Why Was Basketball Invented?

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith as the result of a challenge by Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick, the director of the physical education department at the YMCA International Training School in Massachusetts. Gulick was looking for an indoor activity that would be interesting and easy to learn and play during the winter.

This type of activity would not only be implemented by the Training School, but also at various YMCAs across the country. Naismith sought a game that could involve many players. He made attempts at modified forms of football, soccer and lacrosse with no success. His fourth attempt at Gulick’s challenge involved the methodical study of existing team games. His first generalization was that any new game must have a ball. He settled on the soccer ball after eliminating smaller balls that were difficult to handle or needed additional equipment for use. Next, he eliminated tackling to reduce the potential injuries that could occur indoors on wooden floors. Finally, he concluded that the game must have an objective or goal. He decided on a goal that required players to throw the ball in an arc, which limited rough play as a valuable tactic. On December 21, 1891, Naismith implemented the game of basketball, which was a success.