Rules Changes in Sports I Would Like to See

I like sports, but most of them could be improved


Baseball ended a few weeks ago, football season is approaching the halfway point, and basketball season began last month. It is a magical time of year for sports fans. Many folks don’t enjoy sports, but I do. I love basketball, football, tennis, boxing, volleyball and many others. I even sometimes enjoy wrestling, with the accompanying ringside melodramas. Sports are entertaining. There is a thrill to watching intense competition. There is satisfaction in watching a player or team overachieve. There is a sense of shared history in observing a moment that will be remembered as great.

Some folks see sports in a different way, however. They see a group of sweaty men or women running and jumping around, taking a simple contest far too seriously. They watch indignant athletes refuse millions of dollars to play a game, only to later agree to even more millions while insisting the issue was never about money—they just wanted respect. They see kids with few skills who believe they are among the greatest players of all time. They listen to athletes give credit to God for defeating the other team, as if God cared enough about who wins to fix the game. When I see these things, I understand why some would prefer to catch a “Roseanne” marathon on TV Land than watch the Super Bowl. I will even confess there are sports I don’t enjoy very much, either. I’ve never liked golf and I don’t appreciate hockey. Auto racing seems monotonous and baseball games last too long.

There are a few things I would change to make sports more exciting for everyone. With my simple rules changes, everyone could become a sports fan. My adjustments would add an air of unpredictability to sports that would transcend wondering who was going to win—they would make sports FUN!


Sporting laughs from Amazon.com

Sports the way the should have been all along

Why does baseball need all these guys?
Why does baseball need all these guys?
If a player can't cut it in sports, he can always dance with Bristol Palin
If a player can't cut it in sports, he can always dance with Bristol Palin
Another botched attempt at parallel parking
Another botched attempt at parallel parking
"Outta the way, sis!"
"Outta the way, sis!"
Let Tiger chase the ball instead of chasing the ladies
Let Tiger chase the ball instead of chasing the ladies
Basketball needs a slicker ball
Basketball needs a slicker ball
Michael Vick needs a theme song
Michael Vick needs a theme song
It's probably best to leave this sport alone
It's probably best to leave this sport alone

Let's make sports fun for everyone!


While each game requires specific corrections to make them enjoyable to everyone, there are ways to make all sports more entertaining. If it were up to me, I would mandate all sporting events embrace the following changes.

Only the winning team gets paid. So many players in all sports give a half-hearted effort once they have secured their huge salaries. What if only the winning team gets paid? That should eradicate lackadaisical efforts by players with millions in the bank. Let the losers dance with Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars or get a job.

Give all athletes, coaches and broadcasters “kid” names. Everyone loves the Fox NFL Sunday show because grown men get to act like kids. Not only do they crack lame jokes and argue with each other, they even have kid names. James Brown hosts with Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw. Who couldn’t have fun with Jimmy, Howie and Terry? Let the games be played by Mikey, Billy, Buster, Freddie and Dickie and everyone can have a good time.

These simple changes would change sports forever, but let’s not stop there. Let’s fix the problems with each major sport in one fell swoop. Here is what I suggest:


Baseball: Put fewer players on the field. Why have nine players when five would allow for more action? Scoring would increase because it would be harder for players to cover the field. Everyone likes high-scoring games, right?

Tennis: In singles tennis: Give players a racket for each hand. In doubles tennis: the four tennis players are all opponents, and the player who scores the most points wins—not the team. This should promote considerable jockeying and altercations on both sides of the net.

Basketball: Make basketballs slicker so they are harder to dribble, catch and shoot. The unpredictability of handling the ball will add an aura of unpredictability (and a comedic element) to the game.

Football: Eliminate coin tosses and kickoffs to determine who gets the ball first. Place the football on the fifty yard line, blow the whistle and let all twenty-two players try to get it. Whichever team emerges from the mayhem with the ball is on offense first.

Golf: Eliminate the boredom of a guy hitting the ball and watching it sail away, only to leisurely stroll after it or ride in the golf cart. Let’s put a shot clock on golf. After the golfer hits the ball, he has 45 seconds to run it down. No carts, no relaxed strolls. I want to see that golfer sprint after his ball!

Hockey: Amateur hockey is a breathtaking sport, but violence has ruined the professional game. It is disappointing to watch players dressed in modern day armor act like they’re tough. Let them skate around naked and we’ll get a better idea how tough they really are.

