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They travel to away games by horse and wagon

Meet the 1913-14 Bluffton High School boys’ basketball team. Basketball as a sport had existed only 21 seasons when the Bluffton team played its games.

• Front from left, Edmund Hawk, Abe Lock and Clifford Hall.

• Center Murray Tripplehorn, Ezra Moser and Harvey Gratz, • The coach is Mr. Consor.

Click here to view the BHS teams of 1910-11 and 1911-12.

Among rules of the game during the 1913-14 season included the following:

• Running with the ball was a foul. • One person usually shot all the free throws for the team. • When a player left the game, he could not re-enter for the rest of the game.

Players could “climb the wall” to get closer to the basketball – this was because there was no baseline on the floor like today.

• Prior to 1910-11 no coaching was allowed during the progress of a game by anyone connected with either team. A warning was given for the first violation and a free throw was awarded after that.

This team played its games in Bluffton High School building, which opened in 1911. The gym later became the band room, which was used by the band until the 1911 building was razed in the 1980s.

We do not know this team’s record. The earliest Bluffton High School team’s known record was during the 1919-20 season when the squad had 8 wins and 4 losses.

Travel to away games in nearby towns was accomplished by a team of horses hitched to a “sample wagon.” For games against more distant opponents the team either used the railroad or interurban, both which stopped in Bluffton.

The travel information was explained in an interview with Harley Spangler in a story published in “A Century of Pirates.”


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