Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Basketball Court Design: Surfaces and Hoops 2

Posted on August 23, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the most famous basketball venues in the world.

Cameron Indoor Stadium is one of the most famous basketball venues in the world.

The design of the modern basketball court goes back to the earliest days of basketball in the 1890s. In these formative years, the game was played in YMCA and school gymnasiums across the country – wooden floorboards and peach baskets nailed to the wall made up these first basketball courts. Though the baskets would be eventually replaced with a hoop and net, and outdoor basketball would be played on a variety of asphalt or tarmac services, the wooden surface inherited from those first gymnasiums persists to this day.

Surfaces
Maple boards are most commonly used in basketball court surfaces, prized for their consistency when dribbling and providing good grip characteristics for players. However, as a hardwood, it can be adversely affected by moisture and consequently maple boards must be laid to take into account the expansion of the wood over several years. Poorly laid floors can suffer from “dead zones” where the ball won’t bounce as well – frustrating for players.

Even the best quality basketball courts will need regular maintenance to protect them from the wear and tear caused by regular play. At the most basic, this includes daily mopping of dust and regular cleaning. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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