league minimum - must dress 8 players

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league minimum - must dress 8 players

Postby thehef » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:58 pm

I was just reading how the Warriors dressed the league-minimum of eight players last night. Got me wondering if there are any penalties for not dressing at least 8. And - although I know there have been many instances of teams dressing a player who is unable to actually play (just to meet the minimum) - are there any options available to teams who have less than eight players available, but are already at 15 total players on the roster? (If there are no other options available, I'd wonder why the rule exists in the first place. It seems it would only serve the purpose of forcing players who can't play to dress - which seems silly.)
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Postby meej » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:07 pm

When Sports Illustrated ran a story on Sterling and the Clippers, they claimed he once forced a player to dress up and play just off the dentist, because otherwise they would be under the 8-player minimum and the owner refused to pay for a ten day contract.

The penalty they quoted was forfeiting the game. It is understood that injured players may be activated for the game, as the rule requires 8 active players but not that they actually enter the game.
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Re: league minimum - must dress 8 players

Postby MCT » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:46 am

thehef wrote:are there any options available to teams who have less than eight players available, but are already at 15 total players on the roster?

If a team has so many injuries that it goes beyond the normal three players who are allowed to be placed on the inactive list, they can appeal to the league for a special hardship exemption that will allow them to temporarily add a 16th player. The team would then be allowed to carry four players on their inactive list. IIMN, there have been at least a couple of occasions where a team was hit with such a rash of injuries that the NBA has even allowed them to go to 17 players, with five on the inactive list. As I understand it, the league doesn't like to give out these exemptions, and will typically only do so in extreme cases. There would have to be at least a couple of additional players injured beyond the three already on the inactive list, and the situation is anticipated to last for more than just a game or two. I think this rule has been around since the 1980s, although it wasn't invoked much back then because it wasn't as common for teams to max out their rosters all the way to 15 as matter of standard operating procedure.

I did a Google News search for "NBA roster exemption", and it pulled up a number of articles concerning this type of thing:

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q= ... N&start=10

Larry Coon's Salary Cap FAQ also mentions this in the question that deals with roster sizes:

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q64

(Note that a few of the Google News results seem to be talking about something different, a salary cap exemption to replace a player who is lost due to a season-ending injury, indefinite suspension, or death, e.g., DerMarr Johnson, Roy Tarpley, Bobby Phills. The discussion of the "Disabled Player Exception" under Question 19 of the Salary Cap FAQ deals with this type of situation.)
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Postby thehef » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:38 am

Interesting stuff... I guess I just don't understand the point of having to dress the eighth guy in a situation where he is unable to play. If a team is stuck in a short-term - say one or two games - situation (not worthy of applying for the extra-player exemption), why have a rule without a mechanism to make it work? If the rule is there to make sure a team has enough players, then it clearly doesn't work.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:02 am

One of the most oddball stories in NBA history had to take place January 6 and 7, 1951.

On January 6 the Indianapolis Olympians played their six-overtime game against Rochester in Rochester, NY. The length of the game caused the Olympians to miss their train connection in Chicago, so the team took a train to Detroit where they found five seats on a charter plane, allowing them to send their five starters (Mal McMullen, Leo Barnhorst, Alex Groza, Ralph Beard and Paul Walther), to Moline, IL in time for the scheduled afternoon game on January 7.

The rest of the club took a later charter plane and arrived minutes after the game ended, making it the first NBA game in which a team used only five players.
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Postby meej » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:35 am

Funny thing is, the NBA mentions the fact in its website but providing no details of the unusual travel arrangements:

January 7, 1951
Just one day after playing in the longest game in NBA history, a 75-73 win over the Rochester Royals in six overtimes, the Indianapolis Olympians were defeated by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, 83-79, with each of the Olympians’ five starters playing all 48 minutes.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:12 pm

Last night, the Warriors, in beating the Mavs (at Dal), used just 6 players -
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_y ... 2009112406

Three players went all 48 minutes. Two guys had 5 fouls apiece.
Two of their starters -- Mikki Moore and Vlad Radmanovic -- could be called journeymen, if not castoffs from other bad teams.
`
36% of all statistics are wrong
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:30 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:Last night, the Warriors, in beating the Mavs (at Dal), used just 6 players -
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_y ... 2009112406

Three players went all 48 minutes. Two guys had 5 fouls apiece.
Two of their starters -- Mikki Moore and Vlad Radmanovic -- could be called journeymen, if not castoffs from other bad teams.


