On this date in 1891, Doc Naismith staged the first basketball game at the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA.
A description of the scene, from “The Basketball Man” by Bernice Larson Webb:
"The first basketball game in history…was played in a YMCA gymnasium with a total floor space approximately forty-five feet wide and sixty-five long, and a playing field approximately thirty-five by fifty feet. Lights set into the ceiling were dim. Boundary lines of the basketball court were imaginary ones, with Indian clubs, dumbbells, and all the other gymnastic apparatus shoved hastily out of the way against walls and into corners. The equipment was simple - a ball and a pair of peach baskets…The uniform was long trousers and short-sleeved jerseys.
"There were nine players on each team…a goalkeeper, two guards (right and left), three center men (right center, left center and center) two wings (right and left) and a home man. or goal thrower, stationed in this order from the goal…equivalent, in modern terminology, to three guards, three centers and three forwards.
"Although Naismith rules called for both a referee and an umpire, he served as the sole official in this game, and probably found that more penalizing was necessary than one man than could handle fairly. Fouls, indeed, far outnumbered scores in this first trial game of basketball.
“Furthermore, because the bottoms were left in the peach baskets, a scoring ball would remain in the basket, ten feet above the floor, until someone got it out. Naismith, undaunted, asked janitor Stebbins to get a stepladder and take care of that problem. Stebbins was on hand with his ladder, therefore, to recapture the one ball that tumbled into a peach basket, effectively aimed by William R. Chase from near mid-court for the single point of the game.”
HAPPY NAISMITH DAY !!!