Basketball started in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was invented by a Canadian named James Naismith.
Basketball is unique in that it was invented by one person, rather than evolving from a different sport. In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-born physician and minister on the faculty of a college for YMCA professionals (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, sought a vigorous indoor game to keep young men occupied during the long New England winters. Legend has it that, after rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules which were printed in the YMCA Triangle magazine in Jan 1892, and nailed a peach basket onto the 10 foot elevated track. Women's basketball began in 1892, at Smith College, when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. The first official basketball game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892 with nine players, on a court just half the size of a present-day NBA court. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of Naismith's students, was popular from the beginning.
Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly spread through the country. By 1896, it was well established at several women's colleges. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade, it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules for the game.
Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specially for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Inflation of the ball is based on the height of the ball's bounce. Inside the covering or casing, a rubber bladder holds air. The ball must be inflated to a pressure sufficient to make it rebound to a height (measured to the top of the ball) of 49-54 in (1.2-1.4 m) when it is dropped on a solid wooden floor from a starting height of 6 ft (1.80 m) measured from the bottom of the ball. Annual sales of basketballs in the US top 4 million.
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