On This Date in History: The is in Cleveland. Not sure why Cleveland was picked except maybe the state and city provided good tax incentives. But, at least its in a big city. is in tiny Cooperstown, NY. I love that town. The is in Canton, Ohio. The was supposed to be in Kingston Canada but funding dried up. Eventually, it ended up in Toronto. I think the first time the term “Hall of Fame” was used was in 1900 when the was established at New York University, now Bronx Community College. Then, the sporting world jumped on the bandwagon. I believe that myth, folklore or history suggests that baseball was first played in Cooperstown and football in Canton, which is why those towns were chosen. The is in Springfield, MA because, on this date in 1892, the first basketball game was played.
Basketball is unusual in that it was by one person, rather than evolving from a different sport. In early December 1891, Dr. , a physician of and minister on the faculty of a college for professionals (today, ) in , , sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long winters. Legend has it that, after rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in , he modified a Mayan game and wrote the basic and nailed a peach basket onto the 10-foot (3.05 m) elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom. Therefore balls scored into the basket had to be poked out with a long dowel each time. Women's basketball began in 1892 at when , a physical education teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. The first official basketball game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on , with nine players, on a court just half the size of a present-day (NBA) court. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of Naismith's students, was popular from the beginning.
Dr. Naismith's gym class produced the first basketball team. They consisted of nine players and their coach, pictured here on the steps of Springfield College Gymnasium. Back row: John G. Thompson; Eugene S. Libby; Edwin P. Ruggles; William R. Chase; T. Duncan Patton. Center: Frank Mahan; James Naismith. Front row: F. G. Macdonald; William H. Davis; Lyman W. Archibald.
Basketball’s inaugural contest was played in December 1891. Unlike the today’s game, the first basketball game was played using a soccer ball with nine players on either team, who shot at goals made from peach baskets. Moreover, since the ball could only be advanced via a pass, the original rules did not accommodate for what is known in today’s game as dribbling. There are many other differences between today’s game and the basketball rules at inception. Take a look at the original Basketball rules below.
The First basketball type game may have been played by the early Olmec people of ancient Mexico as early as 500 years go. The Aztec, and Mayan cultures also had a game similar to basketball, only instead of a rubber ball they used the decapitated skulls of their conquered foes. The First true basketball game as we know it was on January 20th, 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Canadian Doctor James Naismith invented the game for the YMCA to play during the winter months. Naismith wrote simple rules for the game, and nailed up two peach baskets for hoops, most of original Naismith rules are still in place today. Some of the rules have changed a bit, and new rules have been added since then, such as in the original game bouncing the ball was prohibited. Of the 13 rules, nine have been modified and kept in the modern game of basketball, the rest have been disregarded.
The First game consisted of 18 players, or nine to a team which was standard to the baseball teams of the day. Since Naismith or the YMCA didnt have the money to design a new ball they used a soccer ball. The concept of the game must have been foreign to the players as the game was played for 30 minutes and the final score was 1-0. Halfway though the game however William R. Chase made the ball go into the peach basket, and thus became the first player to ever score in a basketball game. It was during this game that someone suggested a name for this new sport, Basketball.
Dr. James Naismith