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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 12:20pm
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Calling All Editors ...

I've written an article that I hope to get published in a high school basketball officiating magazine. It my hope that Forum members could peruse the article, and offer any constructive criticism, or additions. The article is only about basketball rule changes that have trickled down to the NFHS (not only NCAA, and/or only NBA rule changes).

Who’s Trent Tucker? And Why Is There A Basketball Rule Named After Him?

On January 15, 1892, James Naismith published his rules for the game of basketball, the game that he invented. Basketball games played under these original thirteen rules were quite different from the games played today. Throughout the history of the game of basketball, certain players have held enormous physical advantages that completely changed the way the game was played on both offense and defense. These players were so dominant that they caused many rule changes, rule changes that were supposed to reduce the dominance of these gifted players to make their style of play a bit fairer to other players. Most of these rule changes were originally instituted in NCAA, or NBA games, but these changes eventually trickled down to NFHS rules.

Leroy Edwards (Kentucky 1934-1935, NBL 1935-1949), a six foot, five inch All-American center for the Kentucky Wildcats, a prolific scorer in the days of low scoring games, is generally recognized as the player responsible for the implementation of the three second rule. Enacted in 1936, the rule was originally designed to limit rough play near the basket. The three second rule states that an offensive player cannot remain in an opponent’s free throw lane area for more than three consecutive seconds while his team has the ball in the frontcourt. A game central to this rule's introduction was that between Coach Adolph Rupp’s University of Kentucky Wildcats, and the New York University Violets, held in Madison Square Garden on January 5, 1935, a game that was especially rough. While the three second rule was originally adopted to reduce roughness between big men in the free throw lane area, it is now used to prevent tall offensive players from gaining an advantage by waiting close to the basket. The NFHS adopted the three second rule in 1941.

George Mikan (DePaul 1942-1946, NBA 1946-1956), was a six foot, ten inch All-American center for the DePaul Blue Demons, and Bob Kurland (Oklahoma A&M 1942-1946), was a seven foot All-American center for the two time NCAA champion (1945 and 1946) Oklahoma Aggies. The dominating defensive play of these two tall centers around the basket led the NCAA to outlaw defensive goaltending in the 1944-1945 season, making it illegal for a defensive player to touch the ball on its downward flight to the basket. This was in reaction to Mikan and Kurland standing in front of basket swatting away practically every opponent’s shot attempt.

Mikan’s dominating play in the NBA also led to a rule change. Due to the narrowness of the free throw lane, imposing centers such as Mikan dominated the lane, scoring at will. The NBA, at the onset of the 1951–52 season, widened the free throw lane from six feet to twelve feet, a change known as the “Mikan Rule”, forcing Mikan to start farther from the basket to give other players a chance.

Bill Russell (San Francisco 1953-1956, NBA 1956-1969), the six foot, ten inch All-American center for the San Francisco Dons, was one of the most dominant basketball players of his time. Russell was so dominant in the 1955 NCAA tournament that rule changes were enacted in college basketball to prevent a tall player such as Russell from gaining an advantage. In 1956, the NCAA widened the lane from six feet to twelve feet to make it more difficult for tall players to dominate the lane. The NFHS changed to a twelve foot lane in 1957.

Russell was known as the “Funneler” for guiding his teammate’s shots into the basket. Because of this, in 1956, both the NCAA and the NFHS enacted rules outlawing offensive goaltending, mainly as a result of Russell's tactic.

Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas 1956-1958, NBA 1959-1973), the seven foot, one inch, 275 pound All-American Kansas Jayhawks center’s impact on the game of basketball was reflected in the fact that he was directly responsible for several rule changes. When Chamberlain, a notoriously bad free throw shooter, attended Overbrook High School (Philadelphia, PA), he had a unique way of shooting free throws. He would stand at the top of the key, throw the ball up toward the basket, take two steps, jump toward the rim (he reportedly had a fifty inch vertical leap), and dunk the ball through the basket. At the time it was perfectly legal as he never touched the floor before releasing the ball. In 1956, during his freshman year at Kansas, the NCAA banned dunking free throws as a result of Chamberlain’s unorthodox style of shooting free throws in high school. Later, the NBA also banned dunking free throws. NFHS rules now state that a free thrower shooter shall not have either foot beyond the vertical plane of the free throw line until the ball touches the ring, or the backboard, or until the free throw ends. In addition, the free throw shooter must cause the ball to enter the basket, or touch the ring, before the free throw ends.

