The 13 Commandments
I enjoyed your article about basketball's birthday (Happy Hundredth, Hoops, Dec. 2). I am familiar with the story of Dr. James Naismith's peach baskets, but could you print his original 13 rules?
•Here they are, verbatim.—ED.
1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with the fist).
3. A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball while running at good speed.
4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed.
The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.
6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5.
7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).
8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal.
9. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field, and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower in is allowed five seconds, if he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
10. The umpire shall be judge of the men, and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to rule 5.
11. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made, and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
12. The time shall be two 15-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.
13. 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.
A Bad Image for Football
It makes no sense at all for you to adorn your Dec. 16 cover with a photograph—under the playful headline Big Bad Bills—of a Buffalo defender perpetrating one of the dirtiest and most dangerous illegalities in pro football: twisting an opponent's neck by pulling his face mask. Is it by such images that football is to be glorified? Such a cover does a disservice to the ethics of fair play and sportsmanship.
ERIC J. ZIOLKOWSKI
We would like to commend Sally Jenkins for her wonderful article about Michigan's Desmond Howard (In His Grasp, Dec. 9). Howard inspires us all to work harder, stand taller and cheer louder.
University of Michigan
I was disappointed that upon winning the first women's world soccer championship, in China, the U.S. team rated only a mention in your SCORECARD section (Dec. 9). Had the U.S. men won the World Cup, they would have rated a cover story.
I was pleased to read that Jon Volpe of the British Columbia Lions won the CFL Rookie of the Year honors over Toronto's Rocket Ismail (The Big Payoff, Dec. 2). Volpe, who is only 5'7", gained more than 1,000 yards in his sophomore season at Stanford, but injuries, combined with the emergence of Tommy Vardell and Glyn Milburn, greatly limited his playing time in his junior and senior years. He was overlooked in the NFL draft but remained confident of his ability to play in the CFL. Obviously, he succeeded.
Menlo Park, Calif.
Dr. Naismith took 13 rules and these two essential ingredients and made a game.
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