1910-1920: A Season of Firsts


A Game Called Basketball

Janes Naismith & Team

James Naismith with first basketball team

The YMCA pioneered many of the games, activities and fitness programs we participate in to this day, and those were quickly adopted in Fort Worth.  In 1891, just a year after the Fort Worth YMCA’s founding, James Naismith, an instructor at a YMCA Training School, came up with a new game using peach baskets tacked to the gymnasium balcony.  The game, which was quickly named basketball, began to spread like wildfire and was introduced to YMCAs and schools across the country.

Fort Worth Basketball

Fort Worth 1920 Basketball Team

A Long List of Firsts

Many more inventions and innovations began during the YMCA’s storied history.  In 1895, W. G. Morgan invented the game of volleyball while working at a YMCA.  In addition, the first organized camping programs began at YMCA Camp Dudley in Westport, New York in 1885.  Programs such as aquatics, fitness programs, and recreational games such as racquetball and softball grew and flourished through the YMCA.

Early YMCA Volleyball Game

Early YMCA Volleyball Game

A Beginning for Boy Scouts in Fort Worth

Boy Scouting is celebrating its 100th anniversary in the United States this year, and it was the YMCA that sponsored the first Boy Scout Troup in Fort Worth in 1910.  The initial Troups were called “Patrols” that were outgrowths of other organizations, and the Fort Worth YMCA organized the first “Patrol” in the summer of 1910, and L. E. Jones, General Secretary of the Fort online casino Worth YMCA, invited men in the city to a meeting on August 25, 1910 to help organize the Boy Scouts throughout the city.

Boy Scout Invitation from YMCA

YMCA Invitation to Start Boy Scouts

Youth Development Today

Today, the YMCA works with youth through a variety of programs, and many of them have their roots in the earliest years of the YMCA.  YMCA Basketball and volleyball leagues involve thousands of youth in Fort Worth and its surrounding communities.  Summer camp programs include both day and overnight opportunities.  And aquatics programs, including swim lessons, continue to teach hundreds of youth a lifesaving skill each year.

Through its innovative programs, developed to help individuals reach their potential in spirit, mind and body, the YMCA continues to lay the groundwork for generations to come.  The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth today strives to reach its Strategic Vision of “Preparing Youth to Succeed and Serve” so that generations later,  our community will know that the YMCA has always truly been here for good.

March Madness

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As we celebrate and enjoy the game of basketball this month, it’s fun to look back at some of the pictures of YMCA basketball, beginning with its creator, James Naismith, as seen below.

Naismith holding basketball with signature

At Naismith’s feet you can see the peach baskets which were originally used as the baskets in the game.

kid Y basketball game

Thousands of kids have learned to play the game through the YMCA since then.

Through the years, pick-up games of basketball have been a noon-time staple at the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Downtown YMCA.

Pick up game - Downtown Y
A pick-game from the 70s-80s at the Downtown Y.
shirts & skins game
Shirts & Skins Game from 2003

Bball pick up game, 2010Downtown YMCA pick up gamePick-up games of today at the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Downtown YMCA gym.

Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!