We explain the history of basketball, who was its creator and how it grew worldwide. In addition, the countries with the greatest victories.
What is the history of basketball?
The basketball (from the English basket which means “basket” and ball means “ball”) or basketball in its translation into Spanish, was created in 1891 by James Naismith , a Canadian professor of physical education from Springfield College in Massachusetts (then , known as International YMCA Training School).
The discipline gained popularity and at the beginning of the 20th century it was expanded by universities and colleges in the United States. Currently, it is one of the most practiced sports and is played in leagues and championships around the world.
Basketball is a team sport in which two groups of five players each face each other. The objective of the game is to score points by embedding the ball in a hoop that is located about three meters high. The score for each time the ball passes through the hoop is two or three points, depending on the position from which the shot was made.
The contact with the ball is with the hands, but the players cannot move holding it, but they must run while they hit the ball against the ground until they pass one of their teammates or try to put it in the hoop.
The creator of basketball was James Naismith who, after graduating in theology from the Presbyterian Collage in Montreal, signed up to study physical education at Springfield Collage with Luther Halsey Gulik (recognized as the “father of physical education”).
During a course in game psychology , Gulik raised the need to create a new discipline capable of performing in a closed environment to practice it during the winter season (when they could not play football). In response, Naismith dedicated himself to devising a new sport that was easy to assimilate, but complex enough to arouse interest.
He was inspired by various disciplines of the time , such as American rugby (for passes), English rugby (for jumps) and the “duck on a rock”, a game of his childhood in which both was performed when throwing the ball and embocarla in a basket located to a considerable height.
Naismith elaborated the thirteen basic rules that described the game mode, how to move the ball, the way of scoring and what was considered as a foul. He gathered the students to form the teams that were designated three centers, three front and three guards for each group.
They placed two baskets of peaches about three meters high, located on each balcony at the ends of the gym hall. Each basket was supervised by a man who returned the ball to the field of play, after the teams did a bit. A few years later, they cut the bottom of the baskets so that the ball was released and returned to the game.
The news of the new sport was widely accepted and expanded rapidly. Within a few weeks, it was incorporated into the calendar of the International YMCA Training School across the country, in universities and high schools.
Starting in 1905, basketball was officially recognized as a permanent winter sport . Its rules, although they have changed over the years, in general they did not change drastically from the original list that Naismith made.
The Springfield Collage, the institution where basketball originated, has changed its name more than once, which generated some confusion. It emerged as the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) that encompassed three sections: the training school, the international school and the international college.
However, during those years the name of Springfield Collage was used informally, until in 1954 the institution officially adopted it. Beyond the name, since its founding in 1885, it has always been a private and independent institution.
On December 21, 1891, James Naismith published the rules for the new basketball game and asked his class to play a game on one of the Springfield Collage courts, with a soccer ball and two peach baskets.
Someone suggested calling the new discipline “Naismith game”, but after witnessing the game they saw that the ball and the baskets stood out, so they chose to call it “basketball.” The YMCA played a very important role in the dissemination of this sport in the United States and in Canada .
In the rest of the world it didn’t take much longer to become known. In 1983 the first basketball game was organized in Montmartre, Paris, and then basketball meetings were organized in China, India and Japan.
The first professional league in the discipline was formed in 1898 with six teams that made up the “National Basketball League.” However, it was dissolved in 1904.
Then came other major leagues: the Eastern Basket Ball League (in 1909), the Metropolitan Basketball League (in 1925), the American Basketball League and the National Basket League (in 1937). The latter contributed to the creation of the NBA (National Basketball Association), the current US league based in Canada (in 1949).
World Basketball Growth
Despite the rapid expansion of sport in different countries, during the first decades basketball did not have an international organization to regulate it. Thanks to several requests, in 1904 the discipline was included as an Olympic demonstration sport .
Only in 1932 was founded the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). This agency, based in Miles (Switzerland), was dedicated to regulating sport standards worldwide and periodically celebrating different events and championships.
Through the contribution of the FIBA, men’s basketball became one of the Olympic sports. He had his first appearance at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 . In 1976, women’s basketball was incorporated as part of the Olympics, which took place in Montreal.
Most recognized countries in basketball
The country with the greatest victories in the whole history of basketball is the United States , both in the male and female versions. This country only once was not on the podium and was in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.