Text of Basketball's Original Rules Sells for $4.3M at Auction


The original set of 13 basketball rules, typed out by the game's founder James Naismith, was sold at auction Friday for more than $4.3 million at Sotheby's in New York City.

The purchase by an unnamed buyer was more than twice as much as anticipated.

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The two typewritten pages date back to the first known game of basketball, played in a gymnasium in Springfield, Mass., in 1891 using peach baskets as the goals.

Naismith, a Canadian-born physician and physical education instructor, thought up the game at the International YMCA Training College in Springfield so his students would have something to play indoors during the winter.

The 13th rule states, "The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In case of a draw the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made."

The document called for two 15-minute halves, with five minutes of rest in between.

Years later, Naismith wrote on the bottom of the document: "Hung in the gym that the boys might learn the rules."