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As a young man, Naismith studied theology and excelled in various sports. In the autumn of he was appointed an instructor by Luther Halsey Gulick, Jr. Gulick asked Naismith and other instructors to devise indoor games that could replace the boring or dangerous exercises used at the school during the winter. For his new game Naismith selected features of soccer , American football, field hockey , and other outdoor sports but in theory eliminated body contact between players. Because his physical education class at that time was composed of 18 men, basketball originally was played by 9 on each side eventually reduced to 5.

The first games employed half-bushel peach baskets as targets, so a stepladder was needed to retrieve the ball after infrequent goals. In Naismith received an M. From that year until he was chairman of the physical education department at the University of Kansas , Lawrence, where he also coached basketball until In addition to basketball, he is credited with inventing the protective helmet for football players. James Naismith. Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.

Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires . External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. See all media. Born: November 6, Canada Show more Died: November 28, aged 78 Lawrence Kansas Show more. Full Article. Britannica Quiz. Basketball Quiz. The only major sport invented in the United States, basketball has become a global phenomenon.

Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Hence, in December , Naismith invented basketball. It provided a fitting complement to baseball, already a national pastimeā€¦. Lawrence, city, seat of Douglas county, eastern Kansas, U. It lies on the Kansas River. History at your fingertips.

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Springfield guy looking for study buddy

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