All-star game

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An all-star game is an exhibition game that purports to showcase the best players (the "stars") of a sports league. The exhibition is between two teams organized solely for the event, usually representing the league's teams based on region or division, but sometimes dividing the players by an attribute such as nationality. Selection of the players may be done by a vote of the coaches and/or news media; in professional leagues, fans may vote on some or all of the roster. An all-star game usually occurs at the midpoint of the regular season. An exception is American football's Pro Bowl, which occurs at the end of the season.

All-star games are organized like regular games, but are often played with less emphasis on victory. Competing goals are to give many players time in the game and to avoid injury. In hockey, for example, there is no serious checking, while in football no blitzing is allowed. In basketball, there is virtually no defense played until the final quarter. However, the Australian State of Origin series does involve physicality that often leads to on-field scuffles.

The term "all-star" is mainly used in North America. All-star games are rare in international sports (such as association football) where games between national teams are more popular than all-star games would be. In the United Kingdom, all-star teams are usually denoted with the Roman numeral corresponding to the number of players allowed on the field - for example, a soccer or cricket XI, a rugby league XIII and a rugby union XV.

Major League Baseball organized the first professional league all-star game as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. It was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune.[1] Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in playing the game annually. Ward's contribution was recognized by Major League Baseball in 1962 with the creation of the "Arch Ward Trophy," given to the All-Star Game's most valuable player each year.[2]

Professional all-star games[edit]

Note: This annual game involves a publicly voted selection of the best club players from the league versus an Aboriginal team in honour of reconciliation.
  • National Hockey League All-Star Game
    • The game has had a number of formats throughout its history.
      • The original format, used from 1947 through 1968 with two exceptions, saw the previous season's Stanley Cup champions take on an "All-Star" team made up of the First and Second NHL All-Star Teams plus other star players.
      • In 1951 and 1952, the competing teams were the First NHL All-Star Team, supplemented with stars from the league's American franchises, and the Second NHL All-Star Team, supplemented with stars from Canadian franchises.
      • Beginning in 1969 and continuing through 2009, with some exceptions, the format was geographic—most recently Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference.
      • For 1979 and 1987, a single team comprising the NHL's best players faced the Soviet national ice hockey team in a two-game series.
      • From 1998 through 2002, the teams were divided by player nationality, with a "North America" team made up of Canadians and Americans and a "World" team drawn from the rest of the world.
      • In 2006 and 2010, the league did not hold an all-star game, instead releasing its players to play ice hockey at the Olympic Games. The league held an all-star game in addition to releasing its players to the Olympics in 1998 and 2002.
      • The current format, first used in 2011, involves the selection of 42 players—six in fan voting, and the other 36 by the league. The selected players then choose two of these individuals as team captains. Two days before the game, a "fantasy draft" is held in which each captain takes turns in selecting his teammates.
  • Pro Bowl - National Football League
    • From 1938 to 1942, the NFL held an all-star game with the winner of that year's Super Bowl against an all-star team composed of players from the other teams (and, at least once, teams outside the NFL).
    • From 1951 to 2013, the Pro Bowl followed an interconference format (Eastern vs. Western from 1951 to 1969 and American Football Conference vs. National Football Conference since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970). It changed to a draft format, similar to the NHL All-Star Game (see below), beginning with the 2014 contest.
Note: In professional American football, the term "all-star game" can also refer to the American Football League All-Star game, played from 1961 to 1969; or the College All-Star Game, played from 1934 to 1976.

Former events

College all-star games[edit]

College football

Other college sports

High school all-star games[edit]

High school basketball

  • McDonald's All-American — featuring the most highly recruited high school players from across the nation.
  • Jordan Brand All-American - similar game among blue chip athletes
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic - the oldest continually held high school all-star game in the country. It is played annually in Louisville, KY at Freedom Hall and features top high school boys basketball players from across the country.

High school football

High school lacrosse

Other[edit]

Australian rules football[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "All-Star Game History", Baseball Almanac.
  2. ^ Newman, Mark. "All-Star MVP Awaits Your Vote", MLB.com, July 10, 2006.