Today in Sports History: December 15

Three-point shots were becoming more popular than ever and increasingly, they were being shot at a closer distance. In response to this, the NBA changed its rules regarding the 3-point field goal percentage title in 1994. In order to qualify for the title, a player had to reach the statistical minimum of 82 (previously 50). The three-point field goal was first introduced to professional basketball by the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967. The three-point field goal was a way to give smaller players a chance to score and make the game more enjoyable for viewers, ABA commissioner George Mikan told The Miami News. The National Basketball Association (NBA) merged with the ABA in 1976 and soon adopted the three-point field goal as well. The NBA specifies that three-point shots must be made outside of the 23 ft 9 inch arc and a minimum of 3 ft from the sidelines. During a trial season (1994-5), the NBA firefly moved the three-point line to a uniform 22 ft (6.71 m) around the basket to encourage more scoring attempts. They reverted to the 23 ft 9 inch arc, used today, in 1997.

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