Chamberlain is also credited with a rule change regarding inbounding the ball by front court inbounders standing behind the endline underneath their basket. His teammates would routinely inbound the ball by lobbing the ball over the backboard where Chamberlain would catch the lob pass and dunk the ball into the basket for an easy score. In 1956, the NCAA, followed by the NFHS in 1957, ruled that the ball is out of bounds when it passes over a rectangular backboard (in either direction).

When Chamberlain was playing college ball at Kansas, a favorite play by the Jayhawks was to lob the ball toward the basket, hoping simply to get it in the vicinity of the rim. Chamberlain would roll to the hoop, catch whatever came within his enormous wingspan, and slam it home. His rivals couldn't stop him, so the NCAA rules makers outlawed offensive basket interference, preventing Chamberlain from touching the ball in the cylinder above the rim. The NBA also instituted offensive goaltending, and offensive basket interference, rules in response to Chamberlain’s dominant offensive play.

Chamberlain is the reason why the lane in the NBA is sixteen feet wide, forcing him to start farther from the basket. It was twelve feet wide when Chamberlain entered the league in 1959 and he won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors by setting up shop in the low post, using his strength to lean in on opponents and lay the ball in the basket with his soft finger roll. After five years of watching Chamberlain score virtually at will, the NBA added four feet to the width of the lane in the 1964-65 season to make it a little tougher on him. Chamberlain responded by perfecting a turnaround jumper.

Chamberlain is regarded as one of the most extraordinary players in the history of the game of basketball, a larger than life figure on, and off the court, who changed the game of basketball and its rules. He was the most dominating force the sport has ever seen, perhaps any sport has ever seen, a colossus whose impact is felt to this day. His dominance caused many rule changes designed to thwart him. In regard to this, Chamberlain is quoted as saying, “Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath”.

When Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) (UCLA 1966-1969, NBA 1969-1989) started playing basketball for UCLA Bruins, NCAA officials felt that the seven foot, two inch All-American center, being especially tall and athletic, could place the ball over the rim and throw it through the hoop with ease. This feat of athleticism which we all know as the dunk and seems so routine was not so routine back in the mid-1960’s. It was considered unfair that he could do it so easily. So the NCAA banned dunking in 1967. This was called the “Alcindor Rule”. Another reason dunking was outlawed was to prevent injury and equipment damage. A distorted rim could delay a game. As a result of the rule, Alcindor developed a great hook shot, the “Sky Hook”, which he used effectively during his playing days in college, and in the NBA. After multiple issues with the new rule and the invention of the breakaway rim the NCAA allowed the dunk to be legal again during 1976-1977 season which was shortly after UCLA Coach John Wooden's retirement. The “Alcindor Rule” eventually trickled down to NFHS rules. In 1967, the NFHS banned dunking in high school basketball games. In 1970, the NFHS also prohibited dunking during pregame warmups. Like the NCAA, the NFHS reversed itself in 1976 and a rule change allowed dunking during the game but not during pregame warmups, nor during intermissions, and with a later rule change in 1978 outlawing dunking a dead ball.

(Continued)
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Apr 22, 2018 at 10:20am.
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 12:20pm
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Continued ...

Ralph Sampson’s (Virginia 1979-1983, NBA 1983-1995) controversial basket against Brigham Young in the 1981 NCAA tournament prompted an NCAA rule change. The seven foot, four inch Virginia Cavalier All-American center dunked the ball with his free hand braced against the backboard. The basket led to a five point swing for Virginia which capitalized on a technical foul against Brigham Young's Danny Ainge who thought Sampson's play was illegal. Actually Sampson did nothing wrong since, at the time, there was no rule making this an illegal play. Since 1983 NFHS rules now state that it’s illegal for player to place a hand on the backboard, or the ring, to gain an advantage.

