By Keith Kingston
Dr. James Naismith is known world-wide as the inventor of
basketball. He was born in 1861 in Ramsay township, near
Almonte, Ontario, Canada. The concept of basketball was born
out of his early school days when he played a simple game
as duck-on-a-rock outside his schoolhouse. The game involved
attempting to knock a "duck" off the top of a large rock by
tossing another rock at it. This is the beginning of a brief
history of basketball as we know it.
Naismith served as at the YMCA Training School in Springfield,
Massachusetts, USA in 1891, and this is where the sport of
basketball was born. Naismith was faced with the challenge of
finding a sport that was suitable for play inside during the
winter for the students. Naismith wanted to create a game of
skill that could be played indoors in a relatively small
The very first game of basketball was played with a soccer
and two peach baskets used as goals. The history of basketball
started right here.
James Naismith devised a set rules for these early games as
„« The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both
„« A player cannot run with the ball, but instead the player
must throw it from the spot on which he catches it.
„« The ball must be held in or between the hands, not any
„« No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in
any way of an opponent is permitted. The first infringement of
this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second
disqualify him until the next goal is scored.
„« If either side make three consecutive fouls it shall count
as a goal for the opponents (consecutive in these rules means
without the opponents in the meantime making a foul of their
„« A goal is scored when the ball is thrown from the ground
into the basket and stays there. If the ball rests on the edge
of the basket and the opponents move the basket, it shall also
count as a goal.
„« When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into
the field and played by the first person touching it.
„« The umpire shall be judge and have the power to disqualify
or foul players as required.
„« The referee shall be the judge of the ball and decide when
it is in play in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall
keep the time.
„« The time shall be two 15-minute halves with five minutes'
„« The side scoring the most goals in that time shall be
declared the winners.
Today basketball has grown to become one of the world's most
popular sports, all thanks to Dr Naismith.
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