Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 1892: Basketball's First Official Game

On January 20, 1892, the first official game of basketball was played at a YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York. The game was born in December of 1891 after a rainy day kept Dr. James Naismith's physical education class from taking their activities outdoors.

At the time Naismith was the head of physical education department at the International Young Men's Christian Training School in Springfield Massachusetts. He started jotting down rules for this game that could be played indoors. It was a basketball constitution of sorts that marked the birth of a sport. It was a set of thirteen rules which can be viewed in a link provided below. Naismith's foundation provided the framework needed to build a sport that millions upon millions of kids, as well as, men and women alike still enjoy today.

In most of these blogs I write I have a wide variety of newspapers and other archives to refer to, not the case with the first official basketball game ever played. There is not a lot of information about that day. The court was half the size of what we are used too and in the infancy of basketball it was also a game of keep away that simply kept the opponent from scoring. The basket was an old peach basket nailed 10 feet into the air and the game was played with a soccer ball. The kids who tossed that soccer ball around could have never known that more than more than 120 years later that little game they played on that gymnasium floor would have a great historical impact as each and everyone of them were pioneers. The final score was 1-0 and was won by a 25 foot shot that landed in the peach basket. It might not have been the thriller that you will be sure to see when March Madness rolls around, but without that one game March Madness might not even exist today.

The original thirteen rules of the game can be viewed here: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blbasketball_rules.htm


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