Basketball was first played in 1891. The game is played by two teams. The aim of each team is to score in the opponent's basket and to prevent the opposing team from scoring. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
During the Olympics, twelve teams from both the men's and women's competition are broken up into two groups of six.
The first round provides the first four teams from each group for the quarterfinals. The winners of the semifinals play to decide the gold and silver medals, while the remaining two teams contest the bronze.
Four periods of 10 minutes are played, with a five-minute overtime being played in the event of a tie.
A court measuring 28 m in length by 15 m in width is used during the Olympics. At each end, a basket is attached to a circular steel apparatus. This hangs 3,05 m from the floor and is fixed on to a board. Players are allowed to move with the ball while dribbling, with one hand only. - (AFP)