Blog: Basketball turns 130, here’s how to enjoy it more (1/7/22)

Basketball recently celebrated its 130th anniversary when James Naismith hosted the first game at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., Using a soccer ball and two peach baskets attached to a balcony 10 feet above the ground.

Naismith’s original 13 rules of what was then called “basketball” were then printed on January 15, 1892 in the Springfield College newspaper.

He probably served as the referee for that first game and you can imagine that after whistling a foul someone probably disagreed with that.

This week there were two more videos on social media from across the country of a fan attacking a basketball official. A recent incident of a local official being attacked following a game has been described as rare, but officials in the area have noticed an increase in verbal abuse during high school games.

This season I have seen more fans sent off and technical fouls assessed than in previous years.

It seems that instead of enjoying the game, everyone wants to debate it.

A survey of 15 state officials in all high school sports at the end of 2019 found that 55% rank verbal abuse as the top reason officials quit and 59% don’t feel repressed by fans, with 42% believing that institutions do. not to deal with bad behavior from fans during matches.

He also revealed that 80% believe fans don’t know the rules of the sport and 65% believe that more rules education for fans would help reduce verbal abuse from officials.

To help you out, here are a few things fans can remember when attending high school basketball games:

• Basketball players were once known as cagers because the game was played inside a cage to protect fans from the ball and brutal play.

There is a lot less contact sport than it was a decade ago, but there is contact in basketball and that’s good. If a foul is called out every time someone is touched at any given time, the game is nothing more than a free kick contest.

• Don’t worry about the number of fouls.

A scoreboard only keeps track of the number of fouls so everyone knows when a team is bonus or double bonus, which is why it stops counting after 10.

It also doesn’t have to be an even number for both teams. One team may commit more faults than the other because they are playing a different defense, not playing defense as well as the other team, or an attack is not aggressive and does not settle for outside shots.

The same can be said of the number of free throws attempted, especially if a team is trying to make more fouls in an attempt to make up a deficit.

Fouls are part of the game. Teams must adapt to the way a game is refereed, just as they must adapt to the way the other team is playing.

• Scoreboards are not official markers.

The only thing on a dashboard that matters is time, so this is the thing the operator will focus on the most. The score and foul count are kept by the official scorer (who also wears a striped uniform) and once it is time to confer they will get the correct scoreboard.

• Blocking / charging faults, and just about anything else, look very different in the stands than on the pitch.

After more than 20 years of watching the game alongside the officials on the pitch, I can report that the game is very different from seeing it from the sideline or the stands. One person’s perspective is different from another, but the only one that matters is the one with the whistle.

• Never yell “over the back” after players have rebounded.

There is no such foul in basketball. Encourage players to ‘box’ and ‘bounce’, but don’t look for an official to signal an over-the-back foul. A player can reach another player for the ball, but a foul occurs when one player pushes or holds another to gain the advantage. Size or jumping ability is not illegal

While we’re at it… The three-second lane violation ends when the ball is shot and does not restart until an attacking player regains possession of the ball. … Walking or traveling with the ball is only called for when a player has control of the ball, so if a player misses a pass they can still move. … A player on the ground only moves if he is moving to gain the advantage or attempt to get up.

• “To err is human, to really screw it up you need a rule and a whistle,” a basketball coach said somewhere.

An official is much like a judge in a court of law or any other rules arbiter, a judge who must be respected for the game to work. Part of the process of learning to play sports is learning that these rules are not always fair or specific enough. The way we react to these situations creates our reality.

If a player or coach is more concerned with calling or not calling an official, they may not be focusing on other, possibly more important things that may decide the outcome. ‘after a match.

Finally, a ticket only gives the buyer the right to a seat. Admission does not pay for any other right or freedom of expression to abuse anyone – whether an official, player, coach, or other fan – at any level, but especially in games featuring young athletes.

Current players are future fans and parents who will do the same – or worse – for years to come.

The next time you feel like yelling at an official, don’t. It will not change the outcome or their mind.

In fact, there’s only one time and one thing to yell at a basketball official, as legendary Southeast Missouri basketball guru Tom has always done. Hoover.

When a foul or violation is called in the first minute of a match, fans are allowed to say, “They did it all night! “

After that, fans should only worry about cheering for good play or effort and if or when to go for another round of snacks.


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