Siddarth Sharma - sidbreakball

Stop playing cricket/football on basketball courts

Published on
June 6, 2016

Originally published on 10 Dec, 2012 on Sportskeeda.

It ought to be against the rules of a school/college which has a basketball court, to let people play cricket there.

India is a huge country. There are acres of open space here, there and everywhere. Lush green fields all around. And yet, like a mind addled glider who hits the only tree within a 20 mile radius in a desert, football and cricket players are irresistibly, magnetically drawn to basketball courts to play their game.

Cricketers’ logic:

- A basketball court has outlines to be used as the boundary lines in cricket.
- The basketball posts are designed to be wickets.
- The halfline was designed to mark the crease at the bowler’s end.
- A double sixer will be scored if the batsman hits the ball in the far end of the basket.

The funniest part of it is that although the cricket players outnumber the basketball players on any given day, half of the time most of the cricket players are standing around inactive. If they were playing basketball, they would be a part of the action at all times. I’ve dissected the fun quotient between basketball and cricket in detail here:

25 reasons why basketball is more fun than cricket:
Part 1-

Part 2-

Let’s address the issue of people playing cricket/football on basketball courts.

Turning the table, a cricket field can be used for grazing cows. In all seriousness, it can be. Half the time the fielders remain stationary and a bunch of cattle mooing about and chomping on the grass won’t distract anyone. They can even be milked by fielders with free time for the Tea breaks which go hand in hand with cricket matches.

Or while the game of cricket is going on, one can set up croquet nets scattered around the field and have something for the fielders to pass their time. They can practice gardening in their free time as fielders.

The basketball court is actually a cricket field in disguise for them. If you think about it, the only reason it seems justified to let cricketers play on a basketball court is because they outnumber the basketball players. It makes sense to subvert the interests of the smaller group for the larger one.

Applying that logic, Golf links should also be used for cricket. The hazards would add extra spice to the game. If a Golf link has guards to keep people from misusing the links, why shouldn’t a basketball court have one? With the same logic, a pool table can be used for playing carom, or a swimming pool can be used for fishing! Just buy some goldfish from a pet store and hurl them in and let the hunt commence.

This may seem like an impassioned outpouring of someone who was chased away from the court one too many time by cricketers. People sign petitions for real causes, causes which make a difference. But petitioning for something like this isn’t outlandish if you think about it, it makes perfect sense to pass a law/ordinance/rule which would ban people from using basketball courts for any other purpose than playing basketball.

See, the rationale against letting people play around on golf links, or play carom on a pool table, is that it would spoil the expensive greens. The same doesn’t seem to apply for basketball courts, so football and cricket players are allowed to run roughshod on the field.

If people play cricket on a golf course, it spoils the green, which in turn reduces the enjoyment of people who play. Actually, it would add a very fun element to the game in short term, hitting a drive and wondering which cricketer your shot will bean on the head. The only damage here is in the long term.

Why the same logic is not being applied for basketball is beyond me. In case of basketball, the long term is skipped entirely. The damage is dealt in the short term. The basketball game is being disrupted immediately.

Logic, people! I’ll present the case point-wise:

A. One can’t play cricket on golf links or carom on a pool table because that would spoil the surface.
B. Spoiling the surface will prevent people from enjoying the game which was meant to be played on that surface.

When people play cricket and football on a basketball court, the question of spoiling it in the future doesn’t arise as in the present the basketball players aren’t allowed to play for a more direct reason, overcrowding.

Quick, which of the following offends you more:
- You giving a lift to a homeless hobo in your bus which has five empty seats.
- Said homeless hobo opening your car door, yanking you out, and speeding away in your car while you wave your fist in disgust, covered in exhaust fumes.

Here, the bus is the golf link and the car is the basketball court. The homeless hobos are the encroachers. There is a double standard here. The golf link can accommodate cricketers and golfers more easily than a basketball court can accommodate cricketers and basketball players.

Picture the scene in the movie ‘Cast Away’ when Tom Hanks comes back to civilization after his hiatus. Everything seems heaven sent and he is overwhelmed with the beauty around him. That’s how I feel when I chance upon a basketball court since I didn’t get to play on a proper one for a long time.

So when I see this kind of blasphemy, it ticks me off. Look at the picture above, there is a green field right beside the basketball court and the lone tree doesn’t act much of an obstruction. But the basketball court attracts one and all to play football.

Want free admission to an asylum? Go take a basketball and start dribbling it across the cricket pitch while cricketers are playing. Or use the goalpost of a football field as a net for volleyball. Society frowns at that. But the basketball court is seen as a home to all. That is a double standard. There is room for a handful of people to play half court basketball while others play cricket and football, if both parties are accommodating towards each other, as I’ve seen many times. That isn’t always the case and usually it’s the basketball players who are chased away.

Even when I was making this video, I had to dodge a bunch of kids skating around. That court also plays host to handball by the way.

Would you ride a pencil to work like a pogo stick and when in the office spin your car around and use the skidmarks to do paperwork? Things ought to be used for their proper purpose. A basketball court is meant for playing basketball, one shouldn’t have to be in the majority to get a chance to play it over a bunch of cricketers.

Siddarth Sharma - sidbreakball

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