Playing a High School Basketball Game Outdoors

The pieces of a portable basketball court fit together like a puzzle.

January 30, 2018

Can you imagine what it would be like? Playing a high school basketball game outdoors; during the winter? Would such a spectacle pack the bleachers? How couldn’t it?

As far as anyone can determine, there is nothing listed in sectional, state or national rulebooks that specifically bars a high school basketball game from being played outdoors. The rules establish court dimensions, height and size of rims and backboards, placement of team benches, etc. Nothing states a game has to be played indoors.

Try to visualize a hardwood court being placed at midfield atop the Blue Devil Stadium turf. Portable baskets of the type used as college at pro games wheeled into place on either end of the court. Player chairs lining the court. It would be an awesome sight.

The same principle behind the National Hockey League’s decision to play Winter Classic and Stadium Series games outdoors in the past few years would drive such an event for two high school teams that decided they wanted to participate in such a novel enterprise.

There’s little doubt that if the Huntington High School boys’ basketball team ever decided to play a game outdoors, the bleachers would be filled with Blue Devil fans. The big scoreboard on the south end of the field would be illuminated and the press box would be lit up. It would be historic; groundbreaking. Would other schools decide to follow suit? Undoubtedly.

Cold nighttime temperatures and a lack of lights would probably require the game to be played at midday on a Saturday or during a vacation period, perhaps in December before the winter took hold in earnest. Players would surely wear uniforms that covered more of their bodies in an effort to stay warm.

It is believed that Huntington has never played an outdoor regular season basketball game in its long athletic history. If such a game was allowed and the Blue Devils decided to participate in it, there is little doubt many potential opponents would surface since those schools, too, would also be looking to make history.

It’s still a considerable stretch to believe that Huntington will ever play a varsity basketball game outdoors. But, it’s possible. It’s possible. And there are members of the Blue Devil family who would love to see it happen.

The Huntington High School basketball team in 1910.
The Huntington High School basketball team in 1910.
Huntington's 1942 boys' basketball team preps for a game.
Huntington's 1942 boys' basketball team preps for a game.
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