Can you play basketball with a soccer ball?

In Springfield Massachusetts, Winter can be cold! Playing outside during school isn’t ideal. In 1891, James Naismith worked for the YMCA International Training School. They asked him to come up with a new game so they young men could train in winter. He used peach baskets nailed to the lower railing of the gym balcony and a soccer style ball. Each time the ball made it into the basket, the janitor had to use his ladder to get the ball out again! Stopping play to get the ball each time a point scores isn’t exactly ideal. It didn’t take long until a hole was put in the bottom of the basket. The ball could now be removed by poking it with a stick.

The formation of the NBA

Metal hoops, nets and backboards were added to the game by 1906. Basketball had grown in popularity and two organizations existed.  In 1949, the National Basketball Association formed eliminating these 2 organizations.

Currently there are 29 teams in the United States and 1 is in Canada. The NBA is one of four  major professional sports leagues in the US and Canada. (The others are the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

The NBA is the leading men’s professional basketball league in the world.

Celebrating Basketball Day

November 6th is “Basketball” Day in honor of James Naismith and his clever use of equipment. The BEST way you can celebrate today is to participate in some basketball activity yourself, even if it is a little game of one-ono-one in the driveway or practicing ball control with drills.

If you are creative you can craft up an indoor basketball game of your own using small containers (like empty pudding or applesauce cups) and a ball or wadded up paper (ping pong balls work great for this). Have your learner create a set of rules for the game, deciding how far apart the “hoops” are and how many points a player needs to win. Perhaps you want to include a stick to get the balls out like in those early years of basketball!

Homeschool Holiday also has an activity learners can use to map where each of the teams in the NBA play as well as the States and Capitals. Maps are provided for reference or you can have learners use your own reference materials.

This activity is a great way to inspire independent exploration of both States and Capitals as well as complement an interest in basketball. This is a print and go resource perfect for both home and classroom use.

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