The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: Court storming needs to stay

Aidan+Cusack
Sia DeyKoontz
Aidan Cusack

There are 1.8 seconds left on the clock, and the score is 98-96. A trip to the conference tournament is in the balance. 

The chances of your team winning this game have dropped from slim to near none. The opposing team just broke a tied game with a heroic layup.

All eyes are on the court. A whistle blows and the ball flies toward half-court. 

Your shooter makes the catch before launching it toward the net. The buzzer sounds, followed by a swish.

The ball went in.

Your team is in the tournament. 

The stands erupt, the band plays the fight song and the mascot does a triple backflip.  

At this point, it almost feels almost appropriate to storm the court. Fans just settling down and leaving the building seems more or less unacceptable. 

Court storming is baked into collegiate basketball, a tradition that is just part of the game. Recent developments like University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark getting hit have shaken the foundation of this tradition. There are calls to ban court storming altogether, ending the tradition entirely. Shaken as it may be, the tradition must stay. 

Storming the court is part of the experience. When I buy a ticket, I’m hoping for a good game, mediocre nachos and a court storming. 

People far more experienced in the sport of basketball than me are also vocal about the topic. Marty Simmons, the head coach of men’s basketball at Eastern, spoke on his experience with the phenomenon that is court storming. 

“The emotions and the ability to share that with your fans and the players, it’s an experience that is absolutely incredible,” Simmons said. “I think that’s part of the student experience, and I’m a big fan of it.” 

Simmons also emphasized the importance of having a safety protocol in place, to ensure nobody gets hurt. I agree with that sentiment. The state of court storming right now seems a little chaotic, but with proper precautions, it should live on with the sport of basketball. 

Great basketball games at Eastern are great experiences for students. Removing a great experience like court storming takes away some of what makes basketball great. 

Another point towards keeping court storming is that enforcement would be near impossible. Schools can ban court storming on paper, but keeping hundreds of excited fans off the court seems tricky in practice.

From my experience, high schools that have less than 100 fans attending have trouble halting court stormings. Imagine Eastern trying to stop an onslaught with numbers in the hundreds.

Seems improbable to me.

It goes without mentioning that bigger schools who have thousands in attendance won’t be able to stop court storming. Tens can be managed, hundreds quelled, thousands though? I favor the fans in that situation.

Yet, the conversation shouldn’t get to the point of banning this storied tradition.

Great basketball games without court storming’s are lacking in a spiritual nature. They are Starbucks without the pumpkin spice latte. South quad without wing night. Ice cream without the cherry on top.

The sport is just incomplete without it.

 

Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest