James Naismith is the man who is credited with inventing basketball. He was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada on November 6, 1861. Although orphaned at just nine years of age, James Naismith went on to complete four degrees from McGill University in Quebec. He held degrees in philosophy, theology, and religion before he became truly interested in athletic training when he attended the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts as a graduate student.
The Birthplace of Basketball
The school known as YMCA Training School later became known as Springfield College and is very important to the history of basketball. Springfield College still exists in Massachusetts today and is known as “The Birthplace of Basketball”.
In his 30’s James Naismith was teaching physical education at Springfield College in 1891. The students were all his elders and the Massachusetts winter was in full force. This made the students restless and James Naismith sought to create an athletic distraction for his students. So the game of basketball was created when Naismith needed a way for his students to keep physically fit and busy indoors when the weather was bad outside. Some believe that Naismith based the game on games he had learned during his childhood. One game was called Duck on a Rock: this game involved intentionally knocking off a small toy duck that was sitting on a rock by tossing rocks at the duck.
However, it is not James Naismith alone who had a pivotal role in the history of basketball, another gentleman named Luther Gulick also had an important role to play and would later be known as the overseer of basketball. Dr. Luther Halsley Gulick was the Physical Education Superintendent at Springfield College who gave James Naismith the order to develop a game that would help distract the students from the weather as well as provide indoor athletic education. The new game which evolved was known as basketball and combined finesse and accuracy with many other aspects of existing game play.
Early Basketball Games
The history of basketball began with a soccer ball, two peach baskets that were stationed 10 feet in the air, and 9 players on each team. In the beginning there were 13 basic rules. You can read the initial rules of the game of basketball as James Naismith invented it by visiting http://www.whoinventedbasketball.com/. Although the game of basketball has spread internationally, and rules have been tweaked here and there, Naismiths “Thirteen Rules” remain the core foundation of the game as when it first began many years ago in the history of basketball. To learn more about how the rules of basketball have changed since their creation by James Naismith you can visit the FIBA website located at http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/baskBasi/p/ to learn about modern basketball rule basics. FIBA is the International Federation of Basketball agency which is the world governing body for basketball, composed of 213 National federations of basketball around the globe.