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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Is Gaining Traction

I first wrote about this a month past. While it is important to keep all you great readers and add more each day, I strive to keep things fresh, but on occasion it is always good to revisit some thoughts that I threw out and actually caused quite a stir.

In a nustshell, I am proposing that any college basketball game that goes into a second overtime not be played in a typical fashion, but instead go to a free throw shootout. The rules are simple, prior to the game the coach submits his list of FIVE players for the shootout, in order of their one shot. If at the end of the shootout, if the score is still tied, then the shootout continues but in reverse order of the first shootout, until someone misses and the other team gains the advantage.

Not to bring too many rules to this, but if someone on the free throw list submitted by the coach fouls out of the game, he must be replaced by the listed alternate. Also, the visiting team gets to choose which end the arena the shootout takes place.

My motives in this were two fold. 1) The excitement, pressure, interest and skill would all be present in the second overtime 2) It would cause teams and players to practice their free throws at a much higher level than they do today. Free shooting in college basketball is not nearly good as it could be or should be. (Did anyone watch how much free throws mean to Dirk Nowitzki).

In a bit of an irony, a person that I so respect for his knowledge of basketball ripped into myself when I first broached this idea, but yet yesterday he was going on and on about how boring college basketball is and how he refuses to watch it. NOTE to my friend, adding excitement to the game, was the key to my proposal.

I might also add, I have had two distinguished college basketball coaches tell me they love the idea. At first they thought I might have proposed it as a bit of humor, but when it became evident I was serious, the idea grew on them and they loved it.

For the record, in NCAA games for the last three years, only seven percent went to the second overtime and in 92 percent of those games the scoring was lower than the first overtime. For the purists, basically we would hardly ever reach the point of a second overtime shootout, so you can relax a little bit, but of course for the people who want to really think outside the box, maybe we just start overtime with a shootout.

Is my proposal going to fly? Chances are not, but it is fun to talk about and propose. I also would like for everyone who watches a game next year that goes into a second overtime, take note that almost universally, the second overtime is not only poorly played, but also poorly officiated. It is called the fatigue factor.

This is not a case of "if it is not broke, don't fix it". This is a case of making a great game even more exciting and brining back the free throw as an integral part of the basketball. Just keep in mind the most popular sport at least in the United States is the National Football League. They change their rules every year to keep the game as exciting as possible, so college basketball you could learn a good lesson here.

I want traction on this and I hope you do as well.

Since there are many more readers of this blog now than when I first wrote about this, I am really looking forward to your emails and comments.

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