Oswald Tower

A 50-year member of the National Basketball Rules Committee, Oswald Tower played a central role in basketball’s development in the first half of the twentieth century. When basketball was invented, the game lacked standardized rules and teams from different regions conformed to different rules. This lack of standardization proved detrimental to the game as teams and officials quarreled over violations. Officiating both high school football and basketball for more than 35 years, Tower worked toward creating a uniform set of basketball rules and popularizing basketball along the East Coast. From 1915 to 1959, Tower served as editor of the Official Basketball Guide and was an official rules interpreter. In 1942, as part of the celebration of basketball’s first half century, Tower was awarded the Harold M. Gore Award, an honor granted to the individual who contributed the most to the game.