(12-26-20) The 3 pt field goal has been a big part of all levels of basketball for many years, but it took a long time to be accepted after being first introduced. Based on several accounts by several media sources we can see what took place, the man who pushed for it and some of the results.
1932: Culver, Indiana native Herman ‘Suz’ Sayger put on an exhibition game between high school teams, Tiffin Junior Home and Tiffin Columbian, in Ohio using a new scoring system that counted three points for a shot beyond 25 feet, two points for a shot between 15-25 feet, and one point for a shot inside 15 feet. Tiffin Junior Home defeated Tiffin Columbian, 21-18.
1932 Tiffin Columbian Boys Basketball
Defiance (Ohio) Crescent-News on March 19, 1932
1935:March 21, 1935, edition of Columbus Dispatch – Marysville 16 Columbus North 8. Johnny Spain led Marysville with eight points.
Over the years other levels made attempts to make the 3 point FG a permanent part of the basketball world.
Who was Herman ‘Suz’ Sayger?
Sayger set the Indiana high school single-game scoring record as a Junior at Culver HS in a 1913 game against Winamac when he scored 113 points. During his Senior season he had games of 79 points against North Bend, 55 against Plymouth and at least 52 against North Judson while averaging 29.5 ppg. Culver’s opponents averaged only 16 points a game.
Consider this…in 1913 and 1914, Culver played upstairs in a building called ‘Captain Crooks Hall’.
The seating capacity was about 50, with the dressing room in a downstairs pantry equipped with two buckets. The lights were gas burners and every time they were bumped, a timeout had to be called to relight them. On cold nights, the floor might be covered with a film of ice because stoves didn’t produce enough heat. The ceiling was only 14 or 15 feet high. The wire and walls were the out-of-bounds lines.
His Ohio connection comes from his days at Heidelberg College (now University) (Tiffin, Ohio) as a student and as an athlete. He was the captain of the 1917 football team and since the college didn’t have a coach, he assumed that roll as a triple threat that year as captain, coach and the starting quarterback.
Sayger is one of a very few athletes who was named to the All-Ohio teams in both football and basketball. Heidelberg named their basketball court in his honor….Sayger Court. He was responsible for bringing a complete program of intramural sports to the University. The court is used for volleyball, wrestling, basketball and major events such as commencement and Alumni Day.