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All About the Stanley Cup, and all of its Versions


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This topic came up in another thread...... but the HHOF in Toronto does indeed have the authentic Stanley Cup. 

 

 

There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup", the authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the spelling-corrected "Permanent Cup" on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. While the NHL has maintained control over the trophy itself and its associated trademarks, the NHL does not actually own the trophy but uses it by agreement with the two Canadian trustees of the cup.[3] The NHL has registered trademarks associated with the name and likeness of the Stanley Cup, although there has been dispute as to whether the league has the right to own trademarks associated with a trophy that it does not own.

 

- From Wikipedia

 

 

 

Origin

After the Lord Stanley of Preston was appointed by Queen Victoria as Governor General of Canada on June 11, 1888, he and his family became highly enthusiastic about ice hockey.[8] Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal's 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club.[9][10] The Montreal Gazette reported that he "expressed his great delight with the game of hockey and the expertise of the players".[8] During that time, organized ice hockey in Canada was still in its infancy and only Montreal and Ottawa had anything resembling leagues.[8]

Stanley's entire family became active in ice hockey. Two of his sons, Arthur and Algernon, formed a new team called the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels.[11] Arthur also played a key role in the formation of what later became known as the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), and became the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain.[12] Arthur and Algernon persuaded their father to donate a trophy to be "an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship".[11] Stanley sent the following message to the victory celebration held on March 18, 1892, at Ottawa's Russell House Hotel for the three-time champion Ottawa Hockey Club:[8][13][14]

I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion [of Canada].

There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team.

I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, and it would be worth considering whether they could not be arranged so that each team would play once at home and once at the place where their opponents hail from.[13]

Soon afterwards, Stanley purchased what is frequently described as a decorative punch bowl, but which silver expert John Culme identified as a rose bowl,[15] made in Sheffield, England, and sold by London silversmith G. R. Collis and Company (now Boodle and Dunthorne Jewellers), for ten guineas, equal to ten and a half pounds sterling, US$48.67, which is equal to $1,385 in 2019 dollars.[8][16] He had the words "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup" engraved on one side of the outside rim, and "From Stanley of Preston" on the other side.[17] The name "Stanley Cup" was given to it as early as May 1, 1893, when an Ottawa Journal article used the name as a title.[18]

Originally, Stanley intended that the Cup should be awarded to the top amateur hockey team in Canada, to be decided by the acceptance of a challenge from another team. He made five preliminary regulations:[8][14]

  1. The winners shall return the Cup in good order when required by the trustees so that it may be handed over to any other team which may win it.
  2. Each winning team, at its own expense, may have the club name and year engraved on a silver ring fitted on the Cup.
  3. The Cup shall remain a challenge cup, and should not become the property of one team, even if won more than once.
  4. The trustees shall maintain absolute authority in all situations or disputes over the winner of the Cup.
  5. If one of the existing trustees resigns or drops out, the remaining trustee shall nominate a substitute.
220px-First_Stanley_Cup.jpg
 
The first Stanley Cup Champions were the Montreal Hockey Club (affiliated with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association).

Stanley appointed Sheriff John Sweetland and Philip D. Ross (who went on to serve an unsurpassed 56 years) as trustees of the Cup. Sweetland and Ross first presented the trophy in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association on behalf of the affiliated Montreal Hockey Club, the champions of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC), since they "defeated all comers during the late season, including the champions of the Ontario Association" (Ottawa).[19] Sweetland and Ross also believed that the AHAC was the top league, and as first-place finishers in the AHAC, Montreal was the best team in Canada.[20] Naturally, the Ottawas were upset by the decision because there had been no challenge games scheduled and because the trustees failed to convey the rules on how the Cup was to be awarded prior to the start of the season.[20]

As a result, the Cup trustees issued more specific rules on how the trophy should be defended and awarded:[21][22]

  • The Cup is automatically awarded to the team that wins the title of the previous Cup champion's league, without the need for any other special extra contest.
  • Challengers for the Cup must be from senior hockey associations, and must have won their league championship. Challengers will be recognized in the order in which their request is received.
  • The challenge games (where the Cup could change leagues) are to be decided either in a one-game affair, a two-game total goals affair, or a best of three series, to the benefit of both teams involved. All matches are to take place on the home ice of the champions, although specific dates and times have to be approved by the trustees.
  • Ticket receipts from the challenge games are to be split equally between both teams.
  • If the two competing clubs cannot agree to a referee, the trustees will appoint one, and the two teams shall cover the expenses equally.
  • A league could not challenge for the Cup twice in one season.

