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The Elam Ending — No More Fouls!

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by RGREELEY33, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I have posted on here before about my two buddies who started “The Basketball Tournament” which is an amateur tournament that combines fantasy, social media, and real basketball — with the winning team this year getting $2,000,000 in cash.

    I recently attended the quarterfinals over at Cal State LA and got to witness one of their innovations — “The Elam Ending.”

    Ultimately, to get past all of end-of-game fouling that very rarely results in a comback win by the trailing team but almost always results in a neverending slog of an additional annoying 15+ minutes for fans, they have instituted this rule based on a MENSA middle school principal’s idea. The rule says that at the first game stoppage after the 4 minute mark of the 4th quarter, the clock is turned off, and an target score is set — first team to that score wins the game. The target score is whomever is leading + 7 points (so if it is 80-73, the first team to 87 wins the game)

    Zach Lowe wrote about it for ESPN not too long ago — and it has attracted the attention of NBA executives who have been bandying about ideas to prevent the “Hack-A-Shaq” type of stuff.

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19078511/zach-lowe-basketball-tournament-innovative-end-game-rule

    I will say — having seen it live for 3 games at the tournament — it was MUCH less gimmicky than I thought it would be, and actually did enhance the endings of the games. The announcer makes the announcement at the stoppage — and the crowd got into countdowns and when the winning bucket was scored, the place erupted — both players and fans.

    We didn’t get to see any close games where strategy needed to get involved (i.e. if a team had 1 free throw, needed 2 points to win, should they miss the free throw purposely, etc.?) — but it was cool. It is so extreme, I find it doubtful it ever makes its way to the NBA, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it experimented with in the G-League or Summer Leagues or what have you in the not too distant future.
     
  2. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    As devil’s advocate, couldn’t you still hack a Shaq assuming that conversion rate/possession is still lower than team without that player?
     
  3. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I’m not sure I follow.

    You only need 7 points — so sending the other team to the line will be problematic. Of course, if they need 3 points and you want to prevent that, it will come into play. But it won’t be an endless array of late game fouling, play stoppage, horrible fan experience which is what it is geared towards.

    The MENSA guy had looked at like 2000 games, and an incredibly small amount benefitted from the fouling strategy at game end, so the thought was this was a way to get rid of the painful and unneeded endings of many basketball games.
     
  4. Awesome Fossum

    Awesome Fossum Member SoSH Member

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    Huge TBT fan, and thrilled they're giving the Elam Ending a full run this year. I think its weakness is in the super close game, where there's now incentives to intentionally foul or miss free throws where there weren't in the past. Maybe there's one more tweak that can be made to seal that off. But I think it's a big step forward.

    This may be off topic, but TBT needs to figure out a way to increase attendance. The crowd makes such a huge difference in the quality of the television product. Increasing the number of sites for the first two rounds would be a big help (but would also require more money and staff, so I understand why they haven't yet). The Ram Nation games at VCU were just an awesome atmosphere; I was very happy for everyone involved.
     
  5. Awesome Fossum

    Awesome Fossum Member SoSH Member

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    I don't have a link, but Elam has addressed this himself in the past. Hack a Shaq can just be called for what it is: intentional fouls.
     
  6. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    Mods - can we move this to the Port Cellar? Excellent thread topic
     
  7. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    No more buzzer beaters or late game dramatics totally ruin the Elam Ending for me.
     
  8. AMcGhie

    AMcGhie Set Adrift on Memory Bliss SoSH Member

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    There's always a game winning basket with the Elam Ending. It might be a 20 point win, winning basket, but there will be a shot that ends the game in EVERY game. Winning team celebrates a bucket, not the clock running out.
     
  9. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    There's always a game winning score in any game, whether it's a 23-1 baseball game or 102-0 basketball game.
     
  10. AMcGhie

    AMcGhie Set Adrift on Memory Bliss SoSH Member

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    I should have used a different term. There's always a game-ending basket with the Elam Ending. (I was editing my prior post when you replied)
     
  11. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    This was my inclination as well. I mean, how many amazing buzzer-beating type of shots would we have lost out on through the years?

    However, every game has some level of the “game winning shot”, and think about what would happen with close games and somebody sticks a 3? Or when a team trailing by 10 goes on a 17-5 run to win the game. I think you would actually see a lot more “buzzer beaters” they just wouldn’t be clock based.
     
  12. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    I think the problem (aside from some of the super close game issues brought up earlier) is that now every game will end on a made basket or free throw, which takes away the excitement of the rare occasions in which games currently do end on a made basket. It becomes overkill and loses the excitement.
     
