Picture this; you are an Azteca Indian in a village during the 1500’s playing a game called Ollamalitzli. In this game your team captain just scored the winning basket for the team and also had won the clothing from the spectators. Soon the next day the losing team’s captain got decapitated in front of the whole village. So do you still want to explore the creation of basketball.
We now fast-forward clear into the 1800’s, specifically November 6th, 1861 in Ramsay Township, near Almonte, Ontario, Canada. A young boy is born of the name James Naismith. James Naismith went to a one room Christian school house. There they played a game called, “Duck-on-a-Rock.” Later in his life he went to McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Soon after James Naismith graduated from McGill University he traveled to the YMCA Training Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. There he became the Physical Education Teacher. The Physical Education Department had started to see their students getting uninterested in their regular exercise activities. They then asked Dr. Naismith to create a game for them to participate in. Dr. Naismith tried to include outdoor sports into the gymnasium but when he did they got too rough. One day Dr. Naismith asked Pop Stebbins, the school janitor, to find two boxes but all he could find were two peach baskets. He nailed the peach baskets to a balcony ten feet high. This was the start of a game that would be played through history.
I now want to tell you some facts about the rules of the newly created game. This game consisted of nine players on each team. Whenever someone scored a basket the point was only worth one. Also in the game players couldn’t dribble and there were no backboards to the baskets. People wanted to name the newly made game “Naismith-Ball” but instead Dr. Naismith simply called it “Basketball.”
Now that the game and rules had been created it was time to have the first game. On March 11th, 1892 the men students of the YMCA Training Center played the first game ever against their instructors. They won five to one in front of a 200 person crowd. Later that year the women’s first basketball game was held at the YMCA Training Center. One of the players, Maude Sherman, later married Dr. Naismith. As a result of these first games of basketball being performed the sport started becoming more popular. The following year Dr. Naismith clarified the game to the director of Physical Education at Smith College named Senda Berensen. It was located in the neighboring city of Northampton, Massachusetts. That same year the first women’s college basketball game was played.
So do you still want to learn more about the evolution of the ball and the basket? In the starting years, basketball was played using a soccer ball, and then, in 1894, a wheel producer in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, created the first basketball. He made it by using cowhide for the external, (The part of a basketball you...