Game of Basketball Fitness
Who was the first to invent basketball? As a coach, I am asked this question frequently.
As coaches and fans of the game, knowing a little basketball history and the beginnings of the game we all hold so dear is vital (and enjoyable!).
Who Was the Inventor of Basketball?
James Naismith, a Canadian born guy, invented the game of basketball in December of 1891.
Naismith worked as an instructor at the Springfield YMCA training school. He was tasked with preparing young men to work as instructors at newly opened YMCA centres. The schools Superintendent of Physical Education, Dr. Luther. H. Gulick, urged Naismith in December 1891 to invent an indoor game to keep the young men active during the chilly winter months because the weather kept the class indoors.
Naismith anxiously set out to build a game that his class would like in response to this request. He had written in a diary that was discovered many years later.
What Was Basketball Like When It Was First Played?
Basketball was played with very little equipment… Two peach baskets and a soccer ball are suspended 10 feet above the ground.
The goal of the game is for your team to work together to toss or hit the soccer ball into the enemy team’s peach basket while defending a score in your own peach basket.
When a team eventually scored, you can image how difficult it was to pull the ball out of the peach basket. Some say they pushed the ball out with a long pole, while others claim it had to be retrieved by climbing a ladder…
In any case, the early players weren’t terrific shooters, so they didn’t have to worry too much about it! Even in the very first game, there was just one score throughout the entire game! However, I’ll go into greater detail about that game later in this article.
Originally, each squad consisted of nine individuals… What! Why are there nine players? Because there were 18 students in Naismith’s class.
The First Basketball Game Ever Played
On December 21, 1891, at the YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first game of basketball was played. The gym was really cramped. Only 50 feet x 35 feet, compared to the 94 feet x 53 feet of today’s courts.
That day, Naismith arrived early. He had no idea he was about to make basketball history…
He nailed a peach basket to the lower rail of the balcony on both sides of the gym after writing the ’13 Rules of Basketball’ on the gym’s bulletin board.
When the players came, Naismith divided his eighteen students into two groups of nine players and attempted to teach them the 13 basketball rules.
They were now ready to play a game that would forever revolutionise athletics.
James Naismith and his players had no idea how popular this new sport would become in such a short period of time.
The first basketball contest had the following players:
William H. Davis, Lyman Archibald, Edwin P. Ruggles, William R. Chase, John J. Thompson, Eugene S. Libby, T. Duncan Patton, Frank Mahan, Finlay G. MacDonald, William H. Davis, Lyman Archibald, Edwin P. Ruggles, William R. Chase
Wilbert Carey, Ernest Hildner, Raymond Kaighn, Genzabaro Ishikawa, Benjamin S. French, Franklin Barnes, George Day, and Henry Gelan are some of the names on the list.
The game ended with a score of 1–0. The winning team was Team 1.
From 25 feet away from the basket, William R. Chase scored the game’s only goal… become the first person in basketball history to score a goal during a game!