  13. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah — this has been a challenge. They have done things like adding payouts to the fans — so the #1 fan of the winning team gets $40,000. Fans 2-100 get something, etc. However, the crowd was sparse at the Cal State LA game I was attending — my best friend was actually running the Richmond rounds and was sending me videos of the crowd. That was kind of a unique scenario because VCU’s alumni team was playing. There’s a balance of cost — of having venues that are TV worthy for ESPN — and having places that have good amenities. Most of the players will tell you it is the best tournament they have ever played in — 3 D1 college officials, uniforms, locker room and facilities, everything is top notch. But getting 2000+ fans to attend has been a tougher draw. The alumni teams are the best for that — but these teams that are now semi-pro in nature haven’t been big draws although they are the best teams.
     
  14. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I don’t know, to me — it harkens back to “game point” in pickup leagues or playground ball which was always added excitement no matter the score. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out if the NBA adopts it for the G-League
     
  15. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    True, even with a 10 or 15 point lead there would always be some level of tension. That may not be a bad thing.
     
  16. The Gray Eagle

    The Gray Eagle Member SoSH Member

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    I love the Elam ending and think it would vastly improve the end of basketball games.
    I can't stand the constant fouling; the way the last minute and a half of a game takes 15 minutes of standing around to finish; the way that either video review or how quick the official timekeeper's finger is can determine who wins or loses the game; and how teams change up the way they've been playing the whole game-- the team with a late lead starts caring way more about the clock than about scoring a basket, and basically tries to do a basketball version of football's taking a knee, while the other team runs around trying to foul them.

    I think if this was tried, once people got used to it, no one would be thinking, "Wow, I really miss those intentional fouls that we used to get."
     
  17. Awesome Fossum

    Awesome Fossum Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, but -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that doesn't necessarily incentivize anyone to show up to the games. And it definitely doesn't incentivize anyone to show up to all the games. I think it was a neat idea, but the only thing that really seems to have driven attendance at this point is the alumni teams.

    Right. There's a ton of alumni teams in the tournament, and if you had the funding, you could expand from five initial sites to up to 16 (which is how the NCAA does it). That way, you could expand the number of "home" crowds, and you're asking a lot less of each market. My sense is that they don't (yet) have the funding, but they dipped their toe into it this year with the Big East pod at Marquette, so that might be the vision for the future.

    It's definitely a tough nut to crack, and I don't claim to have an answer ready to go. It's just clearly, to me, the biggest obstacle TBT is facing.

    Building around the alumni teams is probably the way to go -- if the Big East pod was considered a success, you have the other five major conferences theoretically ready to slide in -- to the extent you can afford it. Beyond that, I think I might try to focus on "basketball meccas," historical gyms or venues that can draw basketball freaks who are just willing to come out in celebration of the game. The Palestra, some of the historic college gyms that have been outgrown (McDonough Gymnasium, Carmichael Arena, etc.) maybe the gym from Hoosiers, or even a pod at some of the famous street courts.

    I'm just thinking out loud. I think they're doing a great job. Your friends should be proud.
     
  18. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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    Does it lead to any weirdness as the game is approaching the 4 minute mark? I can see the potential for unintended consequences but am having a bit of trouble articulating them.
     
  19. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    Probably. Note that it would be 3 minutes in the NBA, not 4, I believe. So I could see a team with the ball and the lead at the sub-3 minute mark doing something to "lock in" the score, such as throwing a ball off an opposing player out of bounds, but that would also carry risks. You'd want to create a stoppage if you had the ball without giving up possession. Or if you didn't have the ball, you'd perhaps "intentionally" foul if you weren't in the penalty to lock in the score before the other team got closer.
     
  20. Awesome Fossum

    Awesome Fossum Member SoSH Member

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    What's the reason for stopping play? Why not just turn the clock off at 4:00 (or 3:00), and set the target score after the next change of possession?
     
  21. RGREELEY33

    RGREELEY33 Potty Mouth Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    They don’t stop play — it is just the first stoppage after the 4 minute mark. So, theoretically, it could go all the way down to the buzzer. Teams may be incented to foul right before or after the 4 minute mark too depending upon the score I suppose. They don’t have enough of a sample size yet to see all of the potential issues and how it is relative to the standard way, but my SSS viewing 3 games, it was way more enjoyable than I expected.
     
  22. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    Wait were a few posts eaten? I made another post in this thread that rgreeley replied to
     
  23. djbayko

    djbayko Member SoSH Member

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    Even with that clarification, I believe his question is still valid. If they don't wait until the next stoppage to set the final score, then there would be no weirdness after the 3 minute mark. The teams have every incentive to continue trying to score / play D.
     
  24. Awesome Fossum

    Awesome Fossum Member SoSH Member

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    Yes, thanks djbayko. Why wait for a stoppage?

    PS: We should think about fielding a SoSH (Jimmy Fund?) branded team for 2019.
     

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