Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament To Be Played Without Hands
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and “insure a safe, sterile competition,” Big Ten Conference officials announced that the 2020 men’s basketball tournament would have to be played without hands.
“Our primary concern is the health of our student athletes, which is why all participants will be barred from gripping, tapping, or touching anything with their hands during the duration of the game,” NCAA officials said in a statement. “The average point guard touches the ball upwards of 20 times per minute without the slightest thought of washing his hands–think about what that means for sanitation out there on the court. In these fast paced match-ups, the basketball gets passed back-and-forth hundreds of times from player to player without getting anywhere near a Purell dispenser. It’s an environment bound to spread a virus. With fears of coronavirus becoming more serious, we need to take every precaution in protecting our players and coaching staffs. Having all players use their feet and torso areas to pass, dribble, and shoot the ball is just one initiative we’re taking as an organization. Plus, maybe someone will learn how to dunk just using their legs, or block an opponent’s shot with their face. That’d be cool.”
NCAA fans expressed concern the tournament’s results could be altered with the rule changes, and that the game of basketball simply “won’t be the same” without the use of hands.
“It’s stupid,” said Tyler Wheeler. “Like–it’s going to be really, really stupid.”
The Big Ten added that they will be providing tournament teams with a large tub of hand sanitizer to “lather their filthy, germ-infested bodies in” during timeouts and commercial breaks.