Why was basketball invented

Basketball: The game

A typical basketball game has ten players on the playing court at all time with five belonging to each of the two competing teams. The objective of this game is to put the ball through each other’s hoops (18 inches in diameter and 10 feet from the ground) that are fixed at extreme ends on both sides of the court. Each team will also continuously try to take possession of the ball in order to stop the other team from scoring. The team which has the highest score at the end of the game wins. There are a clearly defined large set of rules that govern this basic concept and is implemented throughout the game by a referee.


Basketball reportedly started back in 1891 at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School (YMCA) in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Initially, the baskets retained their bottoms, but with time, people realized that it was a time-wasting and disrupting issue to have the ball taken out each time someone scored. Thus, the bottomless peach basket came into being. The baskets were in use until 1906, after which the metal hoops with backboards were introduced.

It should be noted that there was no basket “ball” before the late 1950s and the game was being played with a soccer ball instead. Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball that we are used to seeing today; it also allowed players to use dribbling effectively now that the balls were symmetrical enough to properly support the technique.


Why and how?

It was the month of December in 1891, when Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in an attempt to find an indoor game that was physically engaging enough to keep his students fit when outdoor activities were not an option due to climatic conditions. He taught physical education at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School and was also their gym instructor. He placed the world’s first “basket” (which was a peach basket that retained its bottom for the time) and wrote down the first set of thirteen rules that governed the first ever game on record. Officially, the first game of basketball ended with a result of 1 – 0 and it was played at the YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York on the 20th of January, in the year 1892.

The diary of Dr. Naismith was discovered after over a hundred years in 2006 by his granddaughter and it revealed more to us about the origin of the game. It was found that “Basket Ball”, as it was called by Naismith, actually borrows much of its rules from a game invented much earlier for children and known as “Duck on a Rock.” The game was not the first choice of Dr. Naismith as he had tried to set up a few others before it, but they had not worked due to some reason or the other. Therefore, basketball was invented as an indoor substitute for outdoor sports so that young people could stay fit even during the long and cold winter months.