Reminds me of Bill Musselman and the Timberwolves.
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Postby meej » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:53 am

Musselman brought most of his CBAers with him when he moved up into the big league, didn't he?

Radmanovic is too well paid to be considered a journeyman. Don't ask my why, they just wanted to pay him.
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Postby MCT » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Things got even worse for the Warriors after the game that Rob saw. Ray later posted about a game in which in-game injuries reduced them to just six healthy players by the end of the game (of whom only four were left after two players fouled out -- forcing referees to invoke a rarely-used rule allowing them to keep a player who had fouled out in the game):

http://www.apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2698

thehef wrote:Interesting stuff... I guess I just don't understand the point of having to dress the eighth guy in a situation where he is unable to play. If a team is stuck in a short-term - say one or two games - situation (not worthy of applying for the extra-player exemption), why have a rule without a mechanism to make it work? If the rule is there to make sure a team has enough players, then it clearly doesn't work.

I was curious about how long the "must dress eight players" rule has been around, and if that might give us any insight into Rob's question. A Google News search turned up references to this rule in a wire service story from December 11, 1975 (discussing a recent rash of injuries around the NBA) and a Pittsburgh Press article from May 17, 1970 (discussing injuries suffered by the Lakers during the 1969-70 season, e.g., Chamberlain, Baylor). This requirement has apparently been in effect at least that long.

Teams back in the '70s didn't typically stash extra players on their injured (now inactive) list. So it would have been much less common for a team to be faced with a situation where they lost a player with an injury but couldn't sign a replacement because their roster, including the injured (inactive) list, was already full. The thought occurs to me that the "dress eight players" rule may have originally been intended for that type of environment, where there was rarely anything stopping a team from signing an additional player.

On the other hand, teams back them were not always quick to sign a replacement when a player went down with an injury, even if there was no roster limit stopping them from doing so. The financial structure of pro basketball was obviously very different in those days, and player-movement rules did not work to encourage teams to sign players for the short term (there was no such thing as a 10-day contract until after the merger). Even if there was nothing stopping them from signing an additional player, teams may have elected to tough it out and play shorthanded until the injury situation cleared up.

In the end, I don't think we can draw any conclusions. There may have been less of a need for roster exemptions for teams who decided that they wanted to sign additional players, but I don't know if it was really any less common for injury-ravaged teams to end up in the situation the Warriors were in.
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Postby MCT » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:27 pm

Robert Bradley wrote:One of the most oddball stories in NBA history had to take place January 6 and 7, 1951.

On January 6 the Indianapolis Olympians played their six-overtime game against Rochester in Rochester, NY. The length of the game caused the Olympians to miss their train connection in Chicago, so the team took a train to Detroit where they found five seats on a charter plane, allowing them to send their five starters (Mal McMullen, Leo Barnhorst, Alex Groza, Ralph Beard and Paul Walther), to Moline, IL in time for the scheduled afternoon game on January 7.

The rest of the club took a later charter plane and arrived minutes after the game ended, making it the first NBA game in which a team used only five players.

Robert, thanks for posting this -- I don't think I had ever heard of this incident before.

Does anyone know of any other NBA games in which a team used only five players, or even six? I haven't done any analysis on this point, but it seems to me that games in which a team uses fewer than eight players must be very rare.

