The game of basketball was developed by Dr. James Naismith in 1891. Naismith was a Canadian physical education instructor who was teaching in Springfield, Massachusets at the YMCA Training School. He was assigned to develop a game that would be able to be played inside during winters and incorporated skill for the students instead of a game that relied on strength. The game also needed to be played in a relatively small space.
What Dr. Naismith came up with combined portions of the sports soccer and lacrosse, and a game he played during his childhood which was called Duck on a Rock. Duck on a Rock was played by trying to knock off a small rock (the duck) off of the top of a large boulder. Thus, the “duck” would be elevated and you would throw a ball at it to knock it off. This game him the idea for the game of basketball.
Dr. Naismith’s first basketball games were played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets nailed to a railing 10 feet off of the ground. Naismith developed 13 rules for which his game was to be played. They were as follows:
- The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
- The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist.
- A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man running at good speed.
- The ball must be held by the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it.
- No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed.
- A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5.
- If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).
- A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do no touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.
- When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
- The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.
- The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals, with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
- The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.
- The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner.
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