James Naismith

James Naismith

Content:

·    Invention of the game

·    Rules

·    First game

 

Invention of the game

 

James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. Massachusetts had cold winters, and people wanted a game that could be played inside. Buck was a Canadian teacher, born in Almonte, Ontario on the 16th of November, 1861. Naismith was orphaned early in his life, and his uncle led him to study Hebraism and philosophy, and to train to become a priest. He graduated from McGill University, Montreal, in 1887 (it was the first graduation of eleven), but at the college he discovered sports: he played in the rugby team for eight years, even when he studied at the Presbyterian College in Montreal. But he dropped out in 1890, to become a physical educator at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

 

The First 13 Rules of Basketball

Naismith wrote the first 13 rules of the game.

1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with the fist).

3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed if he tries to stop.

4. The ball must be held in or between the hands; the arms or body must not be used for holding it.

5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.

6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of Rules 3, 4, and such as described in Rule 5.

7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the mean time making a foul).

8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

9. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field of play by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds; if he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on that side.

10. The umpire shall be judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

11. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made, and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.

12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves, with five minutes’ rest between.

13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

 

The first basketball game

On December 29, 1891, James Naismith defined a new game using five base ideas and thirteen rules.That day, he asked his class to play a match in the Armory Street court: 9 versus 9, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets. Frank Mahan, one of his students, wasn’t so happy. He just said: „Huh. Another new game“. However, Naismith was the inventor of the new game. Someone proposed to call it “Naismith Game”, but he suggested „We have a ball and a basket: why don’t we call it basket ball“?The eighteen players were: John J. Thompson, Eugene S. Libby, Edwin P. Ruggles, William R. Chase, T. Duncan Patton, Frank Mahan, Finlay G. MacDonald, William H. Davis and Lyman Archibald, who defeated George Weller, Wilbert Carey, Ernest Hildner, Raymond Kaighn, Genzabaro Ishikawa, Benjamin S. French, Franklin Barnes, George Day and Henry Gelan 1–0. The goal was scored by Chase. There were other differences between Naismith’s first idea and the game played today. The peach baskets were closed, and balls had to be retrieved manually by cutting a small hole in the bottom of the peach basket and poking the ball out using a stick. Only in 1906 were metal hoops, nets and boards introduced. Moreover, earlier the soccer ball wasreplaced by a Spalding ball, similar to the one used today.