Photo: Y.M.C.A. training school [Springfield College], Springfield, Mass. - home of basketball.
By Mary Bellis
James Naismith was the Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891. James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian Cllege in Montreal. He was the physical education teacher at McGill University (1887 to 1890) and at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts (1890 to 1895). At Springfield College (which was then the Y.M.C.A. training school), James Naismith, under the direction of American phys-ed specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, invented the indoor sport of basketball.
The first formal rules were devised in 1892. Initially, players dribbled a soccer ball up and down a court of unspecified dimensions. Points were earned by landing the ball in a peach basket. Iron hoops and a hammock-style basket were introduced in 1893. Another decade passed, however, before the innovation of open-ended nets put an end to the practice of manually retrieving the ball from the basket each time a goal was scored.
In 1959, James Naismith was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (called the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.)
Patent Drawing: Basketball Patent
U.S. patent #1,718,305 was granted to G.L. Pierce on June 25, 1929 for the "basketball" used in the game.
James Naismith - Biography
Under orders from Dr. Luther Gulick, head of Physical Education at the School for Christian Workers. James Naismith had 14 days to create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction" for a rowdy class through the brutal New England winter.
Also See: The Life and Times of Dr. James Naismith
The History of Basketball
It all started with two peach baskets affixed to a 10-foot-high railing and with a soccer ball in a YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in Massachusetts.
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