Darryl Dawkins (NBA 1975-1989), the Philadelphia 76ers six foot, eleven inch, 251 pound center, in a game against the Kansas City Kings at Municipal Auditorium on November 13, 1979 dunked and broke the backboard sending the King’s Bill Robinzine ducking away. Three weeks later he did it again, this time at home against the San Antonio Spurs at the Spectrum. Thus, Dawkins became famous for his backboard shattering dunks and is credited for being the player to cause the NBA to introduce breakaway rims. Breakaway rims are now an essential element of the game of basketball. A broken backboard or distorted rim could delay a game for hours. In 1981 the NFHS adopted specifications for breakaway rims.

Shaquille O'Neal (LSU 1989-1992, NBA 1992-2011) a seven foot, one inch, 325 pound center, was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O'Neal dunked with so much power that he broke the steel supports holding backboards during games against the New Jersey Nets and the Phoenix Suns while playing for the Orlando Magic during the 1992–93 NBA season. This prompted the NBA to increase the strength and stability of the backboard supports and change the stanchion design for the following 1993–94 season. The NFHS added backboard support specifications to the rules in 1996-97.

In high school basketball the “Trent Tucker Rule” disallows any "catch and shoot" shot taken on the court if the ball is put into play with three-tenths of a second or less left in the period. The rule was born out of an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls on January 15, 1990 at Madison Square Garden. The game was tied at 106 with one-tenth of a second left in regulation and the Knicks in possession. During a timeout called by the Knicks both teams prepared for what was seen as the only possible way the Knicks could win in regulation, an alley-oop and tip in by Patrick Ewing from an inbounding pass. When play resumed the inbounding Knicks player, Mark Jackson, saw the alley-oop play get broken up. He proceeded to throw the ball inbounds to Trent Tucker (Minnesota 1978-1982, NBA 1982-1993) who was the only Knicks player open. Tucker then turned around and hit a three-point jump shot before the buzzer giving the Knicks the win 109-106. Replays showed that the clock had not started until Tucker's shot was already in flight. Afterward, it was determined that a player could not catch and release a shot that quickly. In 1995, the NFHS declared that a ball put into play with three-tenths of a second or less left in the period could only be scored on a tip in.

Patrick Ewing (Georgetown 1981-1985, NBA 1985-2002), a Georgetown Hoya All-American center made wearing an undershirt under a game jersey popular. Ewing stated, “I wasn’t the originator, I was just the one who made it popular. There’s [sic] a lot of people who have done it before me but the difference is in my era, that’s when TV really got big. We were always on TV. The reason why I wore it was we started playing in these big arenas and it was always cold (Ewing was born in Kingston, Jamaica), especially when you have the ice down (under the basketball court) for hockey games. I was always complaining I was cold. I started wearing one and it became a fashion statement”. In 1984 the NFHS ruled that undershirts must be similar in color to the uniform jersey.

Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech 1982-1985, NBA 1985-2004) and Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston 1981-1984, NBA 1984-2002) both endorsed LA Gear basketball shoes. In 1993 they both wore LA Gear shoes with flashing lights in NBA games, Malone as a player with the Utah Jazz, and Olajuwon as a player with the Houston Rockets. The NBA almost immediately banned shoes with flashing lights. The NFHS banned such shoes in 1994-95

Allen Iverson (Georgetown 1994-1996, NBA 1996-2011) began using an arm sleeve during the 2000-01 NBA season. Iverson’s shooting elbow had developed bursitis, an injury that would ultimately require surgery. Lenny Currier, then the trainer of the Philadelphia 76ers, cut a swath of a tube bandage and suggested that Iverson try to play with the bandage on his elbow. On January 21, 2001 Iverson took the court with a tube bandage stretched over his right arm. He scored fifty-one points that night, averaged more than thirty-five points per game for the rest of the season, and brought the 76ers to the NBA finals. He wore an arm sleeve for the rest of his career. A few months after Iverson debuted the tube bandage on his arm Under Armour contacted Currier and asked if Iverson might try on a nylon sleeve they had made especially for him. Currier stated, “Their version was longer and came in red, blue, black, and white, so that it could match whatever uniform we were wearing that night. Once the other players started seeing him wearing it they all followed his lead”. Players believed the mild compression the arm sleeves provide helps keep their shooting arms warm and improves circulation. Medical necessity quickly turned into a fashion accessory. Since then the NFHS has ruled that arm sleeves (as well as other types of equipment) fall under color restrictions, shall be the same color as worn by each player, and shall be the same color for all members of a team who choose to wear them.

Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame 2009-2013, WNBA 2013-Present), as an All-American point guard for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish popularized knotted headbands with long loose ends. In 2015, the NFHS ruled that headbands must be without extensions.

Since James Naismith invented the game of basketball and codified its rules in the late nineteenth century players have gotten taller, bigger, stronger, and faster, completely changing the way the game is played on both offense and defense. Rules have evolved over the years to provide equal opportunities between the offense and the defense, and between small players and tall players. That being said, as the game of basketball moves into the future rules must continue to evolve in response to changing player skills and changing team tactics. In the words of Winston Churchill, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often".
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 06:52pm
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Ill wait for the Made for TV movie and then provide feedback based on that.
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 08:20pm
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Billy,
I enjoyed reading through this history of the evolution of our basketball rules...... I imagine some it may even be true !!!
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 08:42pm
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Ralph Sampson’s (Virginia 1979-1983, NBA 1983-1995) controversial basket against Brigham Young in the 1981 NCAA tournament prompted an NCAA rule change. The seven foot, four inch, Virginia Cavalier All-American center dunked the ball with his free hand braced against the backboard. The basket led to a five point swing for Virginia, which capitalized on a technical foul against Brigham Young's Danny Ainge, who thought Sampson's play was illegal. Actually Sampson did nothing wrong, since, at the time, there was no rule making this an illegal play. Since 1983, NFHS rules now state that it’s illegal for player to place a hand on the backboard, or the ring, to gain an advantage.

Darryl Dawkins (NBA 1975-2000), the Philadelphia 76ers six foot, eleven inch, 251 pound center, in a game against the Kansas City Kings at Municipal Auditorium on November 13, 1979, dunked and broke the backboard, sending the King’s Bill Robinzine ducking away. Three weeks later he did it again, this time at home against the San Antonio Spurs at the Spectrum. Thus, Dawkins became famous for his backboard shattering dunks and is credited for being the player to cause the NBA to introduce breakaway rims. Breakaway rims are now an essential element of the game of basketball. A broken backboard, or distorted rim, could delay a game for hours. In 1981, the NFHS adopted specifications for breakaway rims.

Shaquille O'Neal (LSU 1989-1992, NBA 1992-2011) a seven foot, one inch, 325 pound center, was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O'Neal dunked with so much power that he broke the steel supports holding backboards during games against the New Jersey Nets, and the Phoenix Suns, while playing for the Orlando Magic during the 1992–93 NBA season. This prompted the NBA to increase the strength and stability of the backboard supports, and change the stanchion design, for the following 1993–94 season. The NFHS added backboard support specifications to the rules in 1996-97.

In high school basketball, the “Trent Tucker Rule” disallows any "catch and shoot" shot taken on the court if the ball is put into play with three-tenths of a second or less left in the period. The rule was born out of an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls on January 15, 1990, at Madison Square Garden. The game was tied at 106 with one-tenth of a second left in regulation and the Knicks in possession. During a timeout called by the Knicks, both teams prepared for what was seen as the only possible way the Knicks could win in regulation, an alley-oop and tip in by Patrick Ewing from an out of bounds pass. When play resumed, the inbounding Knicks player, Mark Jackson, saw the alley-oop play get broken up. He proceeded to throw the ball inbounds to Trent Tucker (Minnesota 1978-1982, NBA 1982-1993), who was the only Knicks player open. Tucker then turned around and hit a three-point jump shot before the buzzer, giving the Knicks the win, 109-106. Replays showed that the clock had not started until Tucker's shot was already in flight. Afterward, it was determined that a player could not catch, and release, a shot that quickly. In 1995, the NFHS declared that a ball put into play with three-tenths of a second or less left in the period could only be scored on a tip in.

