How was basketball ivented?

Updated: 9/15/2023
User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago

Best Answer

The game of basketball was invented by James Naismith.

Naismith was a Canadian physical education instructor at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, in December of 1891. He was prompted to come up with an activity from the director of the school, Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick, who wanted something to occupy a "class of incorrigibles"

Naismith may have had other motivations as well. Apparently, the class was tired of calisthenics. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students instead of one that relied solely on strength. He needed a game that could be played indoors in a relatively small space. And he wanted to keep his football players in shape off-season.

Luckily Naismith and his wife, who were Christians, subscribed to a Christian Missionary magazine from Central America. In it Naismith saw the feature article about the Aztec ball game called Ollamalitzli and the Mayan game of Ulama. He had also read up on articles by a New Zealander called Tom Ellison who wrote about ancient Maori ball sports that required alot of aerial handball skills. He took account of the hole that the round bouncy ball had to go through in the Central American games and the excitement of the traditional Maori game where a round flax ball was aerially passed with speed and dexterity. With his supportive wife he then devised a game suitable for a gym.

Taking to the task at hand, Naismith rounded up two peach baskets (the janitor didn't have any boxes handy) and a soccer ball. Next, he developed 13 rules for the new game. He divided his class of 18 into 2 teams of 9 players each (the team today would be the equivalent of 3 guards, 3 centers, and 3 forwards) and set about to teach them the basics of his new game of basketball.

The object of the game was to throw the soccer ball into the peach baskets nailed to the lower railing of the gym balcony. Every time a point was scored, the game was halted so the janitor could lug out a ladder and retrieve the ball (the bottoms of the peach baskets were intact at first). Of course, that didn't happen too often -- the score of the very first basketball game ever played was an amazingly low 1-0.

The first public basketball game was in Springfield, MA, USA, on March 11, 1892.

Basketball has grown into a game that more than 300 million people play worldwide.

Springfield, Massachusetts, is now where you will now find the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Facts about Dr. James Naismith

James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario in 1861.

He was educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montreal. He was the physical education teacher at McGill University (1887 to 1890) and at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts (1890 to 1895). At Springfield College (which was then the Y.M.C.A. training school), James Naismith, under the direction of American phys-ed specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, invented the indoor sport of basketball.

As an interesting aside, Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was the only coach to ever have a losing record in his sport at the University of Kansas. Three years after inventing the game, he was hired as the chaplain and physical education instructor at KU. While here he also developed the first football helmet. He is buried in Lawrence, in the same cemetery as his succesor the legendary coach Phog Allen, the man who brought Wilt Chamberlin to Kansas.

Naismith died in 1939.

James Naismith invented basketball..."

in 1817. He was a coach and his athletes had no sports to play during the winter so they started to get out of shape. So he invented the sport of basketball, which could be played indoors.

Basketball is unique in that it was invented by one person...James Naismith...

...rather than evolving from a different sport. In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physician and minister on the faculty of a college for YMCA professionals (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, sought a vigorous indoor game to keep young men occupied during the long New England winters. Legend has it that, after rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules, and nailed a peach basket onto the 10 foot elevated track. Women's basketball began in 1892, at Smith College, when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. The first official basketball game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892 with nine players, on a court just half the size of a present-day NBA court. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of Naismith's students, was popular from the beginning.

Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly spread through the country. By 1896, it was well established at several women's colleges. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade, it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules for the game.

Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specially for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use.

YMCA's James Naismith

Basketball, a game that started with 18 men in a YMCA gymnasium in Springfield, Mass., has grown into a game that more than 300 million people play worldwide. The man who created this instantly successful sport was Dr. James Naismith. Under orders from Dr. Luther Gulick, head of Physical Education at the School for Christian Workers. Naismith had 14 days to create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction" for a rowdy class through the brutal New England winter. Naismith's invention didn't come easily. Getting close to the deadline, he struggled to keep the class' faith. His first intention was to bring outdoor games indoors, i.e., soccer and lacrosse. These games proved too physical and cumbersome. At his wits' end, Naismith recalled a childhood game that required players to use finesse and accuracy to become successful. After brainstorming this new idea, Naismith developed basketball's original 13 rules and consequently, the game of basketball. As basketball's popularity grew, Naismith neither sought publicity nor engaged in self-promotion. He was first and foremost a physical educator who embraced recreational sport but shied away from the glory of competitive athletics. Naismith was an intense student, collecting four degrees in the diverse fields of Philosophy, Religion, Physical Education and Medicine. Although he never had the opportunity to see the game become the astonishing spectacle it is today, Naismith's biggest thrill came when he was sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to witness basketball become an Olympic sport at the 1936 Games held in Berlin. Naismith became famous for creating the game of basketball, a stroke of genius that never brought him fame or fortune during his lifetime, but enormous recognition following his passing in 1939. For his historic invention, Naismith's name adorns the world's only Basketball Hall of Fame, a tribute that forever makes James Naismith synonymous with basketball. But do you know who invited it.

Original Rules:

13 Rules of Basketball - Written by James Naismith

1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands. 2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist. 3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man running at good speed. 4. The ball must be held by the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it. 5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed. 6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5. 7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul). 8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do no touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal. 9. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them. 10. 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 power to disqualify men according to Rule 5. 11. The referee shall be 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. 12. The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between. 13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner.

YMCA version of the story:

It was at the International YMCA Training School that in December 1891, James Naismith invented the game of basketball, doing so at the demand of Luther Gulick, the director of the school. Gulick needed a game to occupy a class of incorrigibles -- 18 future YMCA directors who, more interested in rugby and football, didn't care for leapfrog, tumbling and other activities they were forced to do during the winter. Gulick, obviously out of patience with the group, gave Naismith two weeks to come up with a game to occupy them.

Naismith decided that the new game had to be physically active and simple to understand. It could not be rough, so no contact could be allowed. The ball could be passed but not carried. Goals at each end of the court would lend a degree of difficulty and give skill and science a role. Elevating the goal would eliminate rushes that could injure players, a problem in football and rugby.

Introducing the game of basketball at the next gym class (Naismith did meet Gulick's deadline), Naismith posted 13 rules on the wall and taught the game to the incorrigibles. The men loved it and proceeded to introduce basketball to their home towns over Christmas break. Naismith's invention spread like wildfire.

Not only was basketball invented by a YMCA institution, but the game's first professional team came from a Y. The Trenton (N.J.) YMCA had fielded a basketball team since 1892 and in 1896 its team claimed to be the national champions after beating various other YMCA and college teams. The team then severed its ties with the Y. It played the 1896-97 season out of a local Masonic temple, charging for admission and keeping the proceeds.

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: How was basketball ivented?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Who ivented basketball?

Dr. James Naismith

Who ivented English?

Not you lol

Who ivented the Wii?


Who ivented pie?


Who ivented paper?


Who ivented the PS3?


Why was football ivented?

To have fun!

Who ivented the computer?

Charles Babbage

Who ivented the skateboard?

no one knows

Who ivented the yoyo?

The ancient Greeks

Who ivented the DS lite?


Who ivented mp3 players?