Let's Hear it for Dr. James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball!

Basketball's reach extends throughout California and the world. The sport is just over 100 years old but its popularity is immense, and it stands tall as one of the top sports to play and to watch. In California, beach basketball courts are highly sought out for their stunning views and fantastic weather that provides a cooling effect on players who often work up a sweat, running back and forth on the court.

The efficiency of the game in terms of court size makes it an easy installation on public beaches and parks in California where not much space is available. So popular is beach basketball especially, that people line up to play in beach locations around Laguna Beach, Playa del Rey, San Diego and San Francisco.

The very nature of the game and court were not an accident, but were invented by an enterprising man who taught gymnastics in places where it snows. James Naismith sought to devise a sport that would utilize intelligence and strategy, and not require large areas to play the game indoors. His first basketball game included a soccer ball and peach baskets in 1891. It was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Naismith went to the University of Kansas in 1898 to teach physical education and fulfill the role as chaplain. He developed his basketball game even further during his years teaching in Lawrence, KS., and was even flown to the Berlin Olympics in 1936 to watch it played just three years before he passed away.

As college basketball teams go, Kansas has had some winners through its years. Clyde Lovellette, Wilt Chamberlain, Jo Jo White, Danny Manning, Paul Pierce and coaches Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp, John McLendon, Dean Smith, Larry Brown, Roy Williams all got their inspiration and love of the sport from their predecessor James Naismith. Kansas Jayhawks college basketball is considered one of the most prestigious college basketball programs, and if Dr. Naismith was around, he'd surely be smiling at the huge success that his invention has become. He created 13 rules that were easy to learn for even youngsters.

The rules were as follows:

1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist.
3. A player can't run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man running at good speed.
4. The ball must be held in or between the hands. The arms or body can't be used for holding it.
5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent. The first infringement of this rule by any person counts as a foul; the second disqualifies him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution is allowed.
6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5.
7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it counts as a goal for the opponent (consecutive means without the opponent in the meantime making a foul).
8. Goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the ground into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponents move the basket, it shall count as a goal.
9. When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
10. The umpire shall be judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He has the power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.
11. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and decide when it is in play in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves with five minutes' rest between.
13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winners.

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