Throughout the world there are countless sports competitions of all kinds, each with its own peculiarities. But seldom had they seen anything so surprising, and paradoxical, as what the South Korean Basketball League (KBL) has just approved, and 국로 농구 in their native language. In a sport like the one in the basket, which involves putting a ball through a hoop located 10 feet (3.05 meters) from the ground and in which, therefore, being tall is a great advantage, it turns out that Asian competition has imposed a size limit for its competitors.
According to The Korea Times, the new norm will only apply to the two foreign players that are allowed in each of the 10 teams participating in the tournament. One of them will not be able to measure more than two meters, and the other one will have to stay below 1.86 meters. The rule will come into force as of next season, which will begin in October; the current one is in full playoffs for the title.
Among the reasons given by Kim Young-il, commissioner of the KBL, to the local media to justify such a surprising ban is the interest of the league in promoting a more attractive show. Kim said that in recent years clubs have focused on hiring outsiders of very large dimensions, which has made the game is based on physics rather than talent, speed and skill, and therefore becomes more bored. In fact the KBL has registered a significant drop in television audience and is far behind other sports such as volleyball. The influx of people to the stands has also collapsed and currently does not reach 3,000 spectators per game, despite the fact that in 2014 exceeded 4,300.
However, many fans have not liked the idea. They consider that the veto is ridiculous and will not help attract public to the competition. In addition, they fear that, in the long run, it will hurt the native South Korean players, who will not be accustomed to competing against big rivals and, when they leave the country, they will have a much harder time. To this day, only a basketball player of the country has reached the NBA in all its history: it is Ha Seung-jin, who played with little success between 2004 and 2006 in the Portland Trail Blazers … and measures 2.21 meters.
The rule will have immediate consequences: not only can not new high players arrive, but many of those already there will have to go. The Korea Times cites cases like Charles Rhodes (2.03) or Rod Benson (2.08), although perhaps the most striking situation is that of David Simon, American center of 2.06 who has played five seasons in the KBL and in three of them have chosen him in the All Star of the championship. In fact, in the last campaign was the highest scorer of the regular phase of the tournament, with an average of 25.7 points per game militating in the ranks of Anyang KGC, national champion last year.