Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education

First Advisor

Barry C. McKeown


Within a short time after Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, the game was being accepted as a new sport in many countries. In the nearly 90 years of its existence, it has grown to be one of the most popular and widespread international sports in the world. Basketball clubs, amateur and professional leagues, and interscholastic programs provide ·competition for almost every age level. The Netherlands is a country where basketball got a fairly late start, but it has grown to become a very popular sport. A study of the history of Dutch basketball should provide such a continuous story of its development. The times and conditions during which basketball developed in the Netherlands must certainly have affected its development. A study of this development will also help to indicate future directions that the sport will take in the Netherlands. Rice, Hutchinson, and Lee indicated that "the history of any subject may be taken as a means of measuring its progress. It demonstrates the relationship existing between certain elements in civilization and the status of the subject in a particular society. Only through the study of history can a broad and appreciative view of the subject be obtained." A study of the historical development of Dutch basketball will show what progress it has made as a sport within Dutch society. Zeigler indicated that "worldwide interest in sport has been a significant force in the heightening of concern for historical analysis and interpretation.” Certainly, a great deal of basketball competition occurs at the international level. Although America may still be the strongest basketball power in the world, there are a number of nations which are competing for that position. The question then arises, how have these other countries reached the level where they can challenge the United States for its position, and where does the Netherlands fit in this challenge? Zeigler also stated that "sport reflects the society in which it occurs; that people at play reveal significant things about themselves and their culture or civilization." If that is true, then a study of Dutch basketball history should also reveal something about Dutch people and their society. The purpose of this study was to trace the development of the sport of men's basketball in the Netherlands from its introduction until the end of the 1980 season. It was hypothesized that the development of men's basketball in the Netherlands has been influenced most greatly by (1) the availability of facilities, (2) international basketball events held within the Netherlands, (3) financial support from the government, the sport lottery, and sponsors, and (4) exposure to the public through the sport media. It was further hypothesized that future development will depend on developments in each of these areas. This study will deal with the origin and development of men's basketball in the Netherlands from its introduction in 1926 until the end of the 1980 season.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Basketball - Netherlands -- History



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University