Patrick Ewing (Georgetown 1981-1985, NBA 1985-2002), a Georgetown Hoya All-American center, made wearing an undershirt under a game jersey popular. Ewing stated, “I wasn’t the originator, I was just the one who made it popular. There’s [sic] a lot of people who have done it before me but the difference is in my era, that’s when TV really got big. We were always on TV. The reason why I wore it was we started playing in these big arenas and it was always cold (Ewing was born in Kingston, Jamaica), especially when you have the ice down (under the basketball court) for hockey games. I was always complaining I was cold. I started wearing one and it became a fashion statement”. In 1984, the NFHS ruled that undershirts must be similar in color to the uniform jersey.

Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech 1982-1985, NBA 1985-2004), and Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston 1981-1984, NBA 1984-2002), both endorsed LA Gear basketball shoes. In 1993, they both wore LA Gear shoes with flashing lights in NBA games, Malone as a player on the Utah Jazz, and Olajuwon as a player on the Houston Rockets. The NBA, almost immediately, and later the NFHS, banned shoes with flashing lights.

Allen Iverson (Georgetown 1994-1996, NBA 1996-2011) began using an arm sleeve during the 2000-01 NBA season. Iverson’s shooting elbow had developed bursitis, an injury that would ultimately require surgery, Lenny Currier, then the trainer of the Philadelphia 76ers, cut a swath of a tube bandage and suggested that Iverson try to play with the bandage on his elbow. On January 21, 2001, took the court with a tube bandage stretched over his right arm. He scored fifty-one points that night, averaged more than thirty-five points per game for the rest of the season, and brought the 76ers to the NBA finals. He wore an arm sleeve for the rest of his career. A few months after Iverson debuted the tube bandage on his arm, Under Armour contacted Currier and asked if Iverson might try on a nylon sleeve they had made especially for him. Currier stated, “Their version was longer and came in red, blue, black, and white, so that it could match whatever uniform we were wearing that night. Once the other players started seeing him wearing it, they all followed his lead”. Players believed the mild compression the arm sleeves provide helps keep their shooting arms warm and improves circulation. Medical necessity quickly turned into a fashion accessory. Since then, the NFHS has ruled that arm sleeves (as well as other types of equipment) fall under color restrictions, shall be the same color as worn by each player, and shall be the same color for all members of a team who choose to wear them.

Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame 2009-2013, WNBA 2013-Present), as an All-American point guard for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, popularized knotted headbands with long loose ends. In 2015, the NFHS ruled that headbands must be without extensions.
That is so cool! Maybe the Trent Tucker Rule influenced the current NCAA rule that at least 0.3 must expire on a throw-in that is legally touched on the court inbounds.

If compression sleeves, undershirts, backboard specifications, and headband rules can be adopted from other levels, maybe the shot clock will have a chance nationwide (now, it is only present in 8 states, DC, Minnesota on a limited basis, and private school games on a case-by-case basis).
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 08:49pm
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Everyone thinks the shot clock is a great idea until you lay out the realities of its implementation.

That and the fact that it's a solution in search of a problem at the high school level. There's a reason 42 states have chosen not to deviate from FED.

And I don't want to hear the nonsense about "preparing players for the next level." That's not the job of high school athletics, especially when it's only applicable to ~1% of high school players.
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 09:20pm
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One Percenters ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
Everyone thinks the shot clock is a great idea until you lay out the realities of its implementation.
Agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
"preparing players for the next level." ... it's only applicable to 1% of high school players.
Is that true? It seems low that only 1% of high school basketball players move on to play Division I, II, III, junior college, or NAIA, basketball.

A few percent? Sure. But 1%?
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 09:26pm
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Ain't Gonna Get Published In The National Enquirer ...

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Originally Posted by DrPete View Post
I imagine some it may even be true !!!
I've been researching this article for about two months.

I'm fairly certain that all of it is true (Chamberlain may have only dunked free throws in high school practices). I will bet a large amount of money (but not my house) that more than some of it is true.
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 09:33pm
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I Don't Know Him From Adam ...

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Originally Posted by deecee View Post
I'll wait for the Made for TV movie and then provide feedback based on that.
Maybe if I added some old, grainy, black and white, photos? Would that spark your interest?

I'm sure that many would be interested in seeing what Leroy Edwards, and Bob Kurland, looked like.

(Note: I'd never heard of either of these two guys before I started researching for this article. I wouldn't know Tucker if he punched me in the face, but I knew what he did before writing this article.)

