, the layup shot stuck by. It indeed had changes made to it over time, but the essence of the shot remains the same.

Among numerous types of shots, a layup shot is pretty easy to make and is a move nearly any player can use.

All layup moves are shot in the same fashion, and every player must learn these moves as soon as they start their training. This is because these shots are an essential part of basketball basics.

  • A layup shot is a 2 point shot that is shot using a single hand.
  • An offensive player can play this move near to the hoop.
  • An open layup allows a higher chance to score than a 3-point jump shot, free throw, or slam dunk.
  • The scoring percentage drops if many or taller players resist the player trying to land a layup shot.

Types Of Layups


Most people do not consider dunks a true layup shot. However, these can be perfectly adequate and outstanding finishing moves.

NBA highlights prove players can use a dunk to boost morale and add 2 points to their score.

Euro Step Layup

A Euro step layup is used when the attacking angle needs to be changed suddenly. It allows the player to add space between themselves and a defender who is charging in.

It can also be performed from a jump-stop position or a moving gather step. The player dribbles the ball towards the basket, attempting to grab the ball while he stays firm on the outside foot. The player then crosses over using the other foot to obtain a different angle.

Overhand/Underhand Layup

An overhand/right-hand shot is the most basic layup shot any player learns. This shot is played with a firm left foot and raised right knee to get the elevation that is needed to play the shot.

The ball is launched at the corner of the backboard, so it bounces off and falls through the hoop. Underhand shots require the player to perform the finger roll.


The floater is a variation of the layup used by shorter players. When playing with taller players, shooting a layup can get quite tricky. This technique can remove the ball from the defender’s reach by forming a soft arch. This way, the basketball settles on the hoop rim before dropping through.

Left-Handed/Right-Handed Layup

A layup shot can be played from both sides of the basket. It is, therefore, necessary for players to learn both moves. The players should also be able to jump from both feet.

Power Layup

The power layup is used as the destroying finishing move. It requires superb ball-handling skills. A player uses an offensive rebound/entry pass when they are present in the wing area. The ball is dribbled toward the hoop, and the player then jumps to land the ball into the basket.

Steps In Layup Shot

  • Look up and lock eyes with the basket.
  • Make assessments on how to counter the defense.
  • Use the long outside footstep to grab the ball.
  • With complete control over the body, the player must use the high inside footstep to jump very high.
  • Protect the ball and launch the layup shot.

How To Shoot A Layup For Beginners

Beginners can follow the simple steps mentioned below:

  • Take a step backward towards the key.
  • Face the basket and take a step with the left foot.
  • Jump towards the basket using your left foot when it hits the ground.
  • While doing the step above, raise your right arm to shoot the ball.
  • Practice with 2 and 3 steps up from the block too.
  • Once perfected, players can add dribbling towards the basket to perfect a layup.

How Many Steps Can You Take In Basketball For A Layup?

You can take 2 steps in basketball for a layup with the addition of a gather step.

When Shooting A Right Hand Lay Up, What Foot Should You Jump Off?

The inside left foot should be used to jump off if you are shooting a right-hand layup.

Where To Aim When Shooting A Layup?

You aim at the backboard so the ball can bounce off it and into the basket.

How Do You Do A Reverse Layup?

A defender close to the offensive player must first block the layup. This is known as the reverse layup.

Defenders assume that the offensive player will generally play the shot towards the basket they are facing. In a reverse layup, if you are attacking from the left side, you trick the defender and shoot the shot on the right of the hoop.

Related Questions

Can You Take 3 Steps In A Layup?

You can only take 2 steps in a layup. However, the gather step is allowed before these 2 steps.

Are You Allowed 2 Steps In Basketball?

Yes, the NBA allows 2 steps to shoot a layup.

When Performing A Lay Up, You Should Jump Off Of?

If you are playing a right-hand layup, you use the left foot to sprint and vice versa.

How Many Steps Do You Take When Shooting A Layup?

You take 2 steps before shooting a layup.

Key Takeaways 

  • James Naismith invented basketball in 1891.
  • Basketball has been around for 128 years.
  • James Naismith devised the 11 golden rules to play basketball, most of which are still part of the game today.
  • A layup shot is the most straightforward and essential step to gain 2 points and can be shot by any player.
  • There are nearly 6 types of layup shots.
  • A reverse layup shot is used to trick the defender.
  • 2 steps are taken to play a layup shot.
  • A gather step is allowed before the 2 steps taken for a layup shot for official games. 

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