The Macon Coliseum hosted the Georgia High School Association’s basketball championships last Thursday through Saturday on a court that wasn’t set up according to regulations.
The Macon Telegraph reports that players, coaches and fans complained about baskets that weren’t aligned correctly. Nicki Miranda, head coach of the girl’s basketball team at Count Veterans, told the Telegraph that her team complained about rims during warm-ups before their 56-38 loss to Americus-Sumter in the Class AAAA title game.
“My girls told me the free-throw line was too far away in warm-ups. They kept telling me they were short,” Miranda said.
National Federation rules dictate that the backboard is supposed to hover 4 feet from the baseline. Ernie Yarbrough, basketball coordinator for GHSA, told the Marietta Daily Journal that the backboard for the championship weekend was about a foot further back, 3 feet away from the baseline.
The mistake meant that teams took 16-foot free throws instead of the regulation 15-feet, and 3-pointers were shot from a distance of nearly 21 feet, as opposed to 19 feet, 9 inch range. Plays around the basket may also have been affected, since the mistake meant there was less room to drive the baseline.
The GHSA released a statement on their website acknowledging the error, but said they wouldn’t change the outcomes of any games played with misaligned baskets.
“While it does appear that the goals were not placed far enough into the playing area, the GHSA has no plans to change any of the results of the seven girls and seven boys title games played,” the statement read.
“The goals were the same distance into the court at both ends of the floor,” said GHSA Executive Director Gary Phillips in the statement. “The playing conditions were exactly the same for both teams on the court and for all of the 14 championship games that were played. So I can’t see any reason we would consider changing the outcomes.
That’s little consolation to Miranda, who told the Telegraph “While I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome, it made a difference in our game plan and strategy.”