Fun time on the court
What: The Harlem Globetrotters entertain with their amazing basketball skills and comedy. This year's tour features special Fans Rule rule changes voted on by fans.
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 2
Where: Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave.
Cost: $21, $28, $42, $56 and $79. A Magic Pass, available for an additional $24 per person, lets you get on the court with the Globetrotters beginning 90 minutes before the game to shoot around and get autographs and photos. Tickets and the Magic Pass are available at the Coliseum box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Parking is $5, main lot, and $8, preferred lot.
Information: www.memorialcoliseum.com or www.harlemglobetrotters.com
Trick passing, three-point shooting and other plays you see in college and NBA basketball today had their beginnings back in the nearly 88 years the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained fans around the world with their stellar skills and comedy.
You'll see more innovations when the Globetrotters play Jan. 2 at Memorial Coliseum.
The biggest change for the team's current world tour is giving fans a say in the rules.
“You never know what you are going to see at the game,” said Globetrotters guard Bull Bullard, who was speaking by phone during a break in a personal appearance in the Baltimore area.
The Globetrotters first let fans have input on the game rules during last year's season, a news release said. Fort Wayne-area fans can vote on the rules they want used here Jan. 2 by going to harlemglobetrotters.com/rule.
This year's Fans Rule options include three “never-before-seen revolutionary rules”:
•Hot Hand Jersey: Both teams — the Globetrotters' traveling opponents are the World All-Stars — will have a Hot Hand Jersey they can pass to the player on their team with the hottest shooting hand. The players in those jerseys will receive double points for every basket made.
•Make or Miss: Each team starts a quarter with only two players on the floor. Each time a player makes a basket, another player from his team can enter the game. However, every player who misses has to leave the game.
•Trick Shot Challenge: Each coach has three flags per game that can be used to challenge the other team to make a trick shot. If the player makes the shot, the team receives five points. If the player misses, the other team receives five points.
Fans also can vote for use of two other rules: 6 on 5, where five Globetrotters play against six opposing players, and 2-Ball Basketball, where the teams play with two basketballs at the same time.
A few years ago, the Globetrotters also added a four-point basket to the game for shots made from more than 35 feet away from the hoop. The three-point line in the NBA currently ranges from 22 feet from the hoop in the corners to 23 feet 9 inches away at the top of the arc near midcourt.
So far, use of the Trick Shot Challenge probably has been the most popular rule selected by fans in other cities where the Globetrotters have played, said Bullard, a Detroit native who played college ball at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
But the Fans Rule voting does make games interesting, said Bullard, who finished second in the 2008 College Slam Dunk Championship at that year's NCAA Final Four.
Rules can change even from one quarter to the next, which requires some quick adjusting.
“We are always up for the challenge,” he added.