Was Basketball Invented in Kansas?

The game of basketball has a long and interesting history that dates back to the late 19th century. Many sources agree that basketball was invented by James Naismith, a physical education instructor at Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1891. However, there is some debate as to whether basketball was actually invented in Kansas.

Background of James Naismith

James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario and graduated from McGill University in 1887 with a degree in physical education. After graduating, he moved to Springfield, Massachusetts and began teaching at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School in 1891. It was here that he came up with the idea for basketball.

Invention of Basketball

Naismith was tasked with coming up with a new game that could be played indoors during the winter. Naismith was inspired by a game he had seen called “duck on a rock,” which involved throwing a rock at a duck that was perched on top of a wall. He took this concept and applied it to a game of basketball. Naismith’s first version of basketball involved two teams of nine players and two goals made out of peach baskets.

Naismith’s Original Rules

In order to make the game fair, Naismith came up with 13 original rules. These rules included no running with the ball, no dribbling, and no contact allowed between players. He also established that the ball should be thrown in a certain way and that each team should have five players on the court at a time. The game was an instant success and quickly spread throughout the United States.

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Debate Over Kansas

In recent years, there has been debate over whether or not basketball was actually invented in Kansas. The debate began when a former mayor of Lawrence, Kansas, claimed that the game of basketball was invented by a man named Dr. James Naismith, who was from the area. This claim was later debunked when it was revealed that the man in question was not the same Dr. Naismith who had invented the game.
However, the debate over whether or not basketball was invented in Kansas still remains. Some sources point to the fact that the game was popularized in the Lawrence area, while others argue that the game was invented in Massachusetts.


In conclusion, it is clear that basketball was invented by James Naismith in Massachusetts in 1891. Although there is some debate over whether or not the game was invented in Kansas, it is clear that Naismith was the one who came up with the game and its original rules. The game of basketball has come a long way since its invention and is now enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.