Stanley never saw a Stanley Cup championship game, nor did he ever present the Cup. Although his term as Governor General ended in September 1893, he was forced to return to England on July 15. In April of that year, his elder brother Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby died, and Stanley succeeded him as the 16th Earl of Derby.[12]

 

 

The First Stanley Cup, kept in the vault room at the HHOF in Toronto

cup1.jpg.3249cb1e4404c30b4c1b6e1e4243ba31.jpg

 

 

Challenge Cup era[edit]

During the challenge cup period, none of the leagues that played for the trophy had a formal playoff system to decide their respective champions; whichever team finished in first place after the regular season won the league title. However, in 1894, four teams out of the five-team AHAC tied for the championship with records of 5–3–0. The AHAC had no tie-breaking system. After extensive negotiations and Quebec's withdrawal from the championship competition, it was decided that a three-team tournament would take place in Montreal, with the Ottawa team receiving a bye to the final because they were the only road team. On March 17, in the first ever Stanley Cup playoff game, the Montreal Hockey Club (Montreal HC) defeated the Montreal Victorias, 3–2. Five days later, in the first Stanley Cup Finals game, Montreal HC beat the Ottawa Hockey Club 3–1.[23][24]

220px-Premiere_Coupe_Stanley_1893.jpg
 
The first Stanley Cup

In 1895, Queen's University was the first official challenger for the Cup, although it was controversial. The Montreal Victorias had won the league title and thus the Stanley Cup, but the challenge match was between the previous year's champion, Montreal HC, and the university squad. The trustees decided that if the Montreal HC won the challenge match, the Victorias would become the Stanley Cup champions. The Montreal HC won the match 5–1 and their cross-town rivals were crowned the champions.[25] The first successful challenge to the Cup came the next year by the Winnipeg Victorias, the champions of the Manitoba Hockey League. On February 14, 1896, the Winnipeg squad defeated the champions 2–0 and became the first team outside the AHAC to win the Cup.[26]

As the prestige of winning the Cup grew, so did the need to attract top players. Only nine months after winning the Cup, in March 1906, the Montreal Wanderers pushed through a resolution at the annual meeting of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA) to allow professional players to play alongside amateurs. Because the ECAHA was the top hockey league in Canada at the time, the Cup trustees agreed to open the challenges to professional teams.[27] The first professional competition came one month later during the Wanderers' two-game, total goals challenge series, which they won 17 goals to 5.[28]

The smallest municipality to produce a Stanley Cup champion team is Kenora, Ontario; the town had a population of about 4,000 when the Kenora Thistles captured the Cup in January 1907.[29] Aided by future Hall of Famers Art Ross and "Bad" Joe Hall, the Thistles defeated the Montreal Wanderers in a two-game, total goals challenge series. The Thistles successfully defended the Cup once, against a team from Brandon, Manitoba. In March 1907, the Wanderers challenged the Thistles to a rematch. Despite an improved lineup, the Thistles lost the Cup to Montreal.

In 1908, the Allan Cup was introduced as the trophy for Canada's amateurs, and the Stanley Cup started to become a symbol of professional hockey supremacy.[27] In that same year, the first all-professional team, the Toronto Trolley Leaguers from the newly created Ontario Professional Hockey League (OPHL), competed for the Cup.[30] One year later, the Montreal HC and the Montreal Victorias, the two remaining amateur teams, left the ECAHA, and the ECAHA dropped "Amateur" from their name to become a professional league.[27] In 1910, the National Hockey Association (NHA) was formed. The NHA soon proved it was the best in Canada, as it kept the Cup for the next four years.[31]

Prior to 1912, challenges could take place at any time or place, given the appropriate rink conditions, and it was common for teams to defend the Cup numerous times during the year. In 1912, Cup trustees declared that it was to be defended only at the end of the champion team's regular season.[32]

 

 

 

 

Organized interleague competition[edit]

In 1914, the Victoria Aristocrats from the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) challenged the NHA and Cup champion Toronto Blueshirts. A controversy erupted when a letter arrived from the Stanley Cup trustees on March 17, that the trustees would not let the Stanley Cup travel west, as they did not consider Victoria a proper challenger because they had not formally notified the trustees.[33] However, on March 18, Trustee William Foran stated that it was a misunderstanding. PCHA president Frank Patrick had not filed a challenge, because he had expected Emmett Quinn of the NHA to make all of the arrangements in his role as hockey commissioner, whereas the trustees thought they were being deliberately ignored. In any case, all arrangements had been ironed out and the Victoria challenge was accepted.[34][35]

