IRH -Basketball -- the way it was...

This section is to honor the works of Russ Lancaster who started the “I Remember Hamlet” web site years ago. Without his pioneering the web at that time we might not have gathered all these memories of our Hamlet, NC. We thank you Russ for what you started in 1996, may you Rest in Peace. Russ was kind enough to let me download his web site before he took it down. Thank you Russ.

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IRH -Basketball -- the way it was...

Post by David » Sat June 2, 2018, 5:52 pm

the way it was...
by: Russ Lancaster
Let's take a trip back to the 1950's and remember how basketball used to be played.
The old gymnasium at Hamlet High was the place to be on game nights back in the late fall and early winter. Game nights found the bleachers filled to capacity with students and parents. The Pink Ewes (girls) played their opening game to be followed by the Red Rams (boys) game.
The game was played differently back then, especially the girls games. They played a half court version with defensive players restricted to one half the court and offensive players restricted to the other. Their free throws were shot under handed style and they didn't take "jump" shots. I guess the rules makers didn't think girls had the stamina of guys back then. Boy were they ever wrong.
Those games the girls played against Rockingham, Rohanan, Ellerbe, Wadesboro, Lumberton and others. They were always nail biters with the outcome usually decided in the last few seconds. Those girls did a great job of getting the fans into fever pitch with their exciting games. And, unlike in football, the cheer leaders were nearly close enough to touch as they urged the fans to cheer even louder.
Admission was cheap and it was a great place to hang out with your buddies, talk about the girls, cars and other things important to teen-agers.
There would be a brief intermission between the girls game and the boys game. This was the time you went outside for a few moments to get a breath of fresh air or, if you had been lucky and caught the eye of a girl, maybe now was the time to go sit with her for the second game. If rebuffed or you mistakenly thought you were being encouraged to sit with her, you still had time to get back with your buddies before the boys game began.
The boys game was not that much different from those of today as far as rules go, but the game itself has evolved into a much more open game with penalties and fouls being much more lenient than back in the 50's.
Jump shots were still new back then but quickly took over the one or two hand set shot as the preferred way of scoring. However, traveling penalties meant something back then. If you took more than a step with the ball, it was traveling and you lost the ball to the other team. Today, it is not uncommon to see someone head to the basket from nearly half court with only one dribble and many steps taken without penalty.
There was no "dunking" back then. I'm not sure if we had people even capable of doing such a thing on a regular basis but in any event it wasn't allowed. It would have been called a goal-tending penalty during those times.
Palming the ball was also called with consistency whereas today it is a common occurrence without penalty.
Sure, I know... today's athletes are bigger, stronger, taller and the rules are more lenient, but for excitement, give me back the old 1950's style of play and enforcement of rules. I enjoyed basketball back then, not today.
I remember HOW it was played and... I remember Hamlet.

freddie hassler
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Re: IRH -Basketball -- the way it was...

Post by freddie hassler » Tue June 5, 2018, 12:42 am

O W Altman could Dunk in the 60's, but never in a game cause it was not allowed

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