SOME CHANGES MADE
Three years ago Ed Donovan, now vice-president and general manager of the Buffalo Braves, proposed to the National Basketball Association that the foul-out rule be eliminated. He got a laugh-out response. Norm Drucker, American Basketball Association supervisor of officials, made the same suggestion in his league two years ago and got the same reaction.
But at the recent meeting of the ABA rules committee in San Diego, Drucker reiterated his proposal. To his shock he won unanimous approval both from the committee and from the ABA board of trustees. The new permissiveness will be tried experimentally in the ABA preseason schedule.
The purpose of the change is to avoid audience disappointment when stars foul above the limit (six in the pro game, five in college). There are understandable fears that the move will encourage fouling, but harsher penalties for post-limit fouls are being considered—possibly an extra foul shot or loss of the ball.
Those who are dubious about the change went back to Dr. James Naismith who invented the game. What would he think?
In the introduction to his first published Rules for Basket Ball (1892) the general conditions included:
"It should be such as could be played by a large number of men at once.... If a great number of men wish to play at once, two balls may be used at the same time, and thus the fun is augmented though some of the science may be lost.... As many as 50 on a side have been accommodated."
Yes, but what about fouls? Rule No. 5 reads: "No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made."
Over the years someone has changed Dr. Naismith's rules. He wanted to keep the players in the game at the very beginning.
POLLUTION CONTROL IN NIPPON
There now are 10 million golfers in Japan, which is 10% of the nation's population, creating gorufu kogai, translated as "golf pollution." Of Japan's 47 prefectures, 36 have imposed restrictions on future golf course construction. Thickly populated Japan needs land. Golf courses are eating up property the localities feel might be put to better use.