There Must Be a Reason They Sit on Those Little Chairs, Right?
June 3, 2013 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Is there a reason that sidelined basketball players sit on regular-sized chairs (or the bench), where their very long legs place their knees much higher than their hips?

I assume that pro basketball players are in outstanding physical shape and there has to have been some consideration about the best way for them to rest when not actively playing.

But when watching games, they sit in those chairs that would be really uncomfortable for anyone over a long period. It's a position that I've been told to not sit in for extended periods of time because of weight distribution and how it's not good for the hips.

Is there any research about the best way for basketball players to rest during games in such a way that they can immediately spring back up and play well? Why those little chairs?
posted by kinetic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
But the basketball players AREN'T sitting in those chairs for 'extended periods' --- they're up, they're down, they're moving around: they don't just plant their butts for the entire game.

And there's the extra expense: why would the arena or stadium want to spend the money on a whole second set of seats just for the bassketball players? There's the cost of designing and building those extra seats, plus the cost (more storage space) of storing them when not in use --- you can't just use the current chair storage area, because the regular size chairs need that area. You can't just say the arena or stadium should just purchase one set of tall-size chairs, and skip the regular-size ones: basketball is rarely the only game or event those places host.

Finally, like very short people, I imagine this is something very tall people, like the basketball players, are quite used to putting up with: they've done it their whole lives.
posted by easily confused at 3:57 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can't imagine it's a logistical issue -- keeping a couple of dozen tall people chairs on hand is nothing compared to the other equipment and stuff required to convert an ice rink into a basketball court.

I've always assumed it's because there are highly expensive floor seats immediately behind them that would become highly less expensive floor seats if the people in them couldn't actually see anything, but that's purely speculation.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:10 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

At Staples Center at least, none of the chairs courtside are permanent because the arena gets switched out for hockey and concerts and other events, so those seats are only in use for a few hours at at time. Also, it's not just the players who are tall, many of the coaches and assistant coaches are also tall, so maybe that would take up too much room?

There is one exception, however. Phil Jackson, who has a history of hip problems and hip surgery did have a special folding chair made just for him. It's good to be the king.

On preview: jacquilynne, you're right that it's probably not logistical since the special folding chairs already exist.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:24 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The chairs don't seem to present any problems for players who are otherwise healthy.

There is a history of players who are playing through injuries laying on the floor, riding a stationery bike, etc while out of the game. If you have a back injury you probably don't want to be sitting, regardless of the chair.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:57 PM on June 3, 2013

So fans behind the bench can see the game better?
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 8:23 PM on June 3, 2013

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