Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


Video Transcript

[Narrator - Rylan Strachan]

[Image of peach basket and title - the Peach Basket]

This is the story of the use of the peach basket (On screen- The Peach Basket) and a supporting cast of characters and how they brought you basketball as we know it today.

[James Naismith/Inventor of Basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1891]

In 1891, Canadian James Naismith was a Physical Education instructor at the Massachusetts YMCA. He was assigned the difficult task of creating a new indoor game to keep students active during the harsh New England winters and encouraging an uninterested group of students

[Historica footage - reenactment of an early basketball game]

After borrowing elements of several popular sports, the first game of basketball was played on December 21, 1891.

[Images of basketball players, teams and official rule book 1916-17]

Using a soccer ball, two raised peach baskets, a ladder, thirteen rules, and two teams of nine. The game quickly spread through the YMCA movement in 1893 and evolved as the rules were further refined. Points were given if the ball stayed in the basket. Initially, a player had to climb a ladder to remove the ball each time a goal was scored. This model was quickly replaced by metal frames with a closed net and a pull mechanism.

[Historica footage - reenactment of an early basketball game]

Modifications were made to the peach basket. But by 1896, peach baskets had been entirely replaced by modern hoops. As a result, the scores and pace of the game greatly increased.

[Images of athletes playing basketball including wheelchair basketball]

Currently, there are 300 million fans and players of all ages worldwide. As mesh nets and orange basketballs have replaced the old peach baskets and soccer balls, the sport has grown in popularity as has reverence to Naismith's contribution.

[Image of James Naismith - yelling and undignified cheering]

Today, basketball remains in the words of James Naismith, an "uproarious game accompanied by much yelling and undignified cheering."

Previous Next