Dr. James Naismith didn't know that he would start a worldwide sensation when he tacked peach baskets to the rail of a second floor running track back in 1891. Those original baskets stood 10 feet off the ground because that's how high the railing stood inside the Springfield, Massachusetts, gym that day. And that height has remained regulation ever since. But there are plenty of other height and size regulations that have evolved over the years.
Regulation Basketball Heights
The top edge of the rim stands exactly 10 feet above the playing surface. The bottom edge of a regulation backboard sits nine feet and six inches off the ground. The backboard itself measures 72 inches in width and 42 inches in height, making the total height of a regulation backboard 13 feet. A men's regulation basketball measures 29.5 inches in circumference and a women's ball measures 28.5 inches. Both genders shoot into an 18-inch diameter hoop at the regulation 10-foot height.