Essay, Research Paper: Basketball History


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Dr. James Naismith is known world-wide as the inventor of basketball. He was
born in 1861 in Ramsay township, near Almonte, Ontario, Canada. The concept of
basketball was born from his school days in the area where he played a simple
child's game known as duck-on-a-rock outside his one-room schoolhouse. The game
involved attempting to knock a "duck" off the top of a large rock by
tossing another rock at it. Naismith went on to attend McGill University in
Montreal, Quebec, Canada. After serving as McGill's Athletic Director, he moved
on to the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA in 1891 where
the sport of basketball was born. In Springfield, Naismith was faced with the
problem of finding a sport that was suitable for play inside during the
Massachusetts winter for the students at the School for Christian Workers.
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. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two
peach baskets used as goals. Naismith devised a set of thirteen rules of
basketball: The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands. The
ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the
fist. 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.
The ball must be held in or between the hands. The arms or body must not be used
for holding it. 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. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist,
violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5. If either side make
three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive
means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul). goal shall be made
when the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the basket and stays
there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If
the ball rests on the edge and the opponents move the basket, it shall count as
a goal. 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. The umpire shall be judge of the
men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls
have been made. He shall have the power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.
The referee shall be the judge of the ball and decide when it 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. The time shall be two 15-minute halves with
five minutes' rest between. The side making the most goals in that time shall be
declared the winners. In addition to the creation of the sport, Naismith
graduated as a medical doctor, primarily interested in sports physiology and
what we would today call sports science and as Presbyterian minister, with a
keen interest in philosophy and clean living. Naismith watched his sport,
introduced in many nations by the YMCA movement as early as 1893. Basketball was
introduced at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
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