Next month, the original rules of basketball written by Dr. James Naismith are set to be auctioned for an estimated two million dollars. The two typewritten documents being auctioned contain the original 13 rules of basketball, written by Naismith in 1891. The documents are being auctioned by Naismith’s grandson Ian, to raise money for the suffering Naismith International Basketball Foundation. Naismith created the rules of basketball working as a physical education instructor in Springfield Massachusetts, trying to find a new game to keep his students engaged when it was too cold to participate in outdoor activities.
In addition to writing the original rules of basketball, Naismith was the first coach at the University of Kansas, where he coached for nine seasons. The basketball court at the University of Kansas is now named after the famous founder and coach.
Some of the original rules of basketball laid out by Naismith are quite humorous, seeing the way the game is played today. One of the original rules prohibited players from dribbling the ball. There were other interesting rules such as: If a player committed two fouls they had to sit out until the next basket was scored and the original rules called for the game to be played with a football. It would be quite interesting to see an NBA game played under the original thirteen rules of basketball. While I am sure some players wouldn’t stand a chance, I have a feeling some of the more creative ones would still find a way to flourish.
So, next time you are enjoying the game of basketball, whether you are playing or watching, take time to say a quick thanks to Dr. Naismith for the beautiful game he created.
Joshua Sexton is a lifelong basketball fanatic, who watches as many games as possible. In addition, He has played and coached the game at the high school level. He has recently started writing about the game of basketball.