History Of Basketball Essay Research Paper Inventor

History Of Basketball Essay, Research Paper

Inventor of Basketball

There’s no such sport more convenient or accessible than basketball. It is fun, practical, and affordable. It’s also a common and healthy alternative to electronic entertainment. However, such a great sport could not come about by itself. There was an idea behind it. And behind that idea was a man, Dr. James Naismith.

James Naismith was born near Almonte, Ontario on November 6, 1861. He was the eldest son of Scottish immigrants John and Margaret Naismith. His family moved to Grand Calumet in 1869 when James was eight, so his father could become a sawhand. Two years later his parents died from typhoid fever leaving James his brother, and his sister, orphans. James, his brother Robbie, and sister Annie, then went to live with their maternal grandmother. When she died, they were sent into the care of their authoritarian uncle, Peter Young.

James’ childhood education was received at a single-roomed grade school. Although James was a strong and skillful boy, his academic studies were not as strong. His leadership skills compensated for poor marks. He was a leader among his peers in physical activities. He showed signs of becoming a great athlete. James soon moved on to high school, which was a grey-stone building in Almonte for him. Before and after school James did chores around the farm and worked woods. Through these chores he learned how to chop trees, saw logs, and drive horses. He was very independent in everything he did. If he was in the field or the woods he was expected to carry out his given work without any help. If problems arose, he dealt with them himself. This was due to his strong sense of leadership and skillfullness.

To further his education, James attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. There he began a four-year program in Bachelor of Arts. Here he studied exceedingly hard, and to do this he decided set aside sports. Finally, one day two of his friends convinced him that Varsity sports was key in staying fit. James then started to participate in gymnastics and rugby. He was so good at these sports that by his junior year he received the university’s highest awards for his athletic involvement. He was also part of the student government, Society choir, and the Literary Society for which he debated. After much study and hard work, James finally finished his four-year Bachelor program in 1887 and was put on the Prize and Honour List for completing his Bachelor of Arts Honours in philosophy and Hebrew. He graduated as one of the top ten in his class on April 30, 1887.

After graduation, James enrolled in the Presbyterian College. To pay for his education, James took up a job as instructor of physical education in the gymnasium at McGill. He studied hard as a student in a theological program and involved himself in extracurricular religious activities. He was part of the staff of the Presbyterian College Journal, the Literary and Philosophical Society, and the Missionary Society. James also liked to participate in rough sports such as lacrosse and rugby. Many people tried to deter him from sports so he could focus on his studies, but James made room for both.

Dr. James Naismith was very active in sports, but he did not decide to become active in helping others to be active in sports, until a remark that changed his career. During a senior rugby game, a player on James’ team swore, then apologized to James, explaining, “I forgot you were there.” These words changed the course of his life; now he began to ponder on the idea of helping men through athletics and ministry.

He began to develop his idea by visiting the Y.M.C.A (Young Men’s Christian Association) in Montreal and became acquainted with D.A. Budge, the general secretary of the Y.M.C.A. James explained his idea of helping young athletes to Mr. Budge. Mr. Budge informed him about the Y.M.C.A International Training School in Massachusetts. James decided to leave the Presbyterian College as an unordained minister to pursue a career entailing physical education. James spent some time learning about the Y.M.C.A s in Canada and the U.S. and then, in 1890, he left Almonte and travelled to Springfield to enroll in the Y.M.C.A Training School there. Here he furthered his education on spiritual and physical development.

James took and taught many courses at and played rugby for the Y.M.C.A. At the time (1870-80), outdoor sports were on an increase in interest; football and baseball being two of the major outdoor sports. However, between football and baseball season, there was athletic emptiness. Most of the time, athletes spent this emptiness of sports doing exercises and training. Although training is a necessity it can also be very monotonous and intensive. James realized this and he and the other students were put to the task of inventing new games for indoor play. After much thinking, the end result was the game of basketball. His new game was a huge success and some people wanted it to be named to Naismith ball, however Dr. Naismith, being the humble man that he was, declined.

In 1894, James marries Maude Shermann from Springfield. They had five children, Margaret, Helen, John, Maud, and James. Fourteen years later he became a professor and doctor at Kansas University. He received American citizenship in 1925. In 1937 his wife died and he retired from the University. In June 11, 1939 he married Florence Kincaid in Kansas. On November 19 of that same year, James suffered a brain haemorrhage and later died of a heart attack on November 28. He died at the age of 78 at his home, 1515 University Drive, Lawrence, Kansas. Throughout his whole life, James only played two games of basketball; once on March 11, 1892 in a public match in the International Y.M.C.A training school gym, and once at the University of Kansas in 1898. When asked why he only participated twice, James explained he “just didn’t get around to playing.”

