Naismith nets basketball

It was on this day in 1891 that James Naismith, a 30-year-old YMCA trainer from Almonte, Ont., invented the game of basketball.

According to article provided by Canadian history portal,, Naismith had been asked by the principal of the YMCA’s Springfield Training College to devise a good indoor phys-ed activity to keep a group of incorrigible students busy during for the harsh winter months, in between football and baseball, and was inspired by a childhood game called Duck-on-a-Rock.

Naismith typed up the rules of what he called “Boxball”, and on December 21, 1891, got a janitor to nail two peach baskets up on opposite ends of the gymnasium at the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA College. He then instructed his students to toss soccer balls into them, thus inventing the game of basketball.

A more detailed account on how Naismith remembers that day, click here.

image15The 100th anniversary of the invention of basketball was commemorated on the Basketball issue of Oct.  25, 1991. There were two formats, a souvenir sheet containing one each of 40-, 46-, and 80-cents values, and a sheet of the 40-cents value. The sheet stamps bear the name of the sport’s inventor, James Naismith, and feature the French and English versions of the issue’s sponsor The Sports Network (TSN/RDS).

50-1999-basketballIn 1999, the Royal Canadian Mint released a silver 50-cent piece commemorating the anniversary of basketball in Canada. It was one of the 12 coins issued as part of the Canadian Sports First Series between 1998-2000.


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