Basketball is one of the world’s favorite sports. Everybody knows what basketball is, the basic rules, and the most famous players. Michael Jackson, Wilt Chamberlain, and their records are known worldwide.
But, if you want to learn more about the history of basketball, where it originated, and how much it changed, read on.
Where Was Basketball Invented?
Basketball was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s the only sport of completely American origin.
When Was Basketball Invented?
Basketball was invented in the winter of 1891/1892. The history of basketball started when dr. James Naismith, an instructor at the International YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, came up with the first rules.
Why Did James Naismith Invent Basketball?
He did it to keep his students engaged and in good shape during the winter months. They couldn’t play football, rugby, or soccer inside, and other exercises bored them. The students were full of energy and had no way to burn it.
The game had to be simple, entertaining, and not risk injuries as much as football or rugby.
Development of Basketball
James asked the janitor for two boxes for goals for the first game, but he got two peach baskets instead. He hung the baskets on a balcony railing 10 feet high — the same height is still the standard. They used a soccer ball since they didn’t have a special ball.
In the beginning, the players’ only goal was to put the ball in the other team’s goal.
Interestingly, the game of basketball was inspired by a game James played as a child, called duck on a rock.
Now, the game is world-famous, and the NBA teams are some of the most valuable teams in the world. But let’s see what led to this.
History of Basketball Rules
The first few games were played with no actual rules except putting the ball in the other team’s basket. In 1891/2, James Naismith wrote and published the original 13 rules the game had to follow.
In the beginning:
- The game had 18 players, nine for each team
- A player couldn’t run with the ball
- The game was divided into halves
- No substitutes were allowed for disqualified players
Throughout basketball history, many rules have been changed and added. In fact, almost every year since 1892 had at least one new rule.
Some of the post-1892 rules, currently not used, were:
- The free-throw line was set at 20 feet
- Teams couldn’t use numbers 1 or 2 on uniforms
- Fouls were separated into classes
- Coaches couldn’t move from the bench
History of the Basketball
The first basketball was invented in 1894 by Spalding — a sports equipment company. The ball was 32 inches wide, made of leather, and weighed 20 oz. Based on rules, the ball could be only tan or yellow.
Since 1959/1960, the official ball color has been dark orange, and in 1949, the standard size became 30/29.5”.
Nowadays, basketball leagues outside the US use either composite leather (fake leather) or rubber balls.
The official NBA league ball is 29.5” and made of leather. From 1983 to 2021, Spalding produced NBA balls, but in 2021, the honor went to Wilson.
History of Women’s Basketball
Women’s basketball is only a year younger than men’s. Smith College’s players adapted Jaimes Naismith’s rules in 1892 to create Basquette — women’s basketball. Basquette was played by six players on each team, and the court was divided into three zones.
Here are some facts and timeline for women’s basketball:
- The first-ever women’s basketball game was played in 1893.
- Women couldn’t play basketball in the Olympics until 1924. But before 1976, the women’s basketball was only an exhibition event.
- The Amateur Athletic Union created the women’s basketball league in 1926, only to cancel it a year later.
- Post-WWII, more leagues were organized, and women’s basketball took off.
Nowadays, women’s basketball is still not as popular as men’s. But there are some changes. While the viewership for the NBA went down in 2020, the viewership for 2020’s WNBA finals was up by 34%.
History of Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair basketball first started in 1945/6 in the US. It was used as a way of rehabilitation for WWII veterans in the hospitals.
The first official match between two teams was held in 1947.
In the beginning, it was mainly a veterans’ sport. Later, it started to get recognition from other people in wheelchairs. It’s one of the first ten sports played in the first Paralympics Olympiad in the 1960s.
Moreover, women in wheelchairs started playing basketball a few years after the Olympiad, in the mid-60s.
Nowadays, there are over 200 NWBA teams in the US and a few hundred worldwide.
History of Basketball Timeline
1891 — Basketball was invented
1892 — 13 rules got published, the first official game was played, and women started playing basketball
1894 — First basketball was created
1896 — The first professional game
1898 — First professional league was established
1914 — The most significant change of rules
1921 — The name spelling changed from basket ball to basketball
1932 — FIBA was created
1936 — Basketball on the Olympics
1949 — NBA was formed
1983 — The ball was standardized
What is the original name of basketball?
Basketball was at the beginning called basket ball. James Naismith’s students wanted to name the game Naismith Ball, but the name didn’t stick.
Why is it called basketball?
Basketball got its name because it was first played using peach baskets. The name combines baskets and a ball, items used in the game.
How was basketball first played?
Basketball was first played using peach baskets and a soccer ball. Like today, the players’ goal was to put the ball in the other team’s basket.
However, they had to follow slightly different rules than today. For example, they couldn’t run with the ball, each score was valued the same, and the games were divided into halves.
Who first invented basketball?
Basketball was invented by James Naismith, an instructor and training coach.
Where was basketball really invented?
Basketball was invented in the US and is the only thoroughly American game to this date. Basketball first originated in the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
As you can see, the history of basketball is as fascinating as the sport itself. It’s over a century old and still fascinates people to this day.
So, we hope you’ve learned a bit more about this sport and enjoyed the facts we prepared for you.