Several days later, trustee Foran wrote to NHA president Quinn that the trustees are "perfectly satisfied to allow the representatives of the three pro leagues (NHA, PCHA, and Maritime) to make all arrangements each season as to the series of matches to be played for the Cup".[36] One year later, when the Maritime league folded, the NHA and the PCHA concluded a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Cup, similar to baseball's World Series, which is played between the American League and National League champions. Under the new proposal, the Stanley Cup Finals series alternated between the East and the West each year, with alternating games played according to NHA and PCHA rules.[37] The PCHA's Vancouver Millionaires won the 1915 series three games to none in a best-of-five series.[38]

Prior to organized ice hockey expanding to any serious extent outside Canada, the concept that the Stanley Cup champion ought to be recognized as the world champion was already firmly established – Stanley Cup winners were claiming the title of world champions by no later than the turn of the century. After the Portland Rosebuds, an American-based team, joined the PCHA in 1914, the trustees promptly issued a formal statement that the Cup was no longer for the best team in Canada, but now for the best team in the world.[37] Ice hockey in Europe was still in its infancy at this time, so it was without much controversy that winners of the Stanley Cup continued styling themselves as the world champions just like in baseball. Two years later, the Rosebuds became the first American-based team to play in the Stanley Cup Finals, although all its players were Canadians.[39] In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first American-based team to win the Cup.[40] After that season, the NHA dissolved, and the National Hockey League (NHL) took its place.[37]

The Spanish influenza epidemic forced the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans to cancel the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals after game five, marking the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded.[41] The series was tied at 2–2–1, but the final game was never played because Montreal Manager George Kennedy and players Joe Hall, Billy Coutu, Jack McDonald, and Newsy Lalonde were hospitalized with influenza. Hall died four days after the cancelled game, and the series was abandoned.[42]

The format for the Stanley Cup Finals changed in 1922, with the creation of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Three leagues competed for the Cup: two league champions faced each other for the right to challenge the third champion in the final series.[43] This lasted three seasons as the PCHA and the WCHL later merged to form the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 1925.[44] In 1924–25 the Victoria Cougars won the Cup, the last team outside the NHL to do so.[45]

 

 

 

NHL takes over[edit]

220px-Pavel_Datsyuk_with_Stanley_Cup.jpg
 
After winning the Cup, players traditionally skate around holding the trophy above their heads, as Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings does here when the Red Wings captured their 11th cup in 2008

The WHL folded in 1926 and was quickly replaced by the Prairie Hockey League. However, in the meantime, the NHL (which had entered the U.S. only two years before) bought up the contracts of most of the WHL's players and largely used them to stock the rosters of three new U.S. teams. In what would turn out to be its most significant expansion of its pre-Original Six era, the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Cougars now called the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers joined the NHL. With the NHL now firmly established in the largest markets of the Northeastern United States, and with the Western teams having been stripped of their best players, the PHL was deemed to be a "minor league" unworthy of challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy.

The PHL lasted only two seasons. Over the next two decades, other leagues and clubs occasionally issued challenges, but none were accepted by the Cup's trustees. Since 1926, no non-NHL team has played for the Cup, leading it to become the de facto championship trophy of the NHL.[44][46] In addition, with no major professional hockey league left to challenge it, the NHL began calling its league champions the world champions, notwithstanding the lack of any interleague championship. In doing so, the NHL copied a policy that had been adopted by the then still-fledgling National Football League from its start in 1920 (and which the National Basketball Association also asserted upon its founding in 1946).