A Brief History

The game of basketball has been around for over a century now. This must mean it is a great game because it has survived so long. About 100 years, from when Dr. James Naismith officially invented it in 1892, until now, the game has been increasing in popularity and participation. Here is a look at its humble beginnings.

While at Springfield College in Massachusetts, James Naismith’s PE instructor, Luther Gulick, assigned his students to the task of inventing a new recreational game to relieve the physical stress of callisthenics and drills. Thus came a new game; basketball.

So far only the concept of the game was invented; the rules still needed to be worked out. Due to the lack of space of indoor fields, James decided to keep running to a minimum in his new game. Also, because of the roughness of the floor he decided to omit tackling. As to the goal of the game, his youthful days aided him here. He borrowed the idea of his childhood game of duck-on-the-rocks, where children would aim and through rocks at a single rock perched upon a larger one. James also remembered the rugby off-seasons, which he and his friends used to spend playing a game where they would throw balls into empty boxes or baskets. This led him to concoct the goal of the game. A player would arc a ball into a horizontally elevated basket. This game used accuracy as a key skill to scoring rather than simple brute force. James also borrowed rules from lacrosse and rugby. Finally basketball had its primary rules:

? no running with the ball

? no tackling or rough body contact

? a horizontal basket above players’ heads would be the goal

? any player had the freedom to obtain the ball and score at any time

With the game now developed and the rules in place, basketball was ready to be played. James decided to test out this new game of basketball on his class. On his way to the gym, he asked a janitor if he had two boxes that were eighteen inches squared. Unfortunately, the janitor didn’t have any boxes, but he did have something probably better. The janitor presented James with two old peach baskets, about fifteen inches in diameter around the top. James took the baskets, got a hammer and some nails, and attached the baskets to the lower rail of the balcony. He placed them at either end of the gym, about ten feet above the floor. After outlining the rules and selecting the teams, the first game of basketball ever, was played in Springfield, Massachusetts; December 1891.

On that historic day, the first uniforms consisted of long grey trousers, short-sleeved jerseys and a pair of gym shoes. Filling these uniforms were the team members, nine in all, stationed in this order from the goal:

? 1 goalkeeper

? 2 guards (right and left)

? 3 centres (right, left, and centre)

? 2 wings (right and left)

? 1 home man

Today, these players would be the same as three guards, three centres, and three forwards. The game was monitored by a referee and an umpire, who also acted as ball retrievers since the bottoms of the baskets had not yet been cut. Although the game had its rules, it still needed a name. Frank Mahan, one of James’ students, suggested it be called “Naismith ball” but James laughed and declined. Then, in light of the peach baskets being used as goals, Frank proposed the name “Basketball.” James agreed. Now the new sport had a name.

James used his class as the test subjects for the game and they loved it; now it was time to move on. From the eighteen members of his class, James formed a team of nine, the captain being Frank Mahan. They competed against teams in the eastern states. This group of nine is recognized as the first basketball team in history.

On January 15, 1892, the Y.M.C.A’s school paper, the Triangle, published an article about Dr. Naismith’s knew game, including the instructions and the thirteen formal rules. This paper was distributed throughout all the Y.M.C.A s in the U.S. Also, soon after its creation, basketball was adopted into other countries. This was because the Y.M.C.A in Springfield, Massachusetts was an international one, so they received students from all over the world. These students, after graduating, went back to their homelands, and brought with them the game of basketball. In less than two years, basketball was introduced into more than a dozen other countries.

In 1892, Lew Allen replaces the peach baskets with baskets made of heavy woven wire and the balls were replaced by soccer balls.

In 1898, the first professional league was formed and called the National Basketball League, consisting of six teams. The first Olympic basketball game was in Berlin, in 1936, and won by the U.S over Canada, 19-8. In 1949 the Basketball Association of America and the National League merged to become the NBA.

Eventually, the game grew popular among almost all countries. Today it is played in more than one hundred and thirty countries, from Canada to Africa. It is estimated that some twenty million individuals play it each year. Wherever there’s a hoop and a ball, there’s basketball.

Original Rules

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 (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 who catches the ball when running at a good speed if he tries to stop.

4. The ball must be held in or between the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it

5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player should count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evidence to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.

6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of Rule 3, 4, and such as described in Rule 5.

7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count 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 not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

9. When the ball goes “out of bounds”, it shall be thrown onto the field of play by the person first touching it. In case of dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight onto the field. The thrower-in is allowed 5 seconds; if he holds it any longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on that side.

10. 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.

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 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 15-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

Naismith’s Typewritten Rules

Internet Sites:

? http://collections.ic.gc.ca/naismith/ ?

? http://collections.ic.gc.ca/heirloom_series/volume4/280-283.htm ?


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