Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Streamers Return To The Palestra For The First Time In Years

Fans of Temple and La Salle's basketball teams renewed a Palestra tradition today, as they threw streamers onto the court after each team's first made basket.


The Palestra is the home gym of the University of Pennsylvania, but from 1955 to 1985 all games between Philadelphia Big 5 schools (Penn, La Salle, Temple, St. Joseph's, Villanova) were played there, and fans would rain streamers down onto the court in a fun tradition. Since then The Palestra has remained the home gym for Penn, and has been used intermittently by other Big 5 schools.

But by 1985, other schools started throwing streamers—and sometimes more dangerous, heavier objects—onto the court, so the NCAA banned the practice and said any team whose fans did it would be assessed a technical. Around the same time big money was beginning to be infused into college basketball, Villanova became somewhat of a national powerhouse with their 1985 national championship win, and the annual round-robin between the five Philadelphia schools was ended in 1991.

The streamers did come down once more 1994, at a Penn and St. Joseph's game. Technicals were assessed, but both coaches instructed their players to intentionally step over the line on the technical free throw, which is how both coaches handled the technicals in today's game too. Considering Temple won 58-57, the missed-on-purpose free throws made a big difference!

As far as we can tell, 1994 was the last time the streamers were seen during a game, until today. We're glad to see a great tradition hasn't fully died.

[Update: They did do streamers back in 2006 for the 50th anniversary of the Big 5.]