Finally in 1947, the NHL reached an agreement with trustee. J. Cooper Smeaton to grant control of the Cup to the NHL, allowing the league to reject challenges from other leagues that may have wished to play for the Cup:[46][47][48]

  1. The Trustees hereby delegate to the League full authority to determine and amend from time to time the conditions for competition of the Stanley Cup, including the qualifications of challengers, the appointment of officials, the apportionment and distribution of all gate receipts, provided always that the winners of this trophy shall be the acknowledged World's Professional Hockey Champions.
  2. The Trustees agree that during the currency of this agreement they will not acknowledge or accept any challenge for the Stanley Cup unless such a challenge is in conformity with the condition specified in paragraph one (1) thereof.
  3. The League undertakes the responsibility for the care and safe custody of the Stanley Cup including all necessary repairs and alterations to the cup and sub-structure as may be required from time to time, and further undertakes to ensure the Stanley Cup for its full insurable value.
  4. The League hereby acknowledges itself to be bound to the Trustees in the sum of One Thousand Dollars, which bond is conditioned upon the safe return of the Stanley Cup to the Trustees in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, and it is agreed that the League shall have the right to return the trophy to the Trustees at any time.
  5. This agreement shall remain in force so long as the League continues to be the world's leading professional hockey league as determined by its playing caliber and in the event of dissolution or other termination of the National Hockey League, the Stanley Cup shall revert to the custody of the trustees.
  6. In the event of default in the appointment of a new trustee by the surviving trustee, the "Trustees" hereby delegate and appoint the Governors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario, to name two Canadian trustees to carry on under the terms of the original trust, and in conformity with this Agreement.
  7. And it is further mutually agreed that any disputes arising as to the interpretation of this Agreement or the facts upon which such interpretation is made, shall be settled by an Arbitration Board of three, one member to be appointed by each of the parties, and the third to be selected by the two appointees. The decision of the Arbitration Board shall be final.[22]

This agreement was amended on November 22, 1961, substituting the Governors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario with the Committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario as the group to name the two Canadian trustees, if need be. In the 1970s, the World Hockey Association sought to challenge for the Cup. By this time, all Cup Trustees were longtime NHL loyalists, and under the direction of NHL President Clarence Campbell the WHA's challenge for the Cup was blocked. However, notwithstanding the aforementioned legal obligation, the NHL (considering not only the WHA's presence but also the rising caliber of European ice hockey leagues) quietly stopped calling its champions the world champions.

Nevertheless, the NHL came under pressure to allow its champion to play the WHA champion. Eventually, following the establishment of the Canada Cup as the first best-on-best international hockey tournament, NHL President Clarence Campbell (who was a vocal opponent of the tournament) made public overtures to establish a true world professional championship in ice hockey, "just like the World Series".[49] Under Campbell's proposal, the NHL champion would have played the WHA champion for the right to face the European champion. In the end, Campbell's proposal went nowhere – eventually, the NHL resolved the WHA challenge by agreeing to merge with its rival, by which time the older league had quietly withdrawn its support for the idea. Neither the NHL nor any other professional hockey league makes a claim to its champions being the world champions.

The Cup was awarded every year until 2005, when a labour dispute between the NHL's owners and the NHL Players Association (the union that represents the players) led to the cancellation of the 2004–05 season. As a result, no Cup champion was crowned for the first time since the flu pandemic in 1919. The lockout was controversial among many fans, who questioned whether the NHL had exclusive control over the Cup. A website known as freestanley.com (since closed) was launched, asking fans to write to the Cup trustees and urge them to return to the original Challenge Cup format.[50] Adrienne Clarkson, then Governor General of Canada, alternately proposed that the Cup be presented to the top women's hockey team in lieu of the NHL season. This idea was so unpopular that the Clarkson Cup was created instead. Meanwhile, a group in Ontario, also known as the "Wednesday Nighters", filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court, claiming that the Cup trustees had overstepped their bounds in signing the 1947 agreement with the NHL, and therefore must award the trophy regardless of the lockout.[51]

On February 7, 2006, a settlement was reached in which the trophy could be awarded to non-NHL teams should the league not operate for a season. The dispute lasted so long that, by the time it was settled, the NHL had resumed operating for the 2005–06 season, and the Stanley Cup went unclaimed for the 2004–05 season.[48] Furthermore, when another NHL lockout commenced in 2012 the Trustees stated that the 2006 agreement did not oblige them to award the Cup in the event of a lost season, and that they were likely to reject any non-NHL challenges for the Cup in the event the 2012–13 season were cancelled, which it was not.[4]

In 2007, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) formalized the "Triple Gold Club", the group of players and coaches who have won an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup.[52][53][54] The term had first entered popular use following the 2002 Winter Olympics, which saw the addition of the first Canadian members.[55][56][57]

 

 

 

 

Original, authenticated, and replica versions[edit]

220px-Hhof_vault_rotated.jpg
 
The original Stanley Cup in the bank vault at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario

There are technically three versions of the "Stanley Cup": the original 1892 bowl or Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, 1963 authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the 1993 "Permanent Cup" at the Hall of Fame.