Everybody should read this article before going to their next cocktail party. It's a good topic to spark a great conversation, certainly better than discussing the weather.
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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 09:37pm
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Are you asking who is Trent Tucker? Didn't he play for the University of Minnesota and then primarily with the New York Knicks? Isn't he the guy who is the cause of the catch-and-shoot rule with .3 or .4 on the clock?

Oh, I just read your entire post. Guess I was right.

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Old Sun Apr 15, 2018, 10:28pm
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Bingo ...

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Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
Are you asking who is Trent Tucker? Didn't he play for the University of Minnesota and then primarily with the New York Knicks? Isn't he the guy who is the cause of the catch-and-shoot rule with .3 on the clock?
Correct. Contact Mark Padgett to collect your prize. You have three choices. A twenty volume set of the Encyclopedia International, a case of Turtle Wax, or a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat.

(With permission from Weird Al Yankovic)
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Old Mon Apr 16, 2018, 11:44am
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Interesting to read about the history of some of the rules.

From a constructive criticism standpoint, the Mikan/Russell section about widening the lane was confusing since you noted Mikan as the source of the NBA change which eventually trickled down to NFHS, but then mention it again with Russell. I'd leave crediting Russell with widening the lane in NCAA out to avoid confusion since Mikan was the first.

And Darryl Dawkins didn't really play in the NBA for 25 years did he?
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Old Mon Apr 16, 2018, 05:23pm
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Chocolate Thunder ...

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Originally Posted by HokiePaul View Post
I'd leave crediting Russell with widening the lane in NCAA out to avoid confusion since Mikan was the first. And Darryl Dawkins didn't really play in the NBA for 25 years did he?
Thanks.

I'll take a look at the Mikan/Russell wording, and check my numbers on Chocolate Thunder.
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Old Mon Apr 16, 2018, 05:30pm
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Professional Career, Post NBA ...

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Originally Posted by HokiePaul View Post
And Darryl Dawkins didn't really play in the NBA for 25 years did he?
After leaving the Detroit Pistons in 1989, Dawkins continued to play professional basketball for eleven more years, for Auxilium Torino, Olimpia Philips Milano, Libertas Forlì, Harlem Globetrotters, Sioux Falls Skyforce, and Winnipeg Cyclone.

I made the correction. Very sharp observation. Thanks HokiePaul.
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Old Mon Apr 16, 2018, 05:53pm
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Thanks For The Constructive Criticism ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokiePaul View Post
... the Mikan/Russell section about widening the lane was confusing since you noted Mikan as the source of the NBA change which eventually trickled down to NFHS, but then mention it again with Russell. I'd leave crediting Russell with widening the lane in NCAA out to avoid confusion since Mikan was the first.
Two separate rule changes, so two separate paragraphs.

An article about basketball players whose dominance resulted in rule changes can't be written without mentioning the NBA "Mikan Rule" (widening the NBA free throw lane from six feet to twelve feet), and it was Russell's dominance in the 1955 NCAA tournament that resulted in the NCAA, in 1956, widening the college lane from six feet to twelve feet.

Plus, Bill Russell (along with Carl Yastrzemski) is one of my two all-time favorite sports figures, so I have to play up his role in changing the rules.

I'll try moving the NFHS rule change to Russell's paragraph. Does that help?

Mikan’s dominating play in the NBA also led to a rule change. Due to the narrowness of the free throw lane, imposing centers, such as Mikan, dominated the lane, scoring at will. The NBA, at the onset of the 1951–52 season, widened the free throw lane from six feet to twelve feet, a change known as the “Mikan Rule”, forcing Mikan to start farther from the basket, to give other players a chance.

Bill Russell (San Francisco 1953-1956, NBA 1956-1969), the six foot, ten inch All-American center for the San Francisco Dons, was one of the most dominant basketball players of his time. Russell was so dominant in the 1955 NCAA tournament that rule changes were enacted in college basketball to prevent a tall player, such as Russell, from gaining an advantage. In 1956, the NCAA widened the lane from six feet to twelve feet to make it more difficult for tall players to dominate the lane, scoring at will. The NFHS changed to a twelve foot lane in 1957.
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