Saturday, January 12, 2008

Question of the Week

Donald, Tuscaloosa, AL
Subj: An issue of size
Dear Ryan, I’ve always wondered why basketball hoops are exactly 10 feet high. Why did they choose that number, rather than say, 12 feet?

Great question, Donald. The height was chosen by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 when he nailed a peach basket to the edge of an elevated running track which was 10 feet off the ground. Had the track been any higher the game of basketball may never have caught on. Interestingly, it took a full decade before Naismith and others adopted open-ended nets, hence putting an end to the practice of using a long-handled broomstick to retrieve the ball following each field goal.