The original 1892 Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, purchased and donated by Lord Stanley, was physically awarded to the Champions until 1970,[82] and is now displayed in the Vault Room at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.[82]

The authenticated version or "Presentation Cup" was created in 1963 by Montreal silversmith Carl Petersen. NHL president Clarence Campbell felt that the original bowl was becoming too thin and fragile, and thus requested a duplicate trophy as a replacement.[83] The Presentation Cup is authenticated by the seal of the Hockey Hall of Fame on the bottom, which can be seen when winning players lift the Cup over their heads, and it is the one currently awarded to the champions of the playoffs and used for promotions.[64] This version was made in secret, and first awarded in 1970.[83]

The replica "Permanent Cup", was created in 1993 by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques to be used as a stand-in at the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever the Presentation Cup is not available for display.[83]

 

Once again, the very first Stanley Cup (in the vault room) at the HHOF

cup2.thumb.jpg.8ed752c03f1edc0c95f3c878a56bb84b.jpg

 

 

 

The Great Hall at the HHOF in Toronto with the real Stanley Cup (known as the "presentation cup" because it's the one given to the players to parade around the ice).

 

cup3.jpg.50fbbf1a0a8c7078410d7172b71a978b.jpg

 

When the "presentation cup" isn't there (during the end of the Stanley Cup final for example), the Cup on display is replaced with the original Stanley Cup (that had become too brittle for players to skate around with).

 

Now you know.   :) 

 

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On 4/2/2021 at 11:23 AM, WordsOfWisdom said:

Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal's 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club.[9][10] The Montreal Gazette reported that he "expressed his great delight with the game of hockey and the expertise of the players".[8] During that time, organized ice hockey in Canada was still in its infancy and only Montreal and Ottawa had anything resembling leagues.[8]


Interesting...that Toronto was not an original hockey hotbed during the infancy of the game.

 

This is a bit off-topic except to cite some Major Irony...Toronto now being the home of HHOF and the center for replay reviews and perhaps now the unofficial center of The Hockey Game...

 

...nevertheless it has the honor and distinction of being credited with hosting the first NBA Basketball game.  More here:

 

https://nbahoopsonline.com/Articles/firstgame.html

 

You just couldn’t make that up.  

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10 hours ago, SaucyJack said:


Interesting...that Toronto was not an original hockey hotbed during the infancy of the game.

 

This is a bit off-topic except to cite some Major Irony...Toronto now being the home of HHOF and the center for replay reviews and perhaps now the unofficial center of The Hockey Game...

 

...nevertheless it has the honor and distinction of being credited with hosting the first NBA Basketball game.  More here:

 

https://nbahoopsonline.com/Articles/firstgame.html

 

You just couldn’t make that up.  

 

We call it the center of the hockey universe. 🌞

 

I had no idea the first ever NBA game was played in Toronto.  :)   Perhaps the most disappointing thing is that it took until the 1990's before Canada had an NBA team. The NBA is so far behind the other major pro sports in Canada (behind hockey by miles, behind baseball, behind soccer, etc.) and that's because they never established any roots here. It's neat that the first game was played here, but probably not that unusual given that:   

 

James Naismith (November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American[1] physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain, sports coach, and inventor of the game of basketball.

 

 

Naismith was born on November 6, 1861, in Almonte, Canada (now part of Mississippi Mills, Ontario) to Scottish immigrants.[7] He never had a middle name and never signed his name with an "A" initial. The "A" was added by someone in administration at the University of Kansas.[a] Gifted in farm labor, Naismith spent his days outside playing catch, hide-and-seek, and duck on a rock, a medieval game in which a person guards a large drake stone from opposing players, who try to knock it down by throwing smaller stones at it. To play duck on a rock most effectively, Naismith soon found that a soft lobbing shot was far more effective than a straight hard throw, a thought that later proved essential for the invention of basketball.[9] Orphaned early in his life, Naismith lived with his aunt and uncle for many years and attended grade school at Bennies Corners near Almonte. Then, he enrolled in Almonte High School, in Almonte, Ontario, from which he graduated in 1883.[9]

 

