Until 1921 the game went by two words. We should be grateful for the inventor's modesty: James Naismith scoffed at a suggestion that it be called Naismith ball.
Naismith used thumbtacks to fasten the rules to the bulletin board in the YMCA training school gym in Springfield, Mass. He eventually repaired this corner with tape.
An "Association foot ball" is a soccer ball. Soccer is a nickname derived from the s-o-c in Association.
"In any direction" wasn't to be taken for granted. In 1891 the legal forward pass in football was still 15 years away. With the exception of the backcourt violation, this rule still applies.
Because it sanctions batting the ball as well as throwing it, this rule allowed for the blocked shot.
With his ban on running with the ball, Naismith unwittingly encouraged the development of two hallmarks of the modern game: dribbling and movement without the ball.
For their first 35 years Naismith kept the original rules folded in thirds in the drawer of his desk, and today these creases are soiled and frayed. "Condition is almost always a consideration when you're valuing an object," says Leila Dunbar, director of collectibles at Sotheby's and its sports specialist. "But this being the first and only extant copy balances that out."
This rule may seem puzzling until you remember how determined Naismith was to develop something different from football or rugby. He didn't want a player to tuck the ball into the crook of his elbow and run—which is why, sizing up a football and a soccer ball on the floor of his office several hours before the first game, he chose the soccer ball.
The inventor's determination to prevent ruffianism is apparent throughout the rules. This is the first of six specific edicts aimed at eliminating roughness, either by defining what constitutes a foul or by specifying how the game should be policed.
The original rules lumped fouls with violations such as traveling. Within three years a free throw, worth one point, would be awarded upon any infraction.