Learn more physics!
can you tell me about the inventor of the basketball? How has the basketball changed since it was first made? How has the game changed since it was first played?
- Jason (age 12)
Beck Middle School, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States o
According to The Basketball Hall of Fame's history page
basketball began in 1891 at what is now Springfield College in
Springfield, Massachusetts (it used to be called the "School for
Christian Workers", and they used a YMCA gymnasium). The inventor was
James Naismith, and his original 13 rules of the game can be found on
the web site. He was given "14 days to create an indoor game that would
provide an `athletic distraction` for a rowdy class through the brutal
New England winter."
You can browse the NBA's rules on the web (there are too many to inlclude here) at the NBA's rules of basketball page
. Lots of things like having a special rule for players who shatter backboards probably didn't occur to Mr. Naismith.
The basketball itself has changed only a little over time. The
original balls I believe were made of a leather covering over an
inflated rubber ball, perhaps with a layer of cloth for stiffness in
between. These days you can still buy balls made like that, but there
is now a large variety of imitation leathers and plastics that balls
are made of. I just went shopping for a basketball a couple of months
ago and found a dizzying array of all different models at all different
prices at the local discount store.
(republished on 07/19/06)
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