Today’s Google Doodle is a cute animation celebrating Dr. James Naismith and his invention of basketball in 1891.
James Naismith (November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain, sports coach, and innovator. In 1891, following studies at McGill University, James Naismith left Montreal for Springfield, Massachusetts, and invented the game of basketball.
He wrote the original basketball rule book and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. Naismith lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as well as the birth of the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Tournament (1939).
James Naismith’s Original Rules of Basketball
Typewritten first draft of the rules of basketball by Naismith
On January 15, 1892, James Naismith published his rules for the game of “Basket Ball” that he invented. The original game played under these rules was quite different from the one played today as there was no dribbling, dunking, three-pointers, or shot clock, and goaltending was legal.
- The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
- The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with a fist).
- A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed.
- The ball must be held in or between the hands; the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
- No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. 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 allowed.
- A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such described in rule 5.
- If either side makes three consecutive fouls, it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).
- A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there (without falling), providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edge, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.
- When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of 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.
- 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. He shall have the power to disqualify people according to Rule 5.
- The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, 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.
- The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.
- The side making the most goals in that time is declared the winner. In case of a drawn game may, by agreement of the captain, by continued until another goal is made.
- Naismith’s original 1892 manuscript of the rules of basketball, one of the most expensive manuscripts in existence, is publicly displayed at the University of Kansas.