Auto racing: Auto racing requires an amazing level of skill, but many fans seem to watch only in hopes of seeing a crash. If this is all fans want to see, make the drivers race in reverse. This will certainly provide the aura of danger fans relish. For additional thrills the race should be declared over only after each driver has successfully parallel-parked their vehicles.

Volleyball: Volleyball tournaments should be played on a surface resembling a trampoline. The action would be amazing if volleyball players flew through the air at unpredictable speeds and angles.

Swimming: Forget swimming in pools. How about swimming in oceans and streams with uneven surfaces, curves and perhaps a few uphill or downhill surfaces to traverse? Would swimming meets be put into proper perspective if swimmers were also competing against fish, as well?

Poker: Poker on television is deathly dull. It is impossible to watch more than 90 seconds of card-playing pros or celebrities wearing funny hats sitting behind stacks and stacks of poker chips and peeking at their cards. How about adding a random element to the equation? Perhaps once each hand, a player can raid another player's cards, "Go Fish" style. In fact, let's take this a step further. How about a loser's table where the participants are forced to play "Go Fish" instead of poker? I might sit down and watch that.

Bodybuilding: We know these folks have muscles--we can see that without their endless posing. I think I might enjoy bodybuilding more if there were skills challenges, also. I would love to see men and women bodybuilders team up for a "Dancing With the Stars" type of event. Just to make things challenging, perhaps tap dance or ballet could be thrown into the mix.

Pro Wrestling: This sport is so absurd, nothing could improve it….


Watching sports on television creates an additional set of challenges for the casual fan. Viewers with a marginal interest in sports can be put off by inept broadcasters with no qualifications for their jobs. How often have you sat through a game larded with moronic comments from so-called broadcasters? To make sports more interesting, television broadcasts should consider the following:

Create a cable television channel that allows cursing on-air during sporting events. I am not a proponent of cursing, but the game will seem far more real to viewers if they are able to hear how players and coaches really talk. It would be interesting to learn which broadcast fans might prefer: the standard “family friendly” presentation or the “rated M for mature” telecast.

Add a musical score to broadcasts. A soundtrack should be added to each broadcast appropriate to the players and event. For example, Tiger Woods can golf to “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” and Michael Vick can play quarterback to the tune of “I Fought the Law and the Law Won.” Tom Brady should never be allowed to play football without hearing the “Brady Bunch” theme song, and Brett Favre should end his annual retirement to the tune of “Baby Come Back.” Conversely, “We Are the Champions” should be banned from sports forever.


A little pandemonium would be best for all sports


It is unclear whether my rules changes would help or hurt the world of sports, but they would certainly increase the entertainment value of sporting events. My suggestions would add an element of pandemonium currently unseen on television today. If you’ve never liked sports or have grown bored with them over the years, join with me in advocating for reforms. Let’s make sports fun again by making them crazy!

Or, if sports can’t be fun, let us at least make them humorous.


Comments 24 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

If you need a second for all these great improvements, I'm in, Mike. These sports would all be more fun for the spectators and the players if your new rules were instituted. Love the idea of only winners getting paid. Wouldn't that make a difference in the level of play?


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

You are absolutely brilliant Mike. How can we get people to listen to these great tips. I would definitely watch more sports if these fun ideas were implemented.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

There's a lot more to your Hub than meets the eye. Unfortunately, there are deadly health consequences to atheletes young or old. One of these is concussion. So, I'd like to see rules changed to prevent the macho, bull-dog, aggressive behavior of head banging, currently made acceptable by head gear that is supposed to protect the head...the helmet.

The consequences of using headgear to supposedly protect the athelete are spelled out here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...

I take your words as the tongue-in-cheek they are meant to be, but since you are a respected voice here, I just had to get past the humor and satire and bring up a change that needs to happen. When your head is sloshed back and forth, even with a protective helmet, your brain is affected for the rest of your life.

A change in sports rules that needs to happen is, first, to do no harm.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Drbj, thanks for reading. I am a firm believer that making sports more random would make them more fun to watch. A little mayhem would make things far more enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Minnetonka Twin, thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I doubt that the "Powers That Be" in the sports world are going to listen to my ideas, but it's fun to think about. Maybe someday.... Regardless, I appreciate your stopping by and offering your thoughts.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Sally's Trove (Sally?), thanks for stopping by. I would reiterate that my article was indeed tongue-in-cheek, and was not intended to suggest I am an advocate of violence in sports. It was also never meant to reflect any actual reforms that may need to be implemented in sports. My article was indeed meant to be humorous. I agree with you completely that the safety of participants should be of the utmost importance, regardless of the sport.