In the same year, Naismith entered McGill University in Montreal. Although described as a slight figure, standing 5 feet 10 12 inches (1.791 m) and listed at 178 pounds (81 kg)[10] he was a talented and versatile athlete, representing McGill in football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and gymnastics. He played centre on the football team, and made himself some padding to protect his ears. It was for personal use, not team use.[11] He won multiple Wicksteed medals for outstanding gymnastics performances.[3] Naismith earned a BA in physical education (1888) and a diploma at the Presbyterian College in Montreal (1890).[9] From 1891 on, Naismith taught physical education and became the first McGill director of athletics, but then left Montreal to become a physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.[3][12]

 

At the Springfield YMCA, Naismith struggled with a rowdy class that was confined to indoor games throughout the harsh New England winter, thus was perpetually short-tempered. Under orders from Dr. Luther Gulick, head of physical education there, Naismith was given 14 days to create an indoor game that would provide an "athletic distraction"; Gulick demanded that it would not take up much room, could help its track athletes to keep in shape[3] and explicitly emphasized to "make it fair for all players and not too rough".[10]

In his attempt to think up a new game, Naismith was guided by three main thoughts.[9] Firstly, he analyzed the most popular games of those times (rugby, lacrosse, soccer, football, hockey, and baseball); Naismith noticed the hazards of a ball and concluded that the big, soft soccer ball was safest. Secondly, he saw that most physical contacts occurred while running with the ball, dribbling, or hitting it, so he decided that passing was the only legal option. Finally, Naismith further reduced body contact by making the goal unguardable by placing it high above the player's heads with the plane of the goal's opening parallel to the floor. This placement forced the players to score goals by throwing a soft, lobbing shot like that which had proven effective in his old favorite game duck on a rock. Naismith christened this new game "Basket Ball"[9] and put his thoughts together in 13 basic rules.[13]

 

The first game of "Basket Ball" was played in December 1891. In a handwritten report, Naismith described the circumstances of the inaugural match; in contrast to modern basketball, the players played nine versus nine, handled a soccer ball, not a basketball, and instead of shooting at two hoops, the goals were a pair of peach baskets: "When Mr. Stubbins brot [sic] up the peach baskets to the gym I secured them on the inside of the railing of the gallery. This was about 10 feet [3 meters] from the floor, one at each end of the gymnasium. I then put the 13 rules on the bulletin board just behind the instructor's platform, secured a soccer ball, and awaited the arrival of the class ... The class did not show much enthusiasm, but followed my lead ... I then explained what they had to do to make goals, tossed the ball up between the two center men and tried to keep them somewhat near the rules. Most of the fouls were called for running with the ball, though tackling the man with the ball was not uncommon."[14] In contrast to modern basketball, the original rules did not include what is known today as the dribble. Since the ball could only be moved up the court by a pass early players tossed the ball over their heads as they ran up court. Also following each "goal", a jump ball was taken in the middle of the court. Both practices are obsolete in the rules of modern basketball.[15]

 

Naismith invented the game of basketball and wrote the original 13 rules of this sport;[25] for comparison, the NBA rule book today features 66 pages. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, is named in his honor, and he was an inaugural inductee in 1959.[25] The National Collegiate Athletic Association rewards its best players and coaches annually with the Naismith Awards, among them the Naismith College Player of the Year, the Naismith College Coach of the Year, and the Naismith Prep Player of the Year. After the Olympic introduction to men's basketball in 1936, women's basketball became an Olympic event in Montreal during the 1976 Summer Olympics.[30] Naismith was also inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas State Sports Hall of Fame, FIBA Hall of Fame.[9][31] The FIBA Basketball World Cup trophy is named the "James Naismith Trophy" in his honor. On June 21, 2013, Dr. Naismith was inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Topeka.[32]

 

Naismith's home town of Almonte, Ontario, hosts an annual 3-on-3 tournament for all ages and skill levels in his honor. Every year, this event attracts hundreds of participants and involves over 20 half-court games along the main street of the town.[33] All proceeds of the event go to youth basketball programs in the area.[citation needed]

Today basketball is played by more than 300 million people worldwide, making it one of the most popular team sports.[3] In North America, basketball has produced some of the most-admired athletes of the 20th century. ESPN and the Associated Press both conducted polls to name the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century. Basketball player Michael Jordan came in first in the ESPN poll and second (behind Babe Ruth) in the AP poll. Both polls featured fellow basketball players Wilt Chamberlain (of KU, like Naismith) and Bill Russell in the top 20.[34][35]

 

- Wikipedia

 

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