In the pre-computer age, children played outdoor games. Americans had a popular game called "Duck on a Rock." A stump, called a duck, was placed on a stump or other elevation. Near him was a "guard", which was supposed to prevent attempts by other players to knock down the "duck" on the ground.
Sportsman, teacher, inventor
The father of basketball was born in 1861, in the province of Ontario, in Canada. Now in the town of Mississippi Mills there is a house-museum of the inventor of basketball. From childhood, he was fond of sports, especially playing kinds. If hockey at that time was as popular as it is now, one of the Canadian teams would probably have a center forward, whose shirt would have the surname Naismith. James, while studying at the University of Montreal, played other games, mostly in the form of football - in European (called North American soccer) and Canadian.
The young man had an innovative mindset and inventive vein. Canadian, like American football, has English rugby in progenitors and is a super contact game with increased trauma danger. Hard collisions led to permanent damage. James Naismith is considered the first player to use a protective helmet. The rules did not prohibit this, and his example was followed by other students, who feared for the safety of their ability to successfully absorb the teaching material.
Bachelor of Physical Education
After graduating from the university and becoming a certified physical education teacher, James Naismith moved to a neighboring country. Since 1891, he began working in one of the colleges organized by the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), a youthful Christian organization, in Springfield, Massachusetts. In addition to gymnastics, he taught anatomy.
As a teacher, James Naismith was considered a true professional. He sought to introduce students to the sport, trying to make the classes interest, not turning into tedious and monotonous exercises. In the summer it was easier to organize outdoor competitions, where students played baseball and football, in winter it was more difficult to maintain interest in gymnastics in the gym. The director of the college, Dr. Luther Gulick, asked James to come up with something. And it's better not so aggressive as rugby or American football. The creative nature of the talented fizruka once helped Naismith find a brilliant solution.
A soccer ball and two baskets of peaches
James Naismith invented the ball game indoors to dispel the boredom from practicing on gymnastics shells or the monotonous running around them. It is said that the rules of the new game, current in general terms today, were formulated within an hour. One day he noticed how some of the students from the rugby college team are trying to play in the hall, using a large box instead of the gate.
December 1, 1891, dividing the students into two teams, he proposed to hit the ball in a wooden box, located on the floor in the center of the gym. The case ended in a heap-small, when the defenders rose around the box and completely blocked it from rivals. On the perimeter of the hall was a gallery, and James came up with the idea to nail to her opposite sides two empty baskets in which the college delivered fruit. In them, the first basketball players were supposed to get a leather ball for European football, gaining points.
Shield, ring and mesh
The height at which the baskets were strengthened was 305 centimeters, which was preserved in the modern rules of the game. Now blocking the opponent's throws became more difficult, and the game went more dynamic. Unnecessary pauses arose when the watchman, who bore the surname Stebbins, had to get the balls that hit the target. Perhaps this was his first end of patience, and he cut the bottom of the basket, so that the ball itself fell down. Soon, metal rings were made with a mesh, which has not changed fundamentally until our time.
The game was so exciting that soon the competition began to attract fans who filled the gallery. Trying to help the players, they often caught the ball that flew past the target, and lowered it into the basket. To protect the ring from volunteers, it was necessary to build a shield to which the basket was attached. Subsequently, he began to play a different role, but still remained one of the most important attributes of basketball.
To understand what kind of sports game was invented by James Naismith, it's very simple. Today, a strong metal ring, equipped with a synthetic net, must withstand the weight of two-meter athletes, but is still called a basket - in English basket. A modern ball made of a unique polymer is a product of complex technologies and high design. He does not look much like the football leather, which seemed to Neussmith the most suitable, but he is still called in English ball.
The rules of basketball for a hundred and more years have changed dramatically, making this game the fastest in the world. But the first, original, were published January 15, 1892 in a school newspaper, which was called "Triangle". This day is considered the official date of birth of basketball - a game in which today play about 300 million.
Popularity without advertising
A new game - fast and exciting, which could be played on the street, and indoors, with simple and clear rules, immediately liked the youth. Naismith was approached from various educational institutions from all over America with a request to send basketball rules. In 1892 there was a book in which they were formulated in 13 paragraphs. The basic provisions of the rules are unshakable for the current generation.
A sheet with typewritten rules, on which Naismith's hand has a headline - "Basketball", was sold in 2010 at an auction for more than 4 million dollars. The father of basketball did not special "promotion" of the new game and did not use it for self-promotion. The game, authored by James Naismith - basketball, is considered the most "American", but the US citizen of the United States was born only in 1925, 34 years after the resettlement. He engaged in his own pedagogical career, having received several academic degrees in religion, philosophy and medicine. But his brainchild quickly gained popularity around the world.
In 1898 the first professional league appeared in the USA. Players received $ 2.5 for home games and $ 1.25 for outreach. Less than a hundred years passed and one of the star players of the NBA "Washington Bullets" team, Juwan Howard, signed a contract, according to which he received $ 100 million for seven seasons.
At the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, an indicative basketball match was held, and in 1936 at the Olympics in Berlin, the first official tournament was held, at which the US team won the final in Canada with a score of 18: 9. The guest of honor, who made a symbolic throw-in in the final match, was the inventor of the game. Invited to the Olympics by the highest leadership of the IOC, he was able to assess the scope of the popularity that his brainchild has acquired throughout the world.
Glory in the life and posthumous
Naismith died on November 28, 1939, surrounded by five children and many grandchildren. Perhaps the invention of James Naismith steam hammer, as did his English almost namesake James Nesmith, or, for example, a sewing machine, and would bring him greater prosperity and a better life. But so far millions of people are grateful to him for the joy that his invention brings.