Cutting down the nets

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Stanford University coach Tara VanDerveer cutting the net after her team won the 2011 NCAA Regional Championship

Cutting down the nets , German cutting the nets , is an in basketball , especially in the United States in school and university sports popular tradition, in which the members of the winning team after a major game, usually a championship final, the networks of basketball hoops cut off. The players and coaches of the team then keep pieces of the nets as a personal memento of their success, further parts of the nets are also often displayed in the trophy collection of the respective team.

The origins of this tradition can be traced back to Everett Case , who celebrated winning several state championships in this way as a high school coach in the US state of Indiana in the 1920s . As a coach at North Carolina State University , he practiced cutting the nets from 1947 onwards in college basketball. Since then it has become an integral part of the celebrations after winning conference , regional and state championships .

While the net cutting was improvised at the beginning and the players lifted themselves and the coaches up to the basket on their shoulders, a formalized procedure using a ladder was established later for safety reasons . With regard to the sequence, it has been established that first the players from the youngest age group ( freshmen ) to those of the highest grade ( seniors ) and then usually the team captains cut off a piece of the net and at the end the head coach cuts the rest of the net from the basket . This order is occasionally deviated from, for example to honor outstanding players.

In the area of ​​the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the sports organization responsible for most of university sports in the USA, the ladder manufacturer Werner Co., as the official supplier, provides a stepladder specially developed for this ceremony, which is adapted to the height of a basketball hoop and, among other things, has a safety device to fix the scissors . The company Fiskars Corporation is the exclusive supplier of scissors used at NCAA Championships for cutting the nets. Both the scissors and the ladders are left to the winning teams and usually auctioned off by them for charitable purposes.


  • Stan Beck, Jack Wilkinson: College Sports Traditions: Picking Up Butch, Silent Night, and Hundreds of Others. Scarecrow Press, Lanham 2013, ISBN 0-81-089121-2 , p. 51
  • Net result. On the Origins of Cutting Down the Net. In: Steve Wulf: ESPN: The Mighty Book of Sports Knowledge. Random House LLC, New York 2009, ISBN 0-34-551308-8 , p. 31

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