When Was The First Basketball Hoop Made of?

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by

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Do you know when was the first basketball hoop made? Who Invented Basketball?

It was in 1891 when James W. Naismith first invented basketball game. Since then basketball has now grown into one of the most popular sports all over the world. Yeah, basketball does have a long rich history.

We are going to tell you about the history of basketball. This takes us way back to the late 19th century, when basketball hoop was first invented.

Actually, The game basketball was the brainchild of school aged boys. James Naismith, a Canadian guy, is the person behind this invention. He was born in 1861. He grew up in Ontario, Canada. He was a physical educator, physician, Christian Chaplain, sports coach and innovator.

After serving as an athletic director at McGill University in Montreal, he joined into an athletic training school, YMCA Spring field, Massachusetts. There he came against a rowdy class which was confined to indoor games throughout the harsh New England winter.

Then Dr Luther Gulick, head of the physical education, assigned him to develop a game that would be playable indoors. Student athletes couldn’t get into their shape very often as the weather conditions outside didn’t allow them to go out for practice.

In December 1891, Naismith created a game where the objective was to throw the soccer ball into the peach baskets that were nailed to the gym balcony's lower railing. He initially set 15 rules for them. He divided his class of 18 into 2 teams of 9 players each.

When there was a point scored, the game had to be stopped to lug out a ladder and retrieve the ball. However, they didn’t need to do this too often because the score of the very first game was unbelievably low 1-0.

What was the thinking behind creating basketball game?

A simple thought process: tossing the ball into a ring and score points. Why was basketball invented? It could provide hours of fun on a cold wintry day. Naismith did have a couple of other things on his mind:


He wanted to make the game enjoyable where the player would be motivated and thrilled. He analyzed rugby, lacrosse, soccer, football, hockey and baseball and combined the game with these popular games. He made up his mind. It could be a goal-based game where point would be counted if someone scored.


He thought bigger softer balls would be the safest compared to the smaller and faster paced balls. So, he decided to use a soft soccer ball.


He saw that most physical contacts did occur through running with the ball. So, passing and shooting were the only legal option.


To further increase the game's safety, he decided to place the basket in a position where it would be challenging to defend up in the air.

Dr Naismith was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his creation in 1959. For being the architect, the game was named after him.

Evolution Of Basketball By Date

The First ever basketball hoop Jan 1, 1891

Dr Naismith initially used a broken peach basket to make the hoop. At first, basketball was called as “Basket Ball”. The basket was placed to 10 feet high in the air and then players would try to score.

First time backboard added, Jan 1, 1893

2 years later backboard was added to the game to stop the fans from interfering into the game. Besides, without the backboard, there was no rebound or lay-up. So, backboards were undoubtedly able to improve and enhance the game than what it was before.

Box on the backboard, Feb 2, 1893

For the shooting efficiency, a box was put on the backboard. Thus, dunking and bank shots were able to thrive now, two new aspects of the game.

New Basketball, Jan 1, 1894

The first ever manufactured basketball was made of leather. Then Spalding started to create new and improved basketballs that what we see today.

Trap door hoop, 1895-96

After a couple of years of peach basketball, there came trap door hoop. To retrieve the ball, the ref needed to pull a string connected to the trap door. Then the ball eventually came down.

Metal rim, Jan 1, 1901

After a decade of playing basketball, finally, metal rim was added to the game. The net was still closed off. But the basket got more modern look. Metal rim gives support to a backboard. Unlike a peach basket, it does not fall over when a player dunks.

Wooden backboards, 1904

Though backboards were first invented in 1893, this time the wooden one became mandatory.

Glass backboard, 1909

From here on, glass backboards became a common feature on almost all hoops. Every other backboard used in the past prevented the audience from seeing more of the game with the backboard blocking their view.

Basket gone, net arrived, Jan 1, 1912

Finally, the nylon nets were used in 1912. The bottom of the net was cut out. It allowed the ball to fall through the hoop. The game was now able to move faster and had more scoring opportunities than ever before.

ABL hoops 1925-1931

Both glass backboards and metal rims were a common feature in the American Basketball League. However, they didn’t have the breakaway feature in metal rims.

Orange Ball, 1950

The first ever ball made, especially for basketball was brown. Orange was chosen to make the game more visible to players and spectators.

Modern day hoops

NBA/WNBA/NCAA all have breakaway rims nowadays. Therefore, the rim is flexed when someone dunks the ball. The backboard size is 6 feet by 3.5/4 feet, rim-18 inches in diameter and net- (15-18) inches in length.

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