What Were the Original 13 Rules of Basketball? - Deepstash
The original American basketball game

Dr James Naismith invented the original American basketball game in 1891. He wanted to create a non-contact sport that could be played indoors. In January 1892, he published the rules in The Triangle, the school newspaper of Springfield College.

Although other rules have been added, the original 13 rules of the game still form the heart of the game.

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  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction using one or two hands.
  2. The ball may be batted in any direction but not with the fist.
  3. A player cannot run with the ball but must throw it from the spot where he catches it.
  4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, not with the arms or body.
  5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking of an opponent.
  6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, and violations of rules 3, 4 and 5.
  7. If any side makes three consecutive fouls, it counts as a goal for the opponents.

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8. A goal is made when the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the basket and stays there.

9. When the ball goes out of bounds, the first person touching it shall throw it into the field of play. The thrower may not hold onto the ball for longer than five seconds.

10. The umpire shall judge the men and notify the referee of three consecutive fouls.

11. The referee shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, which side it belongs to, and keep the time.

12. The game consists of two 15-minute halves and 5 min rest in between.

13. The winner is the side with the most goals.

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