The Evolution of Basketball

By Courts & Greens - April 26th, 2017 in Sports

old school basketball courts

Ever Wonder What Early Basketball Was Like? Or How it Came to Be?

If you’re curious about where the sport came from, we’ve put together a small early history on the sport, and it’s quite different from basketball today.

In the Beginning

Dr. James Naismith created the sport in the 1890’s in Springfield, Massachusetts as a game to play during the cold indoor winter months. Courts and Greens hadn’t been founded yet, so he had to settle for using peach baskets and indoor running tracks as a playing court. Early games experimented with rules, and players made do with whatever equipment was available. Team sizes, for example, depended on the number of players present and could range from as small as 5 per team to as many as 50.

The Ball, Boundaries, and Scoring

Early games were played with soccer balls, despite them being difficult to handle. It wasn’t long before Spalding Bicycle company became the official ball maker for the sport. The design was improved in 1929, and the molded basketballs we’re accustomed to seeing were invented around 1942. Baskets originally counted as one point, not two, and points were also awarded to opposing teams if too many fouls occurred.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that early basketball had no boundaries. Given the game was played indoors, the walls acted as the boundary. It wasn’t until 1904 that boundaries were established, and possession went to whatever team touched the ball first. This understandably led to brawls between players, and it’s one reason we’re grateful they’ve changed the rules since then.

(Credit to for the amazing basketball history)