Basketball History

The Basketball History: When, Where & Who Invented the Basketball?

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Those of us who watch a lot of Basketball and keep up with the NBA news daily might find it awkward to comprehend a time when the NBA or Basketball didn’t even exist.

Basketball is currently one of the most played sports in human history. Professional leagues are being played all over the globe. From China to Australia and even Madagascar, it has grabbed the attention of millions of sporting enthusiasts. The great thing about this game is that you don’t even need much equipment or specific conditions. It is fun to burn calories and enhance concentration without developing many injuries.

However, being a sport, Basketball wasn’t nearly anything as it is now. There is a solid history of basketball timeline that many of us aren’t aware of. That’s why today we will talk about things like who invented Basketball, what was the year when it was invented & how many players in Basketball are currently accepted. So, without further waste, let’s get into it!

Basketball History :Who first invented Basketball?

The straightforward answer is James Naismitha Canadian and a physical education teacher at Springfield College.  The more interesting fact is that he himself was a 31-year old graduate student of the college(known as YMCA)too and working as an instructor of the Junior group of students.

When & Why did James Naismith Invented Basketball?

Inventor of basketballBasketball is one of those American sports with a clear-cut history and a known founder. It all started back in December of 1891 in Massachusetts, in which cold temperatures drove many athletes inside. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor and a theologist, saw how restless the students were. They missed their usual outdoor sports, and the only game they could rely on was nothing more than indoor baseball. 

At that time, the director of Springfield YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) tasked Naismith to develop a new indoor sport that would help sportspeople keep distracted throughout the winter. It had to be exciting and be able to play in artificial light. Other instructions suggested that it should be easy to adopt without ruggedness (fewer chances of fractured bones). 

James Naismith then studied different activities like baseball, rugby, soccer & Lacrosse to adopt the best parts of each game in a gym environment. The result was a sport containing two peach baskets nailed to each other at ten feet and a basic soccer ball. 13 rules were established, and finally, Basketball was born. Thus, we can say that the inventor of today’s Basketball was James Naismith himself. 

What Was the First Basketball Made of ?

Early historical basketball
Historical Basketball in early days

The first basketball was made from leather panels sewed together with an inside cloth lining( for extra support) over a rubber bladder. Later in 1942, a new molded form of basketball was developed
for a long time; leather material remained the favorite for outer covering of basketball till the late 1990s. Thenceforward, synthetic composite and rubber materials have been experimented with. The ball’s durability became a concern when people started to play basketball outdoors. Synthetic composite material quickly reaped popularity in many leagues. Nevertheless, the NBA’s official game balls are  made of real leather material.

What Were the Conditions of the First Basketball Game Ever Played?

The Basketball played in the early days was very basic, consisting of a soccer-style ball along with a couple of nailed fruit baskets. Each time the student scored a point, the staff member had to cease the game. Later on, it was decided that the lower end of the baskets had to be separated to resolve this issue. This led to the first basketball game ever played on December 21st, 1891, based upon two teams with 9-9 members each. It had 15min halves, and the score ended with 1-0. 

How Many Players are in Basketball Team?

Originally, Basketball was played with 18 members, with each team receiving nine players. The court size was also quite limited to a typical gymnasium. Fast forward today, professional basketball leagues are organized with 12 players (5 at a given time). The basket height is also adjusted at 10feet, which is standard even today. 

What were Some of the Original Basketball Rules?

James Naismith devised a set of 13 founding rules for basketball games in 1892. Some of the renowned ones are under as;

  1. No player is allowed to run while holding the ball. The player who receives the ball while running under moderate speed without stopping should be allowed. 
  2. The Basketball can be tossed in any direction as long as it’s handled with hands (single or both).
  3. The act of shouldering, pushing, or holding the opponent is not allowed. Any infringement to this rule will be subjected to a foul followed by a short disqualification until the next point is scored. 
  4. The goal should only be counted as the ball is thrown within the nest/basket. It should also be counted as a point if the ball is tucked along the margins or the opponent forces the basket.
  5. Basketball should be thrown back out of bound by the player with the last tap. Each player will be given up to 5 seconds in this regard. If there is a discourse, the referee can throw it back. 
  6. The main referee is allowed to judge the whole game. He will decide things like fouls, half-time, and inbound. 
The only known historic audio clip of basketball inventor James Naismith

History of Basketball (Timeline)

There is a lot to uncover when it comes to the history of the basketball timeline. The following key points will help you regarding basketball history facts;

  • 1891 – The year basketball game was officially invented by James Naismith (YMCA Gym teacher).1891 (December 21st) – The first-ever basketball game was played at Massachusetts courtyard with a final score of 1-0. 
  • 1892 – Dribbling was accepted in basketball matches.
  • 1893 – The very first game of women’s Basketball was held.
  • 1895 – Basketball was recognized by several colleges & high schools in America. 
  • 1906 – Iron nets soon replaced the typical peach baskets.
  • 1920’s – Minor basketball leagues were being played throughout the States.
  • 1936 – Basketball was officially accepted as a sport in Olympics. 
  • 1937 – NBL was established, becoming the first professional league
  • 1939 – NCCA held its first basketball championship.  
  • 1946 – Competitions arose for the NBL, with Boston Garden’s prime location.
  • 1949 – NBA (National Basketball Association) was formed with the merger of NCCA & NBL at Empire State Building 
  • 1954 – Shot Clock was introduced in league matches to provide more authenticity to Basketball. 
  • 1956 – Bill Russel was drafted by Boston Celtics.
  • 1964 – Wilt Norman Chamberlain boasted an exceptional performance in NBA history, scoring almost 100 baskets in an individual match. 
  • 1970-1976 – Anti-trust lawsuit was promoted by Oscar Robertson (former NBA president), resulting in NBA free agency. 
  • 1976 – NBA was further expanded with four teams from ABA (22 teams total).
  • 1984 – Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan, who took the overall league to new heights, especially in the ’90s. 
  • 1992 – US Olympic basketball team drafted stars from NBA, including Michael Jordan, who dominated the Barcelona Summer court. 
  • 2003Forward – NBA popularity grew globally with the help of legends like Kobe Bryan, Lebron James, Steph Curry. 

Final Verdict 

This concludes our two cents on basketball history and its generalized timeline. We’ve discussed things like what was the first Basketball made of, who invented Basketball & the year when it was invented. At the end of the day, Basketball is one of the few curiosity-driven sports held dear to many people. It was developed as an idea by Naismith for the betterment of the community and a desire to serve athletes. So, next time you play on a court, try to think about its history and founding. 


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