The photograph below from the Royal Albert Hall Archive would make great content for a caption competition. The truth is that it shows members of the Women’s Army Corps 8th Air Force basketball team explaining the fundamentals of the game to a slightly puzzled British police officer. It was taken on 9 March 1945 – the day that the Royal Albert Hall hosted its first ever basketball competition.
7000 spectators, mainly US Army service personnel, flocked to South Kensington to watch the Army Basketball Championship Finals played out between the teams of the Women’s Army Corps 8th Air Force and the Base Air Depot.
Basketball has featured at the Hall on fifteen occasions since its inaugural game here in 1945. It joined an ever-expanding roster of sports that have been played out in this remarkably versatile venue, including boxing, table tennis, sumo wrestling and even a marathon.