basketball school holiday program

The Origin Of Basketball

Basketball is one of the world’s most popular spectator sports, rivalled only by football. Basketball is also one of the most widely played sports, basketball’s governing body, FIBA, estimates that around 450 million people are playing basketball worldwide today!

Basketball can be played by children as young as 5, and it’s never too early to begin developing the game’s unique skills. One of the most popular ways kids can get into the sport is to attend a basketball school holiday program where they can have a great time playing and learning from a dedicated expert coaching staff!

Despite its massive global popularity, most people aren’t aware of how basketball began! Let’s take a brief tour back in time to learn about the origin of basketball!

Back in 1891 a 31-year-old physical education graduate student named James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA wanted to play an indoor sport over the winter months to keep in shape during the cold weather. His original version made use of a soccer ball and fruit baskets. The game’s objective was to throw the ball into the fruit baskets that were nailed to the gymnasium’s balconies. At first they had to use a ladder to retrieve the ball after every point was scored, which was a time consuming and hazardous chore, but they eventually realized they could cut out the bottom of the basket and the first hoops were born! The game was an overnight sensation, and spread all across the US and beyond!

The next big step in basketball’s history was the formation of the FIBA, a French acronym standing for  Fédération Internationale de Basketball. During the sport’s first decades there was no international organization governing basketball and its rules of play. Supporters of the popular sport wanted it to be included in the Olympics, and it was demonstrated to the committee in 1904, but lacking an organisation, basketball was rejected until FIBA was founded. FIBA’s efforts helped basketball be included in the 1936 Olympic games, and to no one’s great surprise the US National Team captured the gold medal. Forty-five years after its invention, James Naismith was pleased to have lived long enough to see the sport he had created join the august ranks of recognized Olympic sports.

Basketball had previously been spread around the world by the US Army and the YMCA, the Young Men’s Christian Association that was a champion of physical fitness. Both of these organizations maintained wide international presences, and took the game with them wherever they went. In 1893, the world’s first international basketball match was organized featuring teams from China, India, Japan, and Persia.

By the year 1900, every major university was fielding a basketball team. In 1905 the first formal collegiate basketball rules were introduced, and in 1909 the NCAA, National Collegiate Athletics Association, became the college sport’s governing body. In 1939 very first NCAA tournament was held, played by two conferences of four teams each, and was won by the Oregon Webfoots in a match against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

And so, basketball became one of the modern world’s most well-loved sports thanks to an inspired graduate student in Massachusetts who was bored with nothing to do that winter!