Who Invented The Game Of Basketball? [Mystery Revealed]

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The basketball game is one of the few American sports with a clear origin and history. This unique game is easy enough for everyone to participate in and complex enough to make each match exciting.

In what year was basketball invented, and by whom? Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education teacher, invented basketball game in 1981. He was currently working at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Within two weeks, James Naismith provided the solution to a complex problem about a sport that distracts disruptive students but can play indoors. Instead of relying on pure strength, basketball is a sport that emphasizes agility, skill, and precision.

To learn more about Who invented the game of basketball, let’s find out with Scott Fujita in the article below.

Who Invented The Game Of Basketball?

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James Naismith

The creator of basketball was a Canadian physical education instructor named James Naismith. He came to the United States to fulfill his dream. In addition to participating in the YMCA, Naismith is also a member of the Christian ministry.

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Listen to the story of how he created basketball here.

When Was Basketball Invented?

On a winter day in December 1981, Dr. James Naismith encountered an incident. The hyperactive and energetic male students became frustrated because they had to stay indoors to avoid inclement weather. They want to release energy but can’t find the right way. 

Outdoor sports such as football or baseball are not suitable to be played in this cold weather. They also cannot play them indoors because of their dangerous nature.

The school gave Naismith a challenging problem, asking him to invent an indoor game in just two weeks. His inspiration started there. Naismith used an idea from his childhood stoning game, “duck on a rock,” with a simple rule: the team with the most stones on target would win.

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James Naismith named his new game “basket ball” and wrote a list of 13 rules. He published this rulebook in the article “A New Game” for the Springfield College newspaper.

This game uses a soccer ball and two peach baskets as equipment. He places baskets at each end of the gym about 10 feet above the floor. 

Each team had nine players at that time.

At the start, Naismith will throw the ball into the sky for the first second.

This new sport quickly caught the attention of the students. They go on to become teachers and introduce them to the next generation. High schools and high schools began to popularize the game among boys and girls.

The rule changes also make the game more interesting. Instead of just passing as initially, people started allowing dribbling. The peach baskets have been changed to a net that will enable the ball to pass through to increase play speed. People also combine the backboard with helping the ball enter the basket more easily.

A new type of ball also appeared to replace the soccer ball. It has high elasticity and is easier to dribble and shoot.

The success of basketball has spawned many basketball teams. In 1920, professional teams like Harlem Rens and Original Celtics drew large crowds from across the country to watch as they played.

In 1936, basketball officially became famous around the world when it appeared to be the Olympics sport.

In honor of Naismith’s creation, he was named honorary president of the International Basketball Federation. Naismith was later also the founder of the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Missouri.

In 1959, Dr. Naismith appeared in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Today, people also call the Hall of Fame the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to remember the father of basketball.

Timeline And History Of Basketball

When it comes to basketball history, you may be interested in some of the important milestones that mark its development. These include:

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  • The first basketball game: The first basketball game in history took place on December 21, 1891. The venue for the match was the gym of the YMCA International Training School. Two students become captains and choose their side from the remaining sixteen players. A referee and a student is standing on the ladder to get the ball from the peach baskets.
  • In 1895, the number of players in each basketball team was agreed to be five basketball players, and this number has remained the same to this day.
  • On January 18, 1896, the first college basketball game was played with two teams, the University of Chicago and Iowa. The victory belonged to the Chicago team with a score of 15-12.
  • The earliest women’s match also took place in 1896. Team Stanford defeated U.C. Berkeley here.
  • In 1989, the first professional league of basketball was founded. It’s called the National Basketball League. In the same year, the first professional basketball game was played.
  • Thanks to the promotion of the YMCA, basketball entered the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. Naismith threw the ball for points and directly awarded medals to the players after the final.
  • The Amateur Athletic Union sponsored the first women’s national championship in 1936. It was not until 1997 that women’s basketball had an official governing body, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
  • The success of international basketball led to the formation of the National Collegiate athletic groups. In 1939, the NCAA basketball tournament began.

What Are The Original Rules Of Basketball Game?

James Naismith didn’t create all 13 rules at once. He took time to adjust and supplement to make the original set of rules for “basket ball” at that time. Some rules are still followed in modern games today.

who invented the game of basketball

The original rules of basketball 

In 2010, the game’s original rulebook was auctioned for $4.3 million.

  • The original rule allowed the player to throw the ball in any direction with one or two hands, but not with fists.
  • A player cannot run while holding the ball but must throw it from where it is caught.
  • It is against the law to push, move or attack an opponent.
  • The first violation is considered a foul. On the second foul, the referee will disqualify the player until the next goal is scored.
  • If there is evidence that a player intends to hurt an opponent, that player will be sent off for the whole game.
  • The person responsible for refereeing, recording errors, and sending off players if necessary is the umpires. They also decide when the ball is in the field, which side it belongs to, and manage time. Umpires also identify goals and track numbers.
  • The opposing team is allowed to score if one team fouls three times in a row.
  • A good goal is when the ball is thrown or hit from the court to the peach basket and stays. If the ball is on the touchline and the opponent intentionally moves the basket, it still counts as a goal.
  • The first person to touch the ball when it goes out of bounds is allowed to throw it. The valid ball hold time is five seconds. If he holds the ball longer, then the opponent has a right to keep it.
  • The referee will throw the ball directly into the field in the event of a dispute. If a team deliberately delays the game, it will be considered a foul.
  • The duration of the match consists of 2 halves, each lasting 15 minutes. The half-time interval is 5 minutes. The team that scores more goals according to the rules will win. If the score is tied, the two teams can play extra time to determine the winner.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps when James Naismith invented basketball, he did not expect it to become so famous. Today, there are 300 million people playing basketball around the world.

This team sport is not only suitable for all ages, all genders but also for all terrains. You can play basketball indoors or outdoors. The development of basketball has brought joy and profits up to billions of dollars for professional players or organizations. We believe that in the future, this sport will develop even more brilliantly.

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