Basketball history

We explain basketball’s history, its creator, and how it grew worldwide. In addition, the countries with the most significant victories.

What is the history of basketball?

Basketball (from the English basket meaning “basket” and ball representing “ball”) or basketball in its Spanish translation, was created in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian and physical education teacher at Springfield College in Massachusetts (then known as the International YMCA Training School).

The discipline achieved popularity, and at the beginning of the 20th century, it spread through the universities and colleges in the United States. It is one of the most practiced sports played in leagues and championships worldwide.

Basketball is a team sport where two groups of five players face each other. The game’s objective is to score points by putting the ball into a hoop located about three meters high. The score for each ball that goes through the ring is two or three points, depending on the position from which the shot was made.

The contact with the ball is with the hands, but the players cannot move to hold it but must run while hitting the ball against the ground until they make a pass to one of their teammates or even try to put it in the hoop.

creator of basketball

history of basketball creator James Naismith_basketball
James Naismith invented basketball out of a need for a winter sport.

The creator of basketball was James Naismith, who, after graduating in theology from Presbyterian College in Montreal, signed up to study physical education at Springfield College with Luther Halsey Gulik (recognized as the “father of physical education”).

During a game psychology course, Gulik raised the need to create a new discipline capable of performing in a closed environment to practice during the winter season (when they could not play soccer). In response, Naismith set about devising a new sport that was easy to grasp yet complex enough to spark interest.

He was inspired by various disciplines of the time, such as American rugby (for the passes), English rugby (for the jumps), and the “duck on a rock,” “a game from his childhood in which the goal was made. When throwing the ball and putting it in a basket at a considerable height.

Naismith drew up the thirteen basic rules that described how the game was played, how to move the ball, how to score, and what was considered a foul. He assembled the students to form teams that were assigned three centers, three forwards, and three guards for each group.

They placed two baskets of peaches about three meters high on each balcony at the ends of the gym hall. Each basket was supervised by a man who returned the ball to the field of play after the teams made a goal. A few years later, they cut the bottom of the baskets so the ball would come loose and go back into the game.

The news of the new sport was widely accepted and spread rapidly. Within weeks, it was added to the International YMCA Training School calendar across the country, colleges, and high schools.

Starting in 1905, basketball was officially recognized as a permanent winter sport. Its rules, while they have changed over the years, have generally not changed drastically from Naismith’s original list.

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