Basketball in England

Basketball In England

Basketball in England

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Basketball, although invented in the United States, has a very long history in England, having been introduced there by the YMCA almost immediately after it was created. World War I and II further spurred its popularity. The four highest profile team sports in the United Kingdom are football, cricket, rugby union and rugby league. Basketball belongs to the next tier alongside ice hockey; it has a dedicated following, but attracts little coverage from the major British media outlets.

The elite league is the fully-professional British Basketball League, featuring teams from England and Scotland, while the semi-professional English Basketball League effectively forms the second-tier. There is no promotion or relegation between the two leagues because the BBL operates a franchise system whereby teams have to "buy into" the league.


Introduced by the YMCA

Basketball was first introduced in England between March 1892 and January 1893 by the president of the Birkenhead YMCA, C.J. Proctor, who had observed the game during a business trip to Canada. This introduction of the game led to a growth in participation in the new game of basketball initially as an internal league played at Birkenhead YMCA members (England's first Central Venue League), and later to other YMCA clubs in the Wirral and Merseyside regions.

In June 1854 Mel Rideout, a participant in the first game at Springfield College, introduced the game at a YMCA Convention held in England. This did not...
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