London 1948 Olympics

London 1948 Olympics

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Basketball

Basketball

In 1891, a leader of the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, asked James A. Naismith… one of their physical education coaches… to create a team sport that could be played indoors during the winter. After developing several ideas, Naismith formed thirteen basic rules for the new game. Then, to establish a playing area for the sport, he asked the gymnasium janitor to nail two boxes to the gymnasium balcony to be used as goals. However, the janitor could find only some half-bushel baskets, which Naismith found acceptable. Thus, the new sport became known as Basketball. The first game ever played consisted of two teams of nine players each. A soccer ball was used, since it provided the best bounce of any ball available. The two teams played enthusiastically, but in spite of much running and shooting, the players scored only one basket during the entire game. This new sport rapidly spread across the nation, and then around the world. By 1904, there was an exhibition of basketball at the Olympics in Saint Louis, but it wasn’t until thirty two years later that the sport was officially added to the Olympics program. Then, in 1976, this exciting Olympics sport was expanded to include Women’s Basketball. To honor the Olympic sport of Women’s basketball, the United States Postal Service issued the stamp displayed on the First Day Cover.