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A three-point rule was tested in 1933 at the suggestion of Herman Sayger of Tiffin, Ohio. Sayger demonstrated new rules designed to eliminate the center jump and establish a new scoring system in a game played by high school athletes in Tiffin, Ohio. Sayger's scoring system consisted of an arc fifteen feet from the basket, and an arc 25 feet from the basket. Shots made from within the fifteen-foot arc counted as one point, shots made from between the two arcs counted as two points, and shots made from outside the 25 foot arc were worth three points. The three-point rule was first tested, at the collegiate level, in a 1945 National Collegiate Athletic Association game between Columbia and Fordham but professional Basketball would be the first to adopt the rule on a permanent basis. The short-lived American Basketball League did so in 1961, and the Eastern Professional Basketball League followed in its 1963-64 season. The three-point shot later became popularized by the ABA after its introduction in 1968. During the 1970s, the ABA would use the three-point shot, along with the slam dunk, as a marketing tool to compete with the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 1979-80 season, the NBA officially adopted the three-point shot. On October 12, 1979, Chris Ford scored the NBA's first three-point shot, and Fred Brown led the league in three-point field goal percentage in that first season of adoption. The sport's international governing body, FIBA, introduced the three-point line in 1984. The NCAA's Southern Conference became the first collegiate conference to use the three-point rule, adopting a 22-foot line in 1980. Over the following five years, NCAA conferences differed in their use of the rule and the distance they required for a three-point shot. The NCAA adopted the 19-foot, 9-inch line nationally in 1986. On May 3, 2007 the NCAA rules committee decided to lengthen the three point line to 20 feet 9 inches. This rule will come into effect at the beginning of the 2008-09 season. J.J. Redick currently holds the NCAA Division I record with 457 three-point field goals while shooting 40.4% from three-point range for his career. During the 1994-95, 1995-96, and 1996-97 seasons, the NBA attempted to address decreased scoring (due to tougher style defenses) by shortening the overall distance of the line to a uniform 22 feet (6.7 m) around the basket. Dennis Scott used this rule change to set a record for most three-pointers in a season: 267 in 1995-96. (This record was surpassed by Ray Allen with 269 in the 2005-06 season.) In the same season, the legendary Michael Jordan, who was never known for his three-point shooting, used the closer arc to his advantage as he established a career high with a three-point field goal percentage of almost 43%. From the 1997-98 season, the NBA reverted the line to its original distance of 23 feet, 9 inches (22 feet at the corners). With the legalization of zone defense in 2001, the three-point shot became more important, because of its ability to stretch out a zone.

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16y ago
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16y ago

The date was October 12, 1979 in a game against the Houston Rockets at Boston Gardens.

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11y ago

Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics, in overtime period

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9y ago

Kevin Grevey of the Washington Bullets made the first 3-pointer in an official NBA game on October 12, 1979.

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15y ago

Ronnie Carr of Western Carolina

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Q: When did Chris Ford make the first three-pointer in the NBA?
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