Basketball History and Timeline of Basketball History

Basketball History

What is basketball? 

Before heading toward basketball history let’s know what is basketball. Obviously, no need to explain, because it is one of the most well-liked games in the world. And everyone knows about it because of its interesting basketball history. Basically, two teams play basketball. Each team comprises five players who try to score by throwing the basketball through the hoop. So, known as a very thrilling and exciting game.

But, most people aren’t aware of actual basketball history, and also desire to know that:

In 1891, when the harsh winters were going to start in Springfield, Massachusetts, the indoor game was demanded by to boys to play insides. So, the winters led the invention of the basketball.

James Naismith, actually Canadian resident but moved to unites states later, was a physical education instructor and physician. He made the invention of the basketball in Springfield by giving an indoor game to keep the students busy and fit even in the homes.

Basketball birthplace is Springfield college, Massachusetts, U.S. by the physical education instructor James Naismith.

The founder of the basketball, James Naismith, when firstly present this game, he came up with a peach basket and a ball. since the game was that the ball had to be thrown in the basket, so, it got the name “Basket Ball“. while after it’s evolution now it’s called as “Basketball“.

It got so famous in a short span of time because it could be started with just small no. of equipment like only basketball and ball. And also there were no special and complex rule to understand and to pursue this game. First basketball official league was started in 1898.

I know everyone craving for researching and knowing more about the most beloved game, if you’re also one of them, check out this blog post. I’m going to answer all your questions in detail below. 

So, let’s begin

Basketball History Timeline 

It all started back in 1891, in the season winters when the physical education instructor named James Naismith was asked to invent a heart-pumping game for the students. The story behind the basketball history was of the need for the invention of the exciting game. The harsh winters were going to start and there was a demand for an indoor game for the boys to play. Because the boys were getting bored living inside with no thrilling activity to boost them up. So, James Naismith was assigned this task.

It was the month of December when Naismith came up with a game in which a ball had to be put into the basket hung on the rail of the gymnasium. He took two peach baskets and hung them on the lower rail of the gymnasium of the school named Springfield(where basketball was invented). That lower rail was 10 feet tall. This is the reason that still now standard hoop height is 10 feet. Then he made the two teams each with nine players.

The game was executed in a way that each team had to throw the ball into the basket of the opposite team. The team with the highest score at the end of the game would win. 

However, there was also the problem that when the ball was put in the basket, then someone has to get it outside the basket. This was proving difficult so the end of the basket was cut down to make the ball drop down easily. 

The name basketball was because the ball had to be thrown into the basket, so it was named the “basket ball”. Later when this game got famous and highly approved worldwide then began basketball.

Basketball history fact: it got so approved by the boys that even the other school also started to carry this game for their students as an electrifying activity to do in winter. That was the reason behind it’s spread like wildfire. 

Here is the end of basketball history, now its proliferation has started. Just imagine, the game started simply at school now played everywhere in the world. That was exciting and brief basketball history and now let’s take a look at the approval of basketball.

The Proliferation of Basketball History

Basketball Timeline

When the game started in Springfield, it became exceptionally consented by everyone that other schools also began to play this. Similarly, from one place to another it spread like a virus. This happened too soon as in the early 1900s and the whole united states knew about it. 

When the international basketball federation(in French “Fédération Internationale de Basketball”(FIBA)emerged in 1932, it took the game to the international level. Before the FIBA there was no representation of basket ball at the international level. So by the virtue of FIBA, Olympic sports added basketball in them.

Moreover, in the 1950s, the National Basketball Association(NBA) was formed(in 1946). This led to basketball popularization even further.

As the game got international acceptance, of course, to survive with its versatility some modifications were needed. That’s why some rules were added to the game and some were amended.

All the progress in basketball history was so rapid from the minor school game to the international game. Even its inventor James Naismith saw in his life the basketball addition to the Olympic sport.

Shot clock: In basketball history by the 1950s, the rule was to made to make a shot at a specific time. This was called a shot clock. This made the game more exciting and teams started to make shots more actively and aggressively on offense.

Naismith Original Rules in Basketball

The game was to throw the ball to the opposite team’s basket. So when players started to play, they became very undisciplined to score more points. Even the players got injuries while anxiously running for scoring. So this was so a serious issue that caused the shoulders dislocation of some boys. Eventually, to cope with it, Naismith designed thirteen rules. These were the first rules for “basket ball” in basketball history and were called Naismith’s original rules.

In 1891 Naismith mapped out some rules which were as follows:

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
  2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands.
  3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the position where he catches it, with allowance to be made for a man who catches a ball when running with a good speed.
  4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
  5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. Otherwise it’ll consider a basketball foul. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute.
  6. A foul is striking the ball with the fist, a violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5.
  7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for opponents.
  8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the basket and stays there. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal.
  9. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The “thrower-in” is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
  10. The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made.
  11. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in-bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
  12. The time shall be fifteen-minute halves, with five-minute rests between.
  13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In the case of a draw, the game may, by agreement with the captains, be continued until another goal is made.


Overall, a brief summary of basketball history, a fascinating story that spans over a century. This game started as a school game and now has grown to the international level. Now it has millions of fans all over the world. You can imagine the basketball popularity from this.

The growth of basketball isn’t stopped still, in fact, it’s improving and becoming more technical with the advancement of time. One must say that it is continuing to evolve since it originated.

However, basketball history is the invention, growth, and evolution of basketball and is proof of human creativity. It shows the power of humans and also proves the appeal of sports for entertainment, and inspiration of society.