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Is Basketball a Winter Sport?

The NBA starts in the winter (December), and ends in early summer (May). This supports basketball as a winter sport. Although, since basketball isn’t part of the Winter Olympics, it’s not officially considered a winter sport.

College and high school students often ask this question on basketball as a winter sport or spring sport to figure out their semester. Whether or not you can choose basketball in the winter is up to your individual school.

You can look up the sports season catalogue on your schools website and check whether basketball is listed under winter or spring sports to get your answer.

Let’s take a closer look at basketball as a possible winter sport.

Should Basketball be Part of the Winter Olympics?

Some argue that basketball should be moved from the Summer Olympics to the Winter Olympics. The reason is that basketball is played during the winter months and doesn’t require an outdoors playing field.

The official rules for Winter Olympics are that all sports must require ice or snow. Basketball does not, and is therefore not a part of the Winter Olynpics.

Why is Basketball in the Summer Olympics?

Basketball joins many other popular sports like soccer, swimming, tennis, gymnastics and golf in the Summer Olympics.

These are all popular sports that draw worldwide attention to the Games. But would basketball be missed if it was moved to the Winter Games?

Basketball is included in the Summer Olympics because it isn’t played on ice or snow. This is a winter OL requirement put forward by the IOC (Internationl Olympics Comittee).

Few think of ice and snow when thinking of basketball. It’s an indoors sport and requires a dry and warm court to work well.

But. Dan Wolken argues in USA Today, that there are good reasons why these requirements could be loosened and give the wickle room needed to place basketball in the Winter Olympics.

He says that it would: “give some balance between the Summer Games, which has more sports, more big names and far more worldwide appeal and the Winter Games, which frankly could use a little more star power and a lot more diversity.”

He thinks that basketball is drowning among soccer, tennis, athletics etc. All are huge sports that draw in each of their audiences, leaving few eyeballs for basketball.

Why is Basketball Played in the Winter?

The typical basketball season runs from fall to early summer. Thus, it is during the winter months of the year.

The reason why basketball has become a winter sport is arguably that it was invented as an alternative to sports that demanded good weather to be played (outside).

Team sports like baseball and soccer are generally played on open-air stadiums that can’t be used when it’s sub-zero degrees or snowing.

Professional basketball is played inside a warm stadium, where cold weather plays no role. Amateur basketball played outside is probably put on hold most places, until warmer weathers return.

Some argue that basketball players are given better opportunities to participate, when the season is in the summer. But that’s probably just a matter of change in habit and planning.

What Season Sport is Basketball?

Basketball is played all year. Both by professionals and amateurs.

The pros compete in various summer leagues during the summer months to stay in shape all year round.

The big tournement that all professional basketball players look forward to is the NBA.

NBA is played from December to May with an all-star break in March.

Thus, basketball is an all-year sport with a winter/spring NBA tournement as highlight of the year.

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USA Today:


OL in Beijing 2022:

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