In Which US City Was Basketball Invented?

An old basketball hoop hanging in the Springfield's Basketball Hall of Fame.
An old basketball hoop hanging in the Springfield's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in the United States. The team sport includes ten players, five from each opposing side, and is played on a rectangular court. The objective is to shoot the basketball into the opponent’s hoop. The round basketball is 9.4 inches in diameter, while the hoop is about 18 inches in diameter and mounted on a backboard at a height of ten feet. A field goal is worth two points, or three points if scored from behind the three-point line. Basketball has been played for more than a century, and its popularity continues to grow. Basketball was invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Who Invented Basketball?

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian-American physical education instructor, physician, and sports coach at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School (now known as Springfield College) in Springfield, a city in the US state of Massachusetts. In December 1891, Naismith attempted to develop an engaging activity that would keep his students occupied and fit throughout the long New England winter. After reviewing various ideas, and rejecting some as unsuitable for the walled gymnasium, Naismith wrote basic rules for the new game and nailed a peach basket to an elevated track ten feet about the floor. Unlike modern basketball nets, the peach basket had a bottom and the ball had to be retrieved manually. The bottom of the basket was later removed, as retrieving the ball after every score was time-consuming. The game was also first played using a soccer ball.

Where Was Basketball Invented?

Springfield, Massachusetts has earned the nickname "Hoop City" for its role in the creation of basketball. In addition to basketball, the first friendly volleyball match was held in Springfield in 1896 at the same YMCA where basketball was invented. However, volleyball was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Springfield is located on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River and is the seat of Hampden County. The city covers an area of approximately 33.1 square miles, 1.2 square miles of which is water. Springfield was once nicknamed "The City in a Forest" because it features 4 square miles (12% of its total area) of urban parkland. The city is surrounded by rolling hills, bluffs, and mountains. Additionally, Springfield also boasts Forest Park, a 735-acre neighborhood situated in the southern corner of the city that features about 600 Victorian Painted Lady mansions. Springfield has a population of approximately 154,000 residents, which ranks as the fourth most populous city in the New England region and twelfth in the northeastern United States.

Status of Basketball in Springfield

Basketball continues to be a famous sport in Springfield. Between 2009 and 2014, Springfield was the home of the Springfield Armor professional basketball team (now the Grand Rapids Drive) of the NBA Development League. The city has also been the home of teams in various minor league basketball leagues, including the United States Basketball League (USBL) and the Eastern Professional Basketball League. Springfield is also the host city for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II championships.


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