The History of Basketball
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The History of Basketball
Jan 4, 2002, 19:48
By Kelly Reynolds Staff

The history of basketball originated with Dr. James Naismith, a physical education teacher who was given the task of developing an indoor game from which the history of basketball evolved. As a child Naismith played an elementary game known as “duck-on-a-rock”, which served as the basis for the game of basketball. Duck-on-a-rock, which consisted of attempting to knock a “duck” off of a rock by throwing another rock at it, was technically the beginning of basketball history.

After experimenting with several of his physical eduction classes, Naismith decided on an indoor game of skill that would become known as basketball. According to the history of basketball, Naismith nailed peach baskets to the ten-foot high balconies at either end of the gymnasium to be used as hoops. Two teams, each made up of nine players, would take turns shooting the ball into the basket.

The next significant development in basketball history occurred in 1893 when both the hoop and backboard were invented. The first hoops were actually formed out of chicken wire and were developed because the peach baskets did not have an opening for the ball to fall through. Backboards were also created at this point in basketball history in order to keep spectators in the balcony from interfering with game play. The first backboards in the history of basketball were also made out of chicken wire, which the players would utilize to guide the ball into the basket. Wooden backboards bacame mandatory in 1904, and glass backboards were admissible by 1909.

Early in basketball history, chicken wire was also used to build cages to separate the players from the audience. These wire cages were constructed primarily due to the fact that the first basketball games tended to be extremely violent. The players would intentionally hurl into one another, which would frequently result in a fight. In order to prevent these brawls from proliferating into the crowd the wire cages were contrived.

The wire cages also served to protect the players from objects thrown onto the court by people in the stands. According to the history of basketball, some fans would throw bottles and nails onto the court. This behavior reached a point where by it became necessary for the referees to carry guns in order to maintain crowd control.

Dr. James Naismith created a game in 1891 that would continously evolve throughout the years. As its popularity increased The National Basketball League (NBL) was formed in 1937. Around the same time in basketball history, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was assembled as a competing league. In 1949, the two leagues merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA), which still exists today.

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