One component of sports is having an even playing field when it comes to the number of player personnel. However, sports like hockey have rules in place where teams are forced to play undermanned for a period of time throughout any contest.
This also applies to basketball but rarely does it reach a point in the game where a team is without a full deck of cards for the remainder of a game. On Saturday, that was on full display in a men's hoops game.
At the Barclays Center Classic tournament out in Brooklyn, Alabama was playing Minnesota. And for the final 10:50 of that game, the Crimson Tide were limited to just three players available.
— John Hetrick (@hetrick32) November 26, 2017
So seven ejections, one foul out and one injury later and Alabama is playing the final (roughly) 11 minutes minus two players.
At the 10:50 mark of the game, the Tide trailed the Golden Gophers 65-54. Amazingly, the three-man crew outscored Alabama 30-22 for the remainder of the game but Minnesota managed to hold on for an 89-84 victory.
The three referee officials who worked this unusual game on Saturday spoke afterwards about the moment when the seven players for Alabama illegally left the bench.
”By rule, whenever a potential situation occurs on the court, no player may leave the bench area. If they do leave the bench area and don't participate in the altercation that's going on then they are ejected from this contest and there's no further penalty, which is what happened,” the officials told a pool reporter. ”They all came onto the court. We went to the monitor and reviewed all of that. Based on the views that were given us it showed all of their players on the bench, came off the bench onto the court. The views we were given we didn't see anyone from the Minnesota bench come onto the floor.”
The three players left standing for Alabama — Riley Norris, Galin Smith and Collin Sexton — combined to net 63 of the team's 84 points. Sexton himself tallied 40 points in 36 minutes of action.
Ironic that this 5-on-3 scenario happened in a building that is frequently used for hockey, given the Barclays is home to the New York Islanders.