While a physical education instructor at the Springfield, MA, YMCA, Dr. James A. Naismith invented the sport of basketball as an alternative to gymnastics. In December 1891, using peach baskets nailed to balconies at opposite ends of the gym, and a soccer ball, Naismith coached the first games. The following year he published a booklet containing the basic rules, which are still in use today. As basketball became more popular, there continued to be improvement in equipment and skills. The metal hoop was introduced in 1893, and backboards in 1895. Although basketball can be played outdoors, it was invented to serve as an exciting indoor exercise for the winter months in a northern climate.