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Original basketball rules are for sale [Updated]

December 10, 2010 | 10:00 am


A physical education instructor named James Naismith invented the game of basketball 119 years ago as a winter activity for a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.

He conjured up 13 rules, typed them out and scribbled some handwritten notes on the document. There were to be nine players on each team, a soccer ball instead of a basketball and peach baskets as hoops.

The papers are being sold Friday at a New York City auction. The presale estimate is $2 million. [Updated at 11:58 a.m.: The Naismith Rules have been sold for $4.3 million.]

The auction proceeds will go toward the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and services to underprivileged children around the world.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: The two pages used by James Naismith to write the first basketball rules. Credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press.