Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pure Sports: Pick-up Ball Injury Etiquette

As my long-time reader knows, I like talking about amateur ("pure", in some respects) sports too, not just pro sports. So let's talk about pick-up basketball.
Last night I played some pick-up basketball, and was on two winning teams in a row for once. The second game saw a nasty collision where two teammates ran into each other and went down fast and hard. I thought that this is a good place to share some basic rules for how other players should behave during an injury in pick-up ball:
DON'T start shooting the basketball nonchalantly next to the guy who's face-down in pain. What usually happens is that the player moves to the other side of the hoop to avoid the hurt player...and then the rebound falls off the rim and hits the player! Stupid city.
DON'T tell him to get up if he can't, or ask him to keep playing if he should obviously stop.
DON'T huddle around him and choke off all the air/light.
DON'T shout conflicting health suggestions at him. If you don't know what to do, you don't know. So not only did the person get hurt, now they get to be cajoled by idiots.
DO figure out who should call security/staff/911 if someone really does get hurt.
DO talk to the person without making them feel stupid for getting hurt. Unless they got hurt while trying to showboat or got hit in the nuts; then all such comments are perfectly deserved.
DO wipe off the sweat after they get up, or else someone else will fall in the exact same place.
All right, a little Emily Post there for you, but I'm getting tired of players who don't know how to act when there's an injury. Oh, in amusing coincidences, our point guard from last night just walked by and waved.

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