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Elder Wisdom

Here Is The New Rule About Storming The Court

Fans celebrate on the floor after the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in overtime on January 21, 2024, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No. 18 Ohio State upset No. 2 Iowa Sunday in an overtime thriller. It was an incredibly satisfying win for the Buckeyes, who weathered 45 points from best-hooper-on-the-planet Caitlin Clark, erased a 12-point second-half deficit, and whomped on the Hawkeyes throughout the overtime period to win the game 100-92. It was the kind of exhilarating, signature win that demands a court-storming from the home fans, who were happy to oblige as soon as the final whistle blew. As the fans were streaming onto the court, Clark attempted to make a speedy exit from the scene, at which point she was trucked by an Ohio State fan who was sprinting towards the celebratory scrum while filming video on their phone.

Clark is fine. She made it to her postgame press conference and told reporters that she just had the wind knocked out of her. She described the moment as "kind of scary" but also pointed out that she was totally fine with the Ohio State fans storming the court after a big win. Her coach, Lisa Bluder, was a little less understanding. From ESPN:

"That just should not happen," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "Our players should be safe. They should be able to walk off the floor. That's very disappointing. Ohio State, great team, great environment, but obviously very disappointed with the postgame with our players getting injured trying to walk out of the gym. That's wrong."

This is one of those pieces of news that feels specifically engineered to invite annoying opinions. Is storming the court a dangerous and depraved custom that needs to be done away with in order to protect our athletes? Are our youths too addicted to their damn phones? Or is anyone concerned about what happened to Clark an insufferable snowflake who is trying to cancel an innocent fan? The good news is that none of us have to go down any of these roads, because I have pondered the particulars of this situation and emerged from my mind palace with an airtight solution.

The problem isn't that a fan was running onto the court. Storming the court after a great win is a big part of what makes college basketball fun, and fans should do it when the conditions are right. Nor is the problem that the fan was recording the scene with their phone. It's only natural to want to capture a piece of a joyous sports moment so as to be able to look back and enjoy it later. The problem is that this fan was doing both of those things at the same time.

So here's the new rule for attendees of college basketball games who find themselves with the opportunity to storm the court: You can only do one thing. You can storm the court, keeping your head on a swivel and your phone in your pocket, at peace with the fact that the moments to follow will only be committed to memory, or you can stay in your seat and record the whole scene with your phone. You cannot do both!

There, that's the rule.

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