In basketball, an air ball is an unblocked shot that misses the basket, rim, net, and backboard entirely.
The Oxford English Dictionary cites earliest printed use of "air ball" in a 29 January 1967 article from the (Hayward, Calif.) Daily Review, which reads: "Cal State, four times lofting air balls at an orange basket that may as well have been painted invisible."
An air ball by an opposing player during a competitive game will usually prompt fans (primarily in the college game) present to chant “Aiiiir ball! Aiir ball!” repeatedly in a continuous drone to humiliate the shooter. Since the 1980s, it has become common to restart the chant the next time the shooter touches the ball.
- "Air Ball". sportingcharts.com.
- "Definition of air ball". merriam-webster.com.
- "air ball". oxforddictionaries.com.
- "air ball". dictionary.com.
- "air, n. 1". OED Online. Oxford UP. Retrieved December 1, 2012.(subscription required)
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