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George Hoyt: Wikis


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For 34 years, George Hoyt was known as New England's foremost basketball referee, earning him the moniker "Mr. Basketball". A tireless worker, Hoyt's talents were not merely requested, but demanded. He would often officiate two games a day at both the high school and college level. A champion in developing a uniform set of rules and procedures, Hoyt penned The Theory and Practice of Basketball Officiating, a classic textbook that discussed many officiating distinctions, including the difference between Eastern and Western referees.


George Hoyt was born on August 9, 1883 in Boston, Massachusetts. After years of officiating both high school and college games, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame as a referee in 1961. He was a pioneer of the more open style of play that we see in today's basketball, he created rules to discourage defensive holding and to free up offensive players. While serving as Chief of Officials for the Eastern Massachusetts High School Basketball Tournament (which became Honorary Chief Official on retirement), he helped found the New England Interscholastic Basketball Tournament. George Hoyt died on November 11, 1962.

Career Highlights

  • Was considered top official in New England for 34 years, handling both high school and college games
  • Earned the title of "Mr. Basketball" in New England, traveling the region offering counsel to players and officials
  • Helped found Eastern Massachusetts Board of Approved Basketball Officials and served as its president for two years
  • Developed a uniform set of rules, interpretations and enforcement procedures that decreased disparity among the rules of various organizations (AAU, YMCA, etc.)
  • Pioneer of the more open style of play, creating rules designed to prevent defensive holding and free up offensive players
  • Famous for saying, "Basketball is a game of science, not brute strength"
  • Helped found New England Interscholastic Basketball Tournament
  • Served as Chief of Officials for the Eastern Massachusetts High School Basketball Tournament and as Honorary Chief Official upon his retirement
  • Author of The Theory and Practice of Basketball Officiating, considered a classic textbook that made distinctions in style between Eastern and Western officials


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