Fact File about the Invention of Basketball: Invention: Basketball *** Date of Invention: 1891 *** Name of Inventor: James Naismith *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1861 - 1939 *** Nationality of Inventor: Canadian-American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Sport *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, James Naismith, and the invention of
Fact 1: Who invented Basketball? Prior to the invention of Basketball in 1891, there was
an ancient ball game, that was played with a stone "hoop", roughly 35 inches in
diameter, mounted above the sides of a playing court. This ancient ball game was
played over a thousand years ago by the Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs of
Fact 2: Who invented Basketball? The ancient Aztec ball game was called
Ullamaliztli and played on a tlachtli ball court with a hard rubber ball called
an ulli. This ancient ball game included similar elements to modern American
football, soccer and basketball. It was an extremely fast paced game in which
only the hands, chin, cheeks, hip and thigh could touch the ball. The
players wore highly decorated wore deerskin guards for protection. A form of the
ancient Aztec ball game, now known as ulama, is still played today.
Fact 3: Who invented Basketball? The invention of the modern game of Basketball
was made by James Naismith in 1891 during the Second US Industrial Revolution
era of inventions (1850 - 1914).
Fact 4: Who invented Basketball? The inventor of Basketball, James Naismith, was born on November 6, 1861 in Almonte, Canada and died on November 28, 1939.
Fact 5: Who invented Basketball? The early years of James Naismith were spent in Almonte, Canada where he was raised by his family
of Scottish immigrants. He was an outdoor kind of boy who loved playing outside
with his friends. Little did he know it at the time one of the games he played
called "duck on a rock" would one day lead to his invention of basketball.
Fact 6: Who invented Basketball? The simple schoolboy game of "duck on a
rock", also known as "bowlder on", was traditionally played in Scotland and
England and dated back to the Medieval era. The word 'duck' referred to the
stones, rocks or pebbles used to play many children's games. Most of these old
games involved throwing stones, and the kids ducked to avoid being hit - hence
the slang name 'duck'.
Fact 7: Who invented Basketball? The "duck on a rock" game could be
played by any number of players and involved hitting a target stone, placed on a
rock or tree stump, with smaller stones (ducks). One player was given the risky
job of defending the target stone whilst the other players threw their 'ducks'
at it. If the target rock was knocked down the game was over. If the players
failed to do this and used all their stones then the defender would throw the
target stone, and other "ducks" at the players.
Fact 8: Who invented Basketball? Leaving his schooldays and friends behind James Naismith,
a talented athlete and gymnast, undertook further education and graduated at
McGill University in Quebec where he studied physical education. He continued
his education at the Presbyterian College in Montreal.
Fact 9: Who invented Basketball? Following the completion of his education
in 1890 his first job was as a Presbyterian Minister and he then became involved
in working with young people, especially in encouraging sporting activities. James Naismith
moved from Canada to the United States and in 1891 was assigned to teach a
physical education class at a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) training
school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Fact 7: Who invented Basketball? His work at the Springfield YMCA led James Naismith
to the invention of Basketball. It was a prime example of the old saying
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention". Teaching physical education in the depth
of winter was difficult - lively students were confined to the indoors and
became rowdy and bored. Naismith's boss, Dr. Luther Gulick, head of Springfield
YMCA Physical Education, gave James just 14 days to come up with an indoor game
that would provide an "athletic distraction" and help James Naismith keep his
class in order.
Fact 8: Who invented Basketball? Dr. Luther Gulick gave James Naismith
several stipulations. The game could not take up too much space, had to be fair,
have rules, was not rough and would have limited physical contact to help keep
the track athletes both safe and fit during the winter season.
Fact 9: Who invented Basketball? The invention of Basketball by James Naismith
was inspired by his schoolboy game of "duck on a rock". The target stone was
replaced by a basket, the one he chose happened to be a peach basket. The basket
was nailed up high on the wall and he chose big soft soccer ball to aim at the
basket - the game of Basketball had been invented.
Fact 10: Who invented Basketball? The goal of the new Basketball game
was to throw a soft soccer ball into a highly erected peach basket - the
basketball game was safe, could be played indoors and unlikely to cause injury. James Naismith
had observed that most sports injuries seemed to happen around the goal zone
when both defenders and offensive players became very aggressive in these
regions. His invention of basketball addressed this problem.
Fact 11: Who invented Basketball? The game of Basketball was first played
on December 21, 1891. The first basketball game was played with nine players on
each team. There were two fifteen minute halves making 30 minutes total of play.
Fact 12: Who invented Basketball? The final score of the inaugural game
of basketball was 1-0 and the point was scored by William R. Chase.
Fact 13: Who invented Basketball? The rules of the first Basketball games
differ considerably to the modern rules. The ball could only be moved up the
basket ball court via a pass and the notion of 'dribbling' the ball had not been
Fact 14: Who invented Basketball? Basketball soon became extremely
popular at the YMCA in Springfield and within a year was spreading to other
YMCA’s. In just three years of the invention of basketball the game accepted as
not just a fun game to play indoors, but a legitimate sport in its own right.
Fact 15: Who invented Basketball? The rules of Basketball were subject to
many small changes and 'tweaks' as time went on and in 1893 the old peach basket
was disgarded in favor of baskets made with iron rims with netting.
Fact 16: Who invented Basketball? The invention of Basketball was a great
success and the personal life of James Naismith also gave him great happiness
when he married Maude Sherman on June 20, 1894.
Fact 17: Who invented Basketball? In 1895 James Naismith became director
of Physical Education at the YMCA in Denver, Colorado where he encouraged
involvement in the new game of basketball.
Fact 18: Who invented Basketball? In 1909 James Naismith became the
campus chaplain and physical education director of the University of Kansas and
the first coach of the their basketball team, which he coached for nine seasons.
Fact 19: Who invented Basketball? The Great War broke out in 1914 and James Naismith
served as a military chaplain with the troops of the American army. He returned
home to America and in 1925 became a citizen of the United States and in 1936
went on to be honored at the Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany
Fact 20: Who invented Basketball? James Naismith died on November 28,
1939 in Lawrence, Kansas but will forever be remembered as the Inventor of
Fact 21 - Impact: How did Basketball impact the world? The game of
basketball is considered one of the world’s most popular sports, being played by
an estimated 300 million people.
Fast Info and Fact File: Country of Origin: America *** Name of Inventor: James Naismith *** Nationality of Inventor: Canadian-American *** Date of Invention: 1891 *** Invention: Basketball *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1861 - 1939 *** Invention Era: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Type: Sport *** The Inventor and Invention of