The Big 12 recently created new rules to punish any school whose fans rush onto the court or field. A program could now face fines and even the loss of future home games for failing to keep fans from storming the court. Because of this, the number of court-stormings will decrease, if not stop altogether.
The problem with these rules is that court-storming isn’t really that bad. If a program is dominant enough to the point where opposing fans feel the best way to celebrate is to stampede onto the court and jump around for a few minutes, let them have it.
Court rushing is a show of respect. Perhaps not directly, but it’s almost as if fans are saying, “One victory against you is enough for a huge celebration.”
Most of all, court rushing is fun. Being caught up in the moment and exhilaration of an unexpected win, fans want to celebrate with the players. The players enjoy it. Everyone gets to take part in a “Wow, I can’t believe we actually did this!” moment. As long as the point is to have fun and celebrate, there is nothing wrong with it.
But when players and/or coaches are put in any amount of danger, that’s where it becomes a problem. I’m going to presume that these new rules were added, at least in part, because the altercation that happened after the Kansas State Wildcats beat the Kansas Jayhawks in Manhattan on Feb. 23. A few steps should be taken to prevent another situation like that, and many schools already have plans to do so.
Security should have a plan to get the opposing team off the court to safety as quickly as possible, and execute it immediately. Fans should be asked to remain in their seats until the opposing team is off the court. This could take only a few seconds, and when an upset seems imminent, the PA announcer could say something to the effect of “Please remain in your seats until players and coaches are off the court.”
As long as everyone is safe, there is almost no real reason to have a problem with court-storming.
I don’t think court rushing should be stopped. In my eyes, it isn’t a problem as long as the right precautions are taken. It’s a fun part of the game when the underdog pulls off an upset victory and the rush of emotions fuel the celebration. That is what sports are all about, and it shouldn’t be prohibited.
It can get a little annoying if you’re a fan of a school that has to endure a court rush here and there, but it comes with the territory of being successful. Let the underdog celebrate. Let the little brother enjoy their win when it comes.
There’s a small, yet obvious, difference between schools that rush and schools that don’t. This best explanation of this difference came from the greatest Jayhawk of all time. When asked about the why Kansas doesn’t storm the court, Kirk Hinrich replied: “We expected this. We expect to win.”
We shouldn’t take away the result of an unexpected win. We should just do a better job of preparing for it.
Editor’s note: To fight about Kirk Hinrich being the greatest Jayhawk of all time, tweet @_DK22.