Basketball is undeniably among the most loved sports in the world with several national and international tournaments and championships conducted all across the globe. Even though basketball is immensely popular in almost all parts of the globe, not many people know about the rich history of the sport and the genius who invented it.
Did you know that it is the only major sport which originated in the US which has an undisputed inventor? Do you know about the person who invented basketball? Would you like to know who that person was? Just keep reading.
Who Invented Basketball?
The credit for inventing the amazing sport of basketball goes to Dr. James Naismith, a physical education instructor, and innovator. Born and raised in Canada, Naismith traveled to the US to pursue his interest in physical education and Christian ministry. It was while he was working as a sports coach at Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) training school in Springfield, Massachusetts that he created the sport and established its rules.
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How Was Basketball Invented?
Dr. Naismith was undertaking an assignment to create an indoor sport which could be played enjoyed during the cold Massachusetts winters. The idea behind the development of the sport was to give the disruptive students an athletic distraction. For this purpose, James Naismith decided to create a sport that relied not merely on strength, but on skill, accuracy, and finesse .
Facing a two-week deadline, Naismith took inspiration from “Duck on a Rock,” a game that he enjoyed as a child, in which players would try to know off the “duck” placed on top of a large rock using a small stone. In the earlier version of the sport, he placed two peach baskets placed 10 feet above the ground. Also, a soccer ball was used at that time as the basketball ball was not yet invented.
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How Was Basketball First Played?
In the first version of the sport, each team had nine players, who had to follow a set of 13 rules. At that time, players could only move the ball forward by passing it to one another, and what is called “dribbling” today, bouncing the ball along the ground, was not allowed to the players.
Points were earned every time players successfully tossed the ball into the peach basket. So, every time the ball was put into the basket, a player had to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball. It wasn’t until 1913 that iron hoops with open nets were adopted in the sport. With these rules in mind, Naismith conducted the first basketball game on 21 December 1891.
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How Basketball Became Popular?
From there on, basketball quickly gained fame, with the first college basketball game being played on 18 January 1896, when the University of Chicago visited the University of Iowa. The former defeated the hosts with the final score of 15 to 12. However, an important thing to note is that basketball, as it is played today, was patented by a G.L. Pierce on 25 June 1929. It did not take too long for the sport to gain international recognition as it became an official Olympic sport at the Berlin Summer Olympics of 1936. The first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament began with March Madness in 1939 with at the University of Illinois.
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