March Madness is vastly approaching, and as we wear our favorite team's gear, we often overlook the floor that holds such precious moments in college basketball. It's the one object in which we all eagerly sit around as sport history is made. Since basketball's infancy in the late 1800s, the floor was made with maple hardwood flooring. Even through basketball's evolution, the game has stayed true to at least one of its factors -- it's wood floor.
Maple's resilient characteristics and it’s shock absorbing properties gives this hardwood flooring the best material for basketball courts around the country. Volleyball greatly benefits from these properties as well. According to AthleticBusiness.com, maple makes up about 95 percent of basketball courts -- including NCAA and NBA courts. Think of the constant wear and tear of a basketball court. The resilience of the flooring materials (including the subflooring) is crucial. Maple wood is known to be able to take a beating as well as provide shock absorbency, which reduces injury to players. This is why in many cases, bowling pins are made of maple.
However, with those benefits comes a great responsibility. The hardwood flooring of a basketball court needs constant tender, loving care. When players are off the court and fans have left the building, daily maintenance is required to keep the wood floor clean, safe for the players and aesthetically pleasing. In order to maintain the best flooring crews sweep the floor daily. In addition, screen and recoating is recommended about once a year, and sanding, rescaling and repainting is recommended every 10 to 15 years.
Maintenance for a wood floor is no small endeavor. Take Nashville's own Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium for example. At its completion in 1952, the gym with its flooring was one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in the South. Today, between the men's and women's teams, they win on average 78 percent of the home games. That's calls for strong, resilient flooring.
It's not just the players and coaches who work hard to make sure you get the best out of the big game, but it's also the flooring and the people who maintain it. Whatever Nashville collegiate team you're cheering on this March Madness, maple hardwood flooring is sure to be a part of the game. Now, let's play some basketball!