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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

Throwback Thursday: Goal-Hi Edition

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Did you know that KU basketball coach Phog Allen invented a new game called Goal-Hi in the 1930s?

Photograph of the KU basketball team playing goal-hi, 1939

Members of the KU basketball team playing Goal-Hi on campus, 1939.
Bailey Hall and Jayhawk Boulevard are visible in the background.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/22 Forrest C. Allen
1939 Negatives: Athletic Department: Coaches and Staff (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

In his book Phog: The Most Influential Man in Basketball, author Scott Morrow Johnson writes that Allen’s personal finances suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s. “By the end of the decade, he was making only about five thousand dollars annually, one of the lowest coaching salaries in the conference.” Goal-Hi was one of several “creative ways” in which Allen sought to increase his income. Although there was some initial interest in the game, it “never really caught on” (110).

Learn more about the rules of Goal-Hi – and see a diagram of the playing field – by checking out the December 1943 U.S. War Department technical manual Informal Games for Soldiers. You can also see a February 1940 advertisement for Goal-Hi in the Journal of Health and Physical Education.

Additional information about Goal-Hi can be found in University Archives, specifically in Phog Allen’s coaching records, which are currently being digitized.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

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2 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Goal-Hi Edition”

Incredible photo! One of the lowest paid coaches in the Conference?!! GOOD LORD!!

Thank you for your comment and for following the Spencer Research Library blog.

Stacey Wiens, Reference Specialist

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