Clum Bucher


The Distance Traversed by Big Ten Basketball Players (1939) is one of Lloyd Messermith’s most cited papers. His co-author was Clum Charles Bucher.

Lloyd was registered at the University of Indiana for his PhD. At the time of the publication of the paper, Clum was a member of staff at the University. (His name does not appear as a member of Lloyd’s doctorate committee.)

Clum was an undergraduate at Indiana University and was awarded letters for basketball in 1926, 1927 and 1928. The Indiana Hoosiers basketball team competed in the Big Ten Conference and at that time the team was coached by Everett Dean. Games were played in the Men’s Gymnasium. This was the first venue to use glass backboards.

At the time of writing their paper, Lloyd and Clum were both 34 years old.

Their data collection for the paper was undertaken with Lloyd’s measuring instrument.

It is difficult to find references to Clum elsewhere. He was at the University in the 1960s.

About the paper

This 1939 paper is a continuation of Lloyd’s work with his electrical pursuit apparatus. The paper is just two pages long and has three references (Messersmith and Corey, 1931; Fay and Messersmith, 1938a; Fay and Messersmith, 1938b) .

The paper uses data from three game tracks: an Indiana guard (William Menke); an Indiana guard (Curly Armstrong); a Minnesota guard (John Kundla).

The data discussion is very short and locates the three player tracks in the context of data collected from secondary school games.

Photo Credits

Clum Bucher 1962 (Indiana University)

The Men’s Gymnasium (Unknown photographer, 1918 Indiana University yearbook, page 68, public domain).

Apparatus for measuring distance travelled by basketball players

Remembering Lloyd: Celebrating Curation


Today was a serendipity day.

This morning, I read a post by Anita Brooks Kirkland about the role of the teacher-librarian as a curator.  She concludes:

In the early days of the Internet we sometimes had to justify our existence. After all, who needed libraries and librarians when we had the Internet? Fast-forward to 2013 and the very techies who espoused that idea are discovering a compelling need for human intervention in contextualizing information. Taking the lead in this environment offers a huge opportunity for teacher-librarianship.

This afternoon, I received a delightful email alert from Bradley Cook, the Curator of Photographs in the Office of University Archives and Records Management at Indiana University. Bradley shared with me a link to a photograph of Lloyd Messersmith’s measuring device for quantifying distances traversed in basketball. This photograph appears at the top of this post and is reproduced here with the permission of the Office of University Archives and Records Management at Indiana University. The photograph was taken seventy-three years ago.

I think this is a very important artifact and exemplifies perfectly the vital work that curators do on our behalf. Anita Brooks Kirkland observes:

The core element of content curation is the human touch. For librarians who found themselves defending that role in the early days of the Internet, one can’t help reflect on the irony of the rest of the world now realizing that they really do need help in filtering and sharing information effectively!

Lloyd’s device is very significant. To my knowledge his thesis is the first to outline a technological tool to measure distances travelled in a sport (basketball) and as such makes him (along with Hugh Fullerton) a founding father of notational analysis of sport.

I have written about Lloyd’s work and provide some detailed information about him.

You can find out more about the outcome of Bradley’s curation work at this link.

Photo Credit

Apparatus for measuring distance travelled by basketball players

LLM Record