I have a vague memory of having once heard of an ABA game involving the Virginia Squires in which they only used five or six players, but my memory may be cloudy on that one.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:52 pm

The only other game where a team used only 5 players was Baltimore on 10Feb52 in a 82-75 win over Fort Wayne - Don Barksdale, Frank Kudelka, Stan Miasek, Dave Minor and Kevin O'Shea.
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Postby John Grasso » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:59 pm

MCT wrote:Does anyone know of any other NBA games in which a team used only five players, or even six? I haven't done any analysis on this point, but it seems to me that games in which a team uses fewer than eight players must be very rare.



On Feb. 10, 1952 the Baltimore Bullets only used five players when they defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons, 82-77. The box score appears in Harvey Pollack's Statistical Yearbook (and may also be in Robert Bradley's Compendium, 2nd edition).
I've never seen reasons for using only five players. Harvey Pollack
states that the Bullets had two or three players injured but apparently in uniform and that coach Chick Reiser may have decided that since his team had a 10 point lead after the first quarter that his starters were doing their job and decided to stay with them.

I believe these are the only games in BAA/NBA history that used only five players. I don't believe that any game in the ABL only used five players.
Most likely there were some in the NBL but I've never read of any.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:04 pm

I beat you by a couple of minutes there John! But I should have known you'd have the answer!

I left the Bullets-Pistons box score out of my book, but included the back-to-back Olympians games because of the story behind them.
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Postby meej » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:17 pm

Miasek and Minor both mention that game in Isaacs' "Vintage NBA". They don't give a reason, and it seems to be implied that it was a coaching decision.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:21 pm

meej wrote:Miasek and Minor both mention that game in Isaacs' "Vintage NBA". They don't give a reason, and it seems to be implied that it was a coaching decision.


there was no reason mentioned in the newspaper account i found (although it was only a brief blurb mentioning that only five players played).
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Re: league minimum - must dress 8 players

Postby MCT » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:55 pm

The link below has a detailed article on the "hardship exemption" discussed earlier in this thread:

http://www.hoopsrumors.com/2016/03/hoop ... ision.html
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Re:

Postby John Grasso » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:05 am

John Grasso wrote:



I believe these are the only games in BAA/NBA history that used only five players. I don't believe that any game in the ABL only used five players.
Most likely there were some in the NBL but I've never read of any.


With the recent work that Gorba has done on his NBAStats.net website in which he has captured
nearly all the NBL box scores, it can be seen that there were quite a few games, especially
in the early years of the NBL, in which teams used only five players.
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Re: league minimum - must dress 8 players

Postby gorba77 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:58 pm

MCT wrote:
Robert Bradley wrote:One of the most oddball stories in NBA history had to take place January 6 and 7, 1951.

On January 6 the Indianapolis Olympians played their six-overtime game against Rochester in Rochester, NY. The length of the game caused the Olympians to miss their train connection in Chicago, so the team took a train to Detroit where they found five seats on a charter plane, allowing them to send their five starters (Mal McMullen, Leo Barnhorst, Alex Groza, Ralph Beard and Paul Walther), to Moline, IL in time for the scheduled afternoon game on January 7.

The rest of the club took a later charter plane and arrived minutes after the game ended, making it the first NBA game in which a team used only five players.


Robert, thanks for posting this -- I don't think I had ever heard of this incident before.



Does anyone know of any other NBA games in which a team used only five players, or even six? I haven't done any analysis on this point, but it seems to me that games in which a team uses fewer than eight players must be very rare.



I have a vague memory of having once heard of an ABA game involving the Virginia Squires in which they only used five or six players, but my memory may be cloudy on that one.


I have found 5 games which team used 6 players since 1976-77:
http://www.nbastats.net/01NbaAbaNblAbl/15-StatisticsPlayer/30RecordsGame/14-Game-Games.xls
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Re: league minimum - must dress 8 players

Postby rlee » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:41 am

10/29/68: Pipers 116, Floridians 108

Pipers used only Connie Hawkins, Chico Vaughn. Art Heyman, Trooper Washington, Arvesta Kelly, Willie Porter
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