Ask Athlon Sports: Basketball Raising the Goals

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<p> Ask Athlon Sports: Basketball Raising the Goals</p>

Q: With today’s basketball players so tall, why don't they raise the goals? Let's get the game back to where it really is a game, and not just a sideshow.

— Leroy Heldman, Knoxville, Tenn.

A: The basketball goal at 10 feet is rather arbitrary, but it’s been that way since Dr. James Naismith hung his first peach basket in Springfield, Mass., in 1891. It’s true that players have gotten taller and more athletic over time, but I don’t believe the baskets will ever be raised — for the same reasons the bases will always be 90 feet apart on a baseball diamond and a football field will be 100 yards long (120 if you count the end zones) and 53 yards, one foot wide. We value tradition and history in our sports, and making such a drastic change would have too big of an impact on the game. Plus, I believe a majority of basketball fans enjoy what you call the "sideshow." It makes the game exciting.

Mitchell Light, Managing Editor

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