Summer Quandaries #37
September 6--24 days to camp
While changes to the winter sport in shorts typically takes place at glacial speed, there does seem to be some impetus for recognizing the increasing size, strength, and mobility of the modern athlete. A while back I suggested the time had come for, and the game would benefit from, widening the court. Now the rumblings from a meeting of the FIBA secretary general and selected world journalists.
The secretary general of FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, would like to see the NBA change its goaltending rules to allow players to knock the ball off the rim.
The official, Patrick Baumann ….
said the next rule change FIBA wants to institute is widening the court by 50 centimeters on each side, in large part to create additional room for players to attempt 3-point shots from the corners. FIBA courts are slightly smaller than NBA courts, measuring 91 feet, 10 inches long (compared to 94 feet in the NBA) and 49 feet, 2½ inches wide (versus 50 feet in the NBA).
As far as the goaltending issue, is this really a discussion on added value for a “clean” make? Are we back to H-O-R-S-E rules where nothing but net is different from rolling around and dropping in or a friendly rim? Shouldn’t such a discussion go hand and hand with the possible introduction of 11 or 12 foot goals and/or widening the hoop by an inch or two? Are we finally ready to consider rules changes that return the game to something resembling the one Dr. Naismith envisioned? There is little room to argue that the size and leaping ability of the best athletes have not transformed the game to one that has only a remote similarity to the one that we earth-bound mortals play in the local gym or park. Would it be for the better or are we addicted to the ESPN highlight world of “Me jump big, slam small ball into trashcan!”