Who invented basketball?

Basketball, or basket ball, as it was originally called, was invented in December, 1891 by James Naismith, who was, at the time, a physical education instructor at the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Tasked with developing a competitive activity that could be completed safely, indoors, during the winter months, Naismith drew on his knowledge of association football, gridiron football and field hockey, among other outdoor sports, to come up with his innovation.

Naismith draughted the original rules of the game, which were published, by public demand, in the YMCA campus newspaper, The Triangle, the following January. Some of them, such as those governing travelling fouls and physical contact between players, are still the basis of the modern game. The original basketball ‘hoops’ were simply two wooden peach bushel baskets nailed, ten feet off the ground, to the balcony rail at each of the gymnasium, from which the ball could be retrieved by students in the balcony following a goal. The original ball was just a regulation association football.

Naismith originally played basketball with nine players a side, simply because that was the number of students in his physical education class. He subsequently wrote that the game could be played with anything between three and 40 players a side, depending on the playing space available, but modern five-a-side basketball became enshrined in the rules as early as 1897.

The rules, and equipment, of the game continued to evolve. Backboards, to make scoring easier, were an early addition and the peach baskets were eventually replaced by a metal rims and bottomless nylon nets, which allowed the ball to pass through. Dribbling was introduced in 1901, by which time Spalding had become the official manufacturer of custom-made basketballs.

Who was the last boxer to beat Henry Cooper?

A beloved British heavyweight boxer of the post-war era, the late Sir Henry Cooper will always be best remembered for a signature left hook, a.k.a. ”Enry’s ‘ammer”, that knocked down 21-year-old Cassius Clay in the fourth round of a non-title fight at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 1963. Clay won by technical knockout in the fifth round, having opened a nasty, two-inch cut over Cooper’s right eye. In his next fight, at the Convention Center, Miami Beach on February 25, 1964, Clay – soon to become Muhammad Ali – defeated Sonny Liston to become World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) world heavyweight champion.

Cooper fought Clay again, for the WBC world heavyweight title, at Arsenal Football Stadium, Highbury on May 21, 1966, but was stopped in the sixth round, with another grisly cut, which later required sixteen stitches, over his left eye. That would be the first and last time that Cooper would contest a world title, but it should not be forgotten that he held British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) British heavyweight and Commonwealth Boxing Council heavyweight titles for twelve years and the European Boxing Union (EBU) European heavyweight title for three.

Cooper had already made the decision to retire before his last fight, against 21-year-old Joe Bugner at the Empire Pool, Wembley on March 16, 1971, for the British, Commonwealth and European titles. In any event, Cooper suffered a controversial points defeat, with referee Harry Gibbs scoring the contest 73¾- 73½ in favour of Bugner, handing victory to the challenger by just a quarter of a point. Quoted on the front page of the ‘Daily Mirror’, Cooper said, I thought it was a bad decision. I am only sorry it had to finish like this.’ At the time of his retirement, ‘Our ‘enry’, as he was known, had a career record of 55-40-14-1, including 27 knockouts. In 2000, he was knighted for his services to sport and charity and remains the only British boxer to receive such a honour.

What is the oche in darts?

In darts, the oche – pronounced ‘ockey’, as in ‘hockey’ – is a line, or raised ridge, on the floor, behind which a player must stand to complete a valid throw. In official tournament play, with steel darts, the furthest point of the oche is positioned 7 feet and 9.25 inches, or 2.37 metres, from the face of the dartboard, measured horizontally. The maximum permitted dimensions of a raised oche are 50cm x 4cm x 2cm and, while a player may stand either side, if necessary, his or her toes must remain behind an imaginary line parallel to the raised edge.

The origin of the word ‘oche’ is unknown, although it may be derived from the Old French word ‘ocher’, meaning ‘to cut a notch in’. In fact, the earliest written examples of the term, such as those found in the tournament rules for the News of the World Individual Darts Championship, which was founded in 1927, are spelt ‘hockey’ rather than ‘oche’. The Championship originally adopted a 9 feet throw-line, but the hockey length was shortened to 8 feet when play resumed following World War II.

The now-defunct British Darts Organisation (BDO) was founded in 1973 and popularised the term ‘oche’.Originally, the oche length was still 7 feet and 6 inches, as defined by the National Darts Association of Great Britain (NDAGB) in 1954. However, in 1977, the newly-founded World Darts Federation (WDF) agreed a ‘world’ standard of 7 feet and 9.25 inches, as a compromise between the NDAGB and News of the World rules, with a concession to metric measurement of oche length.

Who was the first British female track-and-field athlete to win an Olympic gold medal?

The first British female track-and-field athlete to win an Olympic gold medal was Mary Rand, who did so on October 14, 1964 at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Rand led the qualifiers – as she had done in Rome four years earlier, only to capitulate, after two foul jumps, in the final – with an Olympic record of 6.52 metres. In the final, she opened with a British and Olympic record of 6.59 metres, which she improved to 6.63 metres in the fourth round and again, with a world record jump of 6.76 metres in the fifth.

Her winning jump, which beat the previous mark set by Tatyana Shchelkanova of the Soviet Union on July 4, 1964, by 0.06 metres, or 2¼ inches, was all the more remarkable for having been made into 1.6 metres per second headwind and from a sodden, clay runway. Rand later confessed, ‘I didn’t know until many years afterwards that I was jumping against the wind – and that five of my jumps beat the Olympic record.’

Elsewhere at the Tokyo Olympics, Rand won a silver medal in the pentathlon, behind Irina Press of the Soviet Union, who set a world record of 5,246 points and, alongside Daphne Arden, Dorothy Hyman and Janet Simpson, a bronze medal in the 4 x 100-metres relay, behind Poland and the United States. Rand continued to compete but, despite winning a gold medal in the long jump at the British and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica in August, 1966, she later confided, After Tokyo, I did a few meets, but I just didn’t have it.’ She retired from competitive athletics in 1968.

Which teams contested the first Four Nations Championship match?

Not to be confused with the Rugby League Four Nations, which was last played in 2016, the Four Nations Championship, a.k.a. the Home Nations Championship or International Championship, was the original incarnation of what became the Six Nations Rugby Union Championship. Initially, the annual international competition was an entirely domestic affair, featuring teams from only England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; it became the Five Nations Championship in 1910, when France joined, and the Six Nations Championship in 2000, when Italy was admitted.

It would be fair to say that, by modern standards, the Four Nations Championship was a chaotic affair. In those early days, there was no points system and matches were decided on goals scored. A goal could be scored by means of a successful conversion, following a try, a drop-kick in open play or a seldom-seen scoring move known as a ‘goal from mark’. At that time, a player could make a mark by taking a fair catch anywhere on the field and, thereafter, had the option of taking a place-kick or drop-kick at goal. If teams finished level on goals scored, the number of unconverted tries was used to decide the winner; if the teams still finished level, the match was declared a draw.

The inaugural Four Nations Championship match was played at St. Helen’s, Swansea, on December 16, 1882 and was contested by Wales and England. England scored four tries and three-quarter Arthur Evanson, an Oxford University student, successfully converted two of them, while Wales failed to score; thus, the final scoreline was a peculiar looking Wales 0-2 England.