SpLeisH International Colloquium Paper – 3-4 March 2017

The ‘invention’ of basket-ball in 1891 completed America’s triumvirate of culturally significant national sports. Initially, this new indoor game did not have a name but this did not prevent it quickly becoming part of the American psyche, symptomatic of the USA’s burgeoning status as the world’s leading sporting superpower. The phenomenal and unparalleled growth of basket-ball in the USA is in direct contrast to the treatment it received in Britain. Ironically, it was the divergent developmental pathways of the game that promoted a version of basket-ball, with female participation in mind. In the USA the game was called ‘Basquette’ and in Britain the game adopted the name ‘Net-Ball’. This colloquium examines how the development of two seemingly disparate, but culturally significant sports, share the same creator – Dr James Naismith.