Origins of basketball

Origins of basketball

  • In 1891, James Naismith, a physical education teacher, created a new game to keep his students engaged during the winter months. The game had to be playable indoors and accommodate several players at once. It needed to provide exercise without a chance for more severe injuries.
  • Two peach baskets nailed to the lower rail of the gymnasium balcony served as goals. The students would play on teams to try and get a ball into their team's basket. The first game was a complete brawl.
  • During the first game, the students were tackling, kicking and punching. One boy was knocked out, some had black eyes, and one had a dislocated shoulder. Afterwards, they nagged Naismith to let them play again.
  • He created some rules and continued to modify them into 13 rules - known as the original 13 rules. Some of the original rules are still part of the modern game today.
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The first public game of basketball was played on March 12th, 1892, in a YMCA gymnasium where the teachers played against the students. About 200 spectators attended.

Within weeks the sport's popularity grew. Students from other schools introduced the game at their own YMCAs, and then it was introduced to many foreign nations. High schools began to teach the game, and by 1905, basketball was officially recognized as a permanent winter sport.

  • The sport was introduced at the 1904 Olympic Games as a demonstration event and recognised as a medal event in 1936. The 1976 Montreal games included women's basketball.
  • The first professional league was the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1898 and consisted of six northeast teams. It lasted five years. The league was reintroduced in 1937 with a new support system and 13 teams.
  • At first, basketball was segregated. The sport was only integrated in 1950 when the Boston Celtics drafted Chuck Cooper.

The first NCAA tournament in 1939 included eight teams. The first collegiate basketball national champion was the University of Oregon, who defeated Ohio State University.

68 teams of the 1,000 collegiate basketball teams play in the annual March Madness tournament. The best college teams from each conference compete for a place in the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and the national championship.

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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.

The First “Super Bowl”
  • The first American Football League-National Football League Championship Game was played on Jan. 15, 1967.
  • It was the only “Super Bowl” game to be telecast by two television networks, to use two different footballs, to have two kickoffs for the second half, and to fail to sell out.
  • Tickets at $15, $12 and $10 were thought to be overpriced.

Games with racquets hitting balls have been going on since the Neolithic times. Ruins in Mesoamerica show signs of ball games played in various cultures thousands of years ago.

Greeks, Romans and Egyptians have played games resembling modern tennis.

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