Who Invented Basketball

Basketball is unique amongst all the world’s team sports because its history is well known and documented so we know exactly when the rules were first drawn up, we know when the first games were played, we even know where the first teams were formed. Basketball is an American institution that has spread throughout the world to become one of the most popular college, social, and even professional sport.

In the winter of 1891 at the YMCA Training Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, a group of PE instructors were becoming bored with gym and frustrated that they couldn’t be outdoors running or playing football or baseball, so the head of the athletics department, Luther Gulick, asked a young instructor named James Naismith to come up with a new game that could be played indoors and would provide athletic stimulus.

Dr. James Naismith Who Invented Basketball

Taking into account the size of the average gym, Naismith considered an indoor version of football but his students were mostly older men who could easily be hurt so a non-contact sport had to be developed that would also incorporate stretching and skills outside of simply running around the gym. As a child in Canada, Naismith remembered playing a game of knock the duck which involved throwing a stone or small rock at an object to knock it off it’s perch.

Basketball Who Invented Basketball

Adapting this idea, Naismith needed to improve the concept so that something thrown within a gym wouldn’t damage the wooden floor, any windows that might get in the way, and not hurt the players. Throwing a ball into a basket suspended high on the wall seemed to be almost perfect, giving an opportunity for each player to exert themselves, and by grouping players into opposing teams would make the game enjoyable in a competitive way.

Within a couple of weeks, James Naismith had written a set of thirteen rules for a game he called Basket Ball. The baskets were positions ten feet above the ground, and nine players per team were allowed. Deliberate contact with another player were grounds for being asked to leave the court, and players were not allowed to run with the ball, though running on the court wasn’t illegal but the ball needed to be passed from a standing player.

The first time basketball was played at Springfield happened just two weeks after Gulick had instructed Naismith to create a new activity, and was well received by the PE instructors who all took the game back to their own YMCA gyms and within a few years the game was being played throughout the East and didn’t take long to reach the West coast either.

The very first competitive game of college basketball to be played occurred in 1896 when the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago met for an exhibition game. In those times the ball still needed to be retrieved from the net after every goal, so the score of 15-12 in favor of Iowa was considered a good result.

About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

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