The first ever basketball league was established in the United States of America and was known as the National Basketball League, or NBL. It was first established in the year eighteen ninety eight, but had disbanded by the end of the year nineteen hundred and three. Meanwhile, two competing national sports organisations in the United States of America fought for control of the official rules of basketball, being the AAU or Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (or the IAAU). The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was ultimately successful, which led to the emergence of basketball as a college level sport in the United States of America before it became widely played professionally, with many of the prestigious residential colleges and universities in the United States of America installing basketball systems.
The first professional basketball league, the National Basketball League or NBL, comprised six teams, including the Trenton Nationals, the Camden Electrics, the New York Wanderers, and the Bristol Pile Drivers. Basketball was spread outside of the North American continent during the first World War, with American physical education teachers who were in Europe with the United States of America’s army introducing the sport of basketball to France. The original inventor of basketball also worked with the YMCA movement in France after the first World War in order to further promote the spread of basketball in France, including the installation of basketball hoops in many YMCA institutes in that country.
The explosion of professional basketball ring for sale leagues in the United States of America in the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties meant that there were many basketball systems for sale in the nineteen forties as consolidation began to take place. Today’s National Basketball Association (more familiarly known perhaps by the abbreviated title NBA) was formed in the year nineteen forty nine when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was merged with its prior rival the National Basketball League (NBL, which should not be confused with the previous National Basketball League that existed between eighteen ninety nine and nineteen hundred and four). For the lifetime of the Basketball Association of America, with which the National Basketball Association had organisational continuity, black players were excluded from the game. The new National Basketball Association did not allow black players to compete in the league until the year nineteen fifty one.
It was in the summer of the year nineteen thirty two that the first international organisation for basketball accessories, the Fédération internationale de basketball amateur, or International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, was founded. All of the founding members of the association were European nations with the exception of Argentina. In the controversial Berlin Olympics of nineteen thirty six, basketball was included for the first time, and was played out of doors on a clay surfaced basketball court.