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Dr. James Naismith's 13 Original Rules Manuscript to go in Auction

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  • Dr. James Naismith's 13 Original Rules Manuscript to go in Auction

    In a story published by yahoo!sports:


    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—It’s been nearly 119 years since James Naismith wrote down 13 rules for a new game he devised as a way to give youths at a Springfield, Mass., YMCA an athletic activity to keep them busy in the winter.

    On Dec. 10, those rules—considered “the birth certificate of one of the world’s most popular sports”—will be put up for auction in New York and are expected to bring in at least $2 million. The proceeds are to go to the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, which promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged youths around the world.

    Ian Naismith, the foundation’s founder and grandson of James Naismith, said it was a family decision to put the rules on the auction block and give the money to the Naismith charity.“We need to take the money and work the money back into kids,” Ian Naismith told The Associated Press. “We call it recycling. With the economy going south the last couple of years, my stroke, my wife passing away, it was more important to me to have the game go back into the kids. It’s what Dr. Naismith wanted.”

    James Naismith penned the 13 rules on Dec. 21, 1891, while he was a physical education instructor at a YMCA training school in Springfield. His boss had given him two weeks to come up with a new indoor activity for his gym class, and he wrote down the rules on the eve of that deadline.

    He gave the list to his secretary, who typed them up on two pages that Naismith pinned on a bulletin board outside the gym.

    He moved to Lawrence, Kan., in 1898 and became the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas. He coached for nine seasons before assuming other academic duties and serving as athletics director.

    One of his players was Forrest “Phog” Allen, who went on to become popularly known as the “father of basketball coaches.”

    The two are memorialized on the University of Kansas campus, where the basketball court at Allen Fieldhouse is named James Naismith Court.

    Naismith died in 1939, three years after his new game became an official sport at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

    “It’s really the genesis, the birth certificate of one of the world’s most popular sports,” said Selby Kiffer, senior specialist in American history documents for Sotheby’s, which will conduct the Dec. 10 auction. “It’s a sport that has had an impact on everything from fashion, such as sneakers, to culture that in a way transcends sports.

    “Basketball is a pure invention,” he said.

    Ian Naismith said he has wanted to sell the rules for years, but had never made a serious effort to do so. He said someone offered his father, also named James, $1 million for them in 1968 and $2 million in 1973, but they were never sold.

    The rules were passed down to Ian Naismith, his brother and sister in 1980 when their father died.

    “I’m very proud of the game, proud that it’s the fastest-growing game,” Ian Naismith said. “I’m upset about a lot of things taking place in the game, but I don’t want to say anything negative. Well, one thing. The LeBron James(notes) spectacle, his reality show when he was signing up with a team, I thought that was in poor taste. That’s not basketball, as far as I’m concerned.

    “It’s a different world,” he said. “I live in that world, but sometimes I don’t understand it.”

    Kiffer said the estimated value of the rules is “$2 million plus,” but said it’s hard to forecast how much the pages will sell for because they are unique.

    “The estimate is unusual for us, giving a single-figure estimate,” he said. “Normally we have a high and a low. This is something so unusual that I don’t think we know what the upper end might be. We’re afraid that by putting a high estimate, it might limit people’s vision of what it is worth.”

    The basketball rules will be in elite company at Sotheby’s on auction day, with Robert F. Kennedy’s copy of the Emancipation Proclamation—one of only 26 copies signed by Abraham Lincoln that are believed to still exist—and a battle flag recovered from the Battle of Little Bighorn also on the block.

    “One of (James Naismith’s) famous quotes was, ‘I want to leave the world a better place for me having been here,”’ Ian Naismith said. He added that putting the money from the sale back into the Naismith Foundation—which also funds orphanages and children’s services around the world—means his grandfather’s legacy will endure.

    “We heal kids, if we can,” Naismith said. “We educate them. We’re talking about street kids. I’m not into the politics of the game. I prefer to do the charity.”

    The Original 13 Rules are as listed:

    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 cannot 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 by the hands. The arms or body must not 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 shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify 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 shall be 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 shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).

    8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do no touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves 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 the judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

    11. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball 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 fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

    13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner.
    Sacramento Kings
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  • #2
    Behold, the Bible of Basketball:

    Sacramento Kings
    HERE WE STAY UNTIL THE COWBELLS COME HOME

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    • #3
      The 13 Rules Manuscript was sold to married couple David and Susan Booth for $4,338,500.
      Sacramento Kings
      HERE WE STAY UNTIL THE COWBELLS COME HOME

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      • #4
        Nelson-Atkins To Display Naismith's Basketball Rules

        Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art To Display Naismith's Basketball Rules

        Sacramento Kings
        HERE WE STAY UNTIL THE COWBELLS COME HOME

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        • #5
          Whats interesting is theres evidence that James Naismith didnt invent the sport of basketball. The official story is that Naismith wrote down the rules for "basket ball" and then immediately organized the first game at the Springfield, Mass. YMCA on dec 21 , 1891. Basketball then took off in popularity almost immediately.

          However, in his 1952 book, I Grew Up with Basketball, legendary promoter Frank J. Basloe makes the claim that basketball was invented at the Herkimer YMCA by Lambert Will and the first formal game was played in February of 1891 between Herkimer YMCA and the Businessmen’s Nine. The author claims that Will “wrote down all the rules that he and boys had developed and sent them to James Naismith at Springfield.”

          These claims have never been accepted, and were dismissed by historians until this photgraph surfaced which shows the Herkimer YMCA team picture with the numbers 1891-1892 on the ball.

          Remember Naimsith claims he wrote the rules in late december of 1891 ...

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            • #7
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