The History of Basketball

The history of basketball began with its invention in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith as a less injury-prone sport than football. It consisted of peach baskets and a soccer style ball. He published 13 rules for the new game.

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The original rules for basketball were a little different from what they are in today’s game. For example, a player could not dribble or run with the ball, the player had to stop and pass the ball to a teammate who is running at a good speed. You also have only 3 fouls before you get kicked out the game.

On December 21, 1891, James Naismith published rules for a new game using five basic ideas and thirteen rules. That day, he asked his class to play a match in the Armory Street court: 9 versus 9, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets. The original name for the game of basketball was called Naismith Game but he suggested that it be called basketball since it involves a basket and a ball. There were other differences between Naismith’s first idea and the game played today. The peach baskets were closed, and balls had to be retrieved manually, until a small hole was put in the bottom of the peach basket to poke the ball out using a stick. Only in 1906 were metal hoops, nets and backboards introduced. Moreover, earlier the soccer ball was replaced by a Spalding ball, like the one used today.

The YMCA played a major role in the spread of basketball around the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world. In 1893, Mel Rideout arranged the first European match in Paris, Bob Gailey went to China, and Duncan Patton went to India. During World War I, the American Expeditionary Force took basketball wherever it went. Together with the troops, there were hundreds of physical education teachers who knew basketball.

The first professional league was founded in 1898. There were only 6 teams that were a part of the NBA at the time. The first championship team was the Trenton Nationals, then the New York Wanderers, followed by the Bristol Pile Drivers and the Camden Electrics. The league was abandoned in 1904. Then, many small championships were organized, but most of them were not as important as some teams who played for money against other opponents. The original Celtics are considered the fathers of basketball and was presented as the world basketball champions. Players had to sign a contract with them in order to play on the team, and coach Jim Furey organized matches moving daily town to town. In 1922, the first all-African American professional team was founded: the Rens (also known as New York Renaissance or Harlem Renaissance). The Rens were the original Celtics main opponent, a ticket for a game only cost 1 dollar. They took part in some official championships and won the first World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1939. The team disbanded in 1949. In the 1920s and 1930s, Eastern Basket Ball League (founded in 1909), Metropolitan Basketball League (founded in 1921) and American Basketball League (founded in 1925) were the most important leagues.

An American game that has traveled well is basketball, now played by more than 250 million people worldwide in an organized fashion, as well as by countless others in “pick-up” games. It’s been a popular game for decades and is still very popular. Basketball is a sport that a lot of people love, some say it’s the most interesting sport of all time, but that’s just an opinion. The game of basketball has changed drastically from then to now, the rules are different, more than 3 black people are allowed on a team, NBA team names have changed, and even the amount of money players get paid has changed.

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