By John Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
On December 21, 1891, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. James Naismith of Canada introduced a new sport to the world, basketball. On January 15, 1892, that same man published the first 13 rules of the game in The Triangle, a local newspaper. The first rule said that “the ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands,” and the eighth rule said that “a goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there.”
126 years later, the fundamental principles of basketball have remained the same and they will stay the same no matter how many years go by. Despite this, over time the sport has been anything but stagnant. The same goes for those that serve it, including the EuroLeague.
In 2016, the EuroLeague introduced a new format for the top European club competition. The league downsized from 24 teams to 16, however, it made the schedule longer, fairer and more attractive with 30 rounds in which each team would play every other twice, once at home and once away. Even before the first season of this new system was completed, the undertaking had already been deemed successful. The reasons for its success weren’t solely because of the extra amount of interest generated nor because of the ever-increasing number of close games. The league also saw a scoring spike that season.
In the 2015-16 season, EuroLeague fans saw 77.2 points scored per team per game and within a year and a half that average has exceeded 80 points. Last season, the first one with the new system, that average was 79.1 points and this season, with 26 rounds behind us, the scoreboard shows 80.2 points.