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Among team sports, basketball comes only second to ice-hockey in terms of the pace at which it's played. On Sunday, however, things heated up even further on the basketball courts at Don Bosco School as Mumbai witnessed a unique and brand-new version of the sport. In organisers Funatic's words, this was basketball's very own T20 format, known officially as the 'Double Double'.
So how fast-paced are we talking here? Well, the duration of the game is a total of 12 minutes, two halves of six minutes each, with the first team to 20 points declared the winner. In comparison to the 24 seconds they have in the conventional format, teams only have between 12 to 14 seconds of ball posession before having to shoot the ball, ensuring that the game never stalls. And with the teams literally chasing a fixed target, the rapid pace is maintained right from the first whistle.
Double-Double is the brainchild of a bunch of sports enthusiasts who run Funatic, and the concept behind it, explains Saurabh Nishar was much to do with the disparity in the standards of the basketball teams around the country.
"Having played in a number of tournaments at state and national level over the last 8-10 years, we were aware of the prevailing standards. Especially at school and college levels, there are too many one-sided games. The non-professional players, meanwhile, hardly get time to practice and end up being unfit to last the 40 minutes of a full game," explains Nishar, one of the brains behind the new format.
"Double-double will help those kind of guys, as you don't require that kind of stamina here. All in all it suits the Indian game to the hilt," he adds. The name itself comes from the commonly used basketball term, 'double-double', which is basically the accumulation of a double-digit number total by a hoopster in two statistical categories. The 10-team invitational Dawn 2 Dusk tournament on Sunday saw some of the top teams from the city, including the YMCAs, Central Railway and Indian Gymkhana apart from hosts Savio Club participating. Nishar reveals that the organizers had already tested the format in a intra-club tournament prior to organizing the event at the Don Bosco grounds.
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