Planet Hoops Logo
Who invented basketball?

The Inventor of Basketball…

Almost every basketball fan knows who invented basketball but if you’re not one of them then please read on.

Originally basketball was called Basket Ball. It was invented in 1891 by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith who was a teacher at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is reported that the game of basketball came about as the result of a challenge from a teacher to his students to “pique the interest of an incorrigible class during the usually dull winter months.”

The apathetic class was tired of calisthenics so Naismith’s instructor suggested he invent a new indoor sport. Not one to shirk a challenge Naismith rounded up two peach baskets only because the janitor didn’t have any boxes around, and a soccer ball. His next step was to develop rules for the new game. He developed 13 of them. Naismith then decided to divide his class of 18 into 2 teams of 9 players each and attempted to teach them the basics of Basket Ball.

The simple object of the game was to throw (no shooting back then) the soccer ball into the peach baskets which were nailed to the lower railing of the gym balcony. Each time a point was scored the game had to be stopped in order for the janitor to lug out a ladder and retrieve the ball. Naturally, that didn’t happen too often — the score of the very first basketball game ever played was an amazingly low 1-0.

A lot has happened since the introduction of the game and basketball has undergone many changes and milestones, both in equipment and rules.

What a great game basketball is. All those who have ever picked up a ball will know the magic lure of Hoops.

We hope this provides you with a brief but useful insight into who invented basketball and a new love for the best game ever invented! Thank you Dr. Naismith.

Basketball Photo

Who Invented Basketball?

If you are wondering who invented basketball you came to the right address. Basketball is globally known as one of the most interesting and fastest sports. The game as you know it today has not always been that famous though. If you are wondering who invented basketball and how it was played over 100 years ago, you will find your answers here.

The Inventor

It was the Canadian James Naismith whom invented basketball in the December of 1881. James was born and raised in Almonte, Ontario, where he also finished his grade school and high school.

James became an orphan early in his life because both his parents died from typhoid fever and was raised by his aunt and uncle.

James finished the McGill University located in Montreal where he excelled at gymnastics, soccer and Canadian Football. James, as a real sports fan, became a sports teacher at the YMCA Training School in Massachusetts.

How did Mr. Naismith develop the game of basketball?

You already had an answer on the question “who invented basketball?”, however, what was driving him to come up with this invention? While James was working at the Training School as sports educator he was assigned with the task to develop a game that would be playable indoors.

The game was intended to keep his class of athletes in shape when the weather conditions outside didn’t allow them to go out for their practice. The game should be able to be played in a small indoor environment. Two things were one his mind while he was developing this new game:

  • What are the famous sports at this time and which parts can I implement in my game to motivate the athletes and make it an interesting game?
    • How do I avoid as much possible physical contact in such a small environment?

He decided that a bigger ball, as opposite to the smaller and faster played base ball, hockey ball and others, would be safer. This is why he decided to make use of the somewhat soft soccer ball which of course took away some of the threats that other games had as well.

Secondly, he decided that passing and shooting on the basket would be the only way to move the ball, meaning that running with the ball would not be allowed which would also increase the safety of the game. He also decided to make the ‘goal’ or in this case the ‘basket’ in a position where it can hardly be defended, up in the air.

What did his class and the rest of America think of the game back then?

The class that first played the newly invented game lacked some enthusiasm but did manage to give the new sport a name. Within just several months the local newspaper gave a report on the game and in a year time the sport was known across the entire United States. I hope that you found the information found in this article about James Naismith, the man who invented basketball, useful and helpful.