The Origin of Basketball

March 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Danielle Wood

            In 1891, James Naismith, a physical education teacher at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts at the time, invented the sport of basketball.  With the help of American physical education specialist Luther Halsey Gulick, Naismith devised the indoor sport as an athletic distraction for a rowdy class during the long and harsh New England Winter.  The first official rules were devised in 1892.  From then on, the game progressed in its appearance and audience.  It became very popular throughout the country especially among the military.  In fact, it is mainly due to the military that the sport reached a worldwide audience.  Schools and neighborhoods all across the country adopted basketball as a favorite athletic pastime.  It first became actual events in colleges.  The first recorded official college game was on April 8, 1893 at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.  Professional organizations such as the NBA were not founded until the late 1900s.  Only until around that time did it become a professionally organized sport with leagues across the country.  However, college leagues were begun much earlier.

At the start of basketball, peach baskets attached to a ten-foot-high railing and soccer balls were used.  Since then, backboards were added along with iron hoops and a hammock-style basket.  Official court dimensions were decided upon not long after that.  Also, the United States patented an official ball for the sport in 1929.  From its start at a college which was also a YMCA building at the time, basketball has largely progressed in its setup and rules.  The sport has remained consistent since the national leagues were set up in the late 1900s.  However, the sport was very inconsistent before then.  It certainly took much time for the game to become consistent; however, this can be expected in sports.  Basketball has become one of the most important pastimes in America.  Sports themselves offer exercise and entertainment to people across the country.  There is no doubt of the importance that sports hold here in America.  After all, any neighborhood or school across the country contains some form of the game basketball whether a full court or a simple backboard and net hung high.  The sport of basketball has even helped churches across the globe reach out to teenagers with the gospel.



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