Basketball was founded in 1981 by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical training instructor.
Basketball is a sport in which two teams of five players compete on a rectangular court against one another, with the goal of scoring the ball in the opposing team’s basket.
Basketball is one of the most well-known and widely watched sports in the world, with roughly 19 million people tuning in to watch every game during the Olympics.
Today we will deep dive into what exactly was the inspiration for inventing such an amazing game.
Naismith’s Early Life
Naismith was born on November 6, 1861 at Ramsay Township which lies between Almonte and Pakenham in Ontario, Canada.
James Naismith grew up playing hide-and-seek and duck on a rock (Look at that curiosity since childhood!)
In 1891 he graduated from McGill University with a degree in Physical Education. Then he started teaching PE at the International YMCA Training School (now called Springfield College) in Massachusetts, where his official title was Director of Physical Education.
His initial assignment there was to develop an indoor game, especially for football players during the winter months. In order to help keep them active and in shape.
But later they decided that the game should be a great option for everyone.
The Story Behind the Invention of Basketball
James Naismith worked at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School as a physical education instructor in 1891. In Massachusetts, it is now known as Springfield College.
He wanted to make a game that could be played indoors during the frigid New England winters, so he invented basketball. He pinned 13 regulations for his new game to the wall of a Springfield College gymnasium.
He had landed a job as director of physical training at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, after graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 1894.
Basketball was originally played using soccer balls, which is why it is still known as a “basket” ball.
The story behind the invention of basketball is very interesting. It was the invention that happened by accident, which led to the creation of one of America’s best-loved sports games.
Naismith had read about an indoor game called ‘duck on a rock’ where players tried to knock off upturned rocks with sticks. He decided to implement it as a training exercise for his class with some modifications made to it so that they could play inside without damaging anything or anyone.
The modified version involved two peach baskets nailed up high on the walls of a gymnasium.
Naismith also assigned several students to act as guards, players who would try to prevent their opponents from knocking off the baskets’ lids with shorter clubs that resembled baseball bats.
The game required much less running than soccer and the players were allowed to remain in their assigned areas.
Naismith even made rules about how many times you could hit the ball before it landed, thus giving birth to the concept of dribbling!
He then wrote thirteen basic principles that would govern this new version of indoor sport. These included no running with the ball, no tackling other players, and the prohibition of carrying the ball.
The Original 13 Rules of Basketball:
The rules of basketball were issued in the Springfield College school newspaper on January 15, 1892, by a rule-making team headed by James Naismith. It was designed to ensure fair play and genuine competition.
- The ball can be thrown with just one or both hands any where on the court.
- The ball is allow to be hit away it one or two hads but you can never use a fist
- A player cannot run with the ball without trying to stop it, and he must throw it from the spot on which he catches it.
- The ball must always be kept in or between the hands. Arms or bodies cannot be used to hold it.
- No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking, or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person results in a foul; the second causes that player to be ejected from the game.
- A foul is striking at the ball with fist, violations, and other ungentlemanly conduct included under Rule Five.
- If either side makes three consecutive fouls it is then awarded balls possession near its goal.
- A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending do not touch it before. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.
- If the ball flys out of the court the
- When the goes out of bounds, it will be thrown into the field by the team first person touching it. If there is a dispute the ref will throw it on the court. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds; if he holds it longer, it shall go to his opponent If any side persists in delaying the game, or refuses play according to these rules, the referee may call a foul on that side.
- The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have the power to disqualify men according to Rule Five.
- The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs; and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
- The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.
- The player making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.
Significant Turning Points in Basketball History
Here are a few of the most important breakthroughs in the history of basketball.
As we already discussed, in 1891, Dr. James Naismith invented basketball as a sport for students in the winter months to keep them occupied and physically active during the cold season.
Amazingly, he invented something so simple yet it has changed people’s lives forever.
In 1895, the players’ numbers were reduced to five players instead of nine.
In 1896, the first women’s collegiate game was held between Stanford and Berkeley universities, in which California won by a score of twenty-one to two.
Currently, there are 201 national federations affiliated with FIBA around the world (as of April 2014).
The greatest achievement was during the 2000 Sydney Olympics when USA women’s team got Gold Medal for basketball events.
In professional-level NBA has been emerging as a major league all over America and Europe since the 70s after it evolved from National Basketball League established in 1946.
Now more than 450 million fans follow this game globally making it one of the sports’ most popular games in history.
The NBA (National Basketball Association) came to life in June 1946 when it joined forces with the BAA (Basketball Association of America). The two leagues merged to form one league under the name National Basketball Association, which is currently known as just the NBA.
Today, there are many professional leagues in both men’s and women’s sports including NBA (National Basketball Association), WNBA (Women National Basketball Association) & FIBA (International Basketball Federation).
In 1898, the free-throw line was introduced which required a player to shoot from where they got fouled to get two points for their team.
Basketball was originally played with nine players on each team. But in 1900 that number was reduced to five. Back then all the baskets were made out of wicker – much like a soccer net today.
They also used baseball gloves instead of standard basketball hoops until 1894 when they finally got their first metal-rimmed goal.
This helped stop the rough play that was common in this era.
In 1905, the number of players on a team was reduced to five again. But they could only take two steps before shooting or passing.
The game started with six teams. Surprisingly, it grew rapidly and soon became one of America’s favorite sports.
In the end, Basketball has a long history and evolved from different games like tennis ball games with two peach baskets.
People love playing it or watching professional players’ performances on the court even though some rules might change according to time due to new inventions. Hence, it will always remain one of the most popular sports all over the world.