I used to watching boxing when Muhammad Ali was fighting--it was a great era for the sport. To see the shell of a man he has become and wondering how much of it was due to boxing is both tragic and sobering. I am no longer a fan of the sport, and I am also disinclined to watch hockey, primarily because of its violence. I do enjoy football, but I am opposed to players that use their helmet as a weapon or pin a players' arms while tackling them, preventing the tackled player from protecting himself from the fall. Rules are in effect to protect players, and those rules are frequently evaluated to ensure the are effective and enforced.

I would defend the intent of sports--healthy and honest competition, learning responsibility and teamwork, and accepting both victory and defeat with grace and dignity. I do not defend violence, pain or injury for the sake of sport.

Thanks for stopping by and offering your insights. Take care.

Mike


Voice 5 years ago

This year's Baseball World Series Champions were the definition of your article. The SF Giants had the most scrappy bunch of guys on the team and still managed to pull off an amazing win. And had a fun time doing it.

The season in San Francisco was called the "torture" season, because so many wins were won by just the skin of their teeth.

The players were all so diverse and even eccentric that they were a blast to get to know. Take Aubry Huff: On Jan 12,2010 he officially signed on to the SF Giants. He went on to become a major force during the World Series. However, his most press comes from having the first ever "rally thong" and his Zoolander impression during the homecoming parade was classic.

"The freak”, as Lincecum is lovingly referred to for his unique pitching, seems to be as popular for his long hair and emo persona as he is for his amazing pitching and two straight Cy Young Award winning seasons. My favorite story of Lincecum is when he was in his first year of the Giants and after a game he went to meet up with closing pitcher Brian Wilson. Lincecum of course looks like a 19 year old kid and when he arrived at the bar, the bouncer wouldn't let him into the area where Brian Wilson was, saying, "Brian's just trying to relax, he doesn't want to give any autographs right now" Brian had to go over and let Lincecum into the inner sanctum.

And since I've mentioned him, we may as well talk about Brian Wilson. Another eccentric, popular closing pitcher for the Giants. Wilson, who has a strange half mo-hawk half mullet hairstyle, had his own television show, and grew out a thick beard for this year’s postseason, which he then dyed jet black (for reasons unknown) and the phrase “fear the beard” was born. Fans arrived at games sporting fake beards, with signs and shirts decorated with both beards and the popular phrase.

Wilson is also responsible for the character of “the machine”. During a regular appearance on a popular sports show “Cheap Seats”, Wilson was doing a video interview from his home when in the background a shocking image appeared. A man, naked besides black S&M wear and a black face mask, walked through the frame. As the interviewer questioned Wilson about this character, Wilson feigned innocence. Of course there is a back story of why Brian pulled this stunt on the host of the show...but since this is getting long you'll have to google it. (and you definately should, it is very funny) Since the first appearance of “The Machine”, he has frequently been brought up in other interviews by both Wilson and other players. It has even been suggested that “The Machine” may be outfielder Pat Burrell, although this has not been confirmed.

Baseball usually bores me. The games are long, the playoffs and world series are long. But having gone through it with a team I actually have rooted for, for many years, gave me a lot of appreciation for this long boring game.

Appreciation for the SF Giant team that was a tortuous and diverse delight. I had a lot of fun getting to know the quirks that made up this particular year's team. And a new found respect for how hard it is to actually win a World Series. You have to be best in 162 regular season games. You then have to win the first division round which is the best out of 5 games. Then you have to win your division, which is the best out of 7 games. Then you finally get to play in the World Series, which once again is the best out of 7 games. The chances of winning this thing is astronomical.

Luckily all the astros were in alignment for the SF Giants. What a year they gave the fans. A lot of memories and a lot of fun, frustration and silliness!

And I'm a football fan..it was that good...go figure.


JordanBucher profile image

JordanBucher 5 years ago from St. Charles

Great Article! In my opinion, Football would be better if they allowed more taunting. If you don't want an opposing player to do a little dance on your teams logo, then stop them from scoring in the first place.


bogerk profile image

bogerk 5 years ago from Midwest

Some of these are interesting. I can't say I agree with your baseball rule since most fans think the games are already too long. I can't imagine how long they would be with only five fielders out there. Maybe 5-6 hours?


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I absolutely love baseball, it is the only sport for me, there has never been anything so calm and soothing to sleep by. Truthfully.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Voice, thanks for your comments. You're right, the SF team that won the World's Series is a lot of what I am talking about: a little quirky, a little irreverent, and not taking themselves too seriously while still beating the odds and winning it all. That's what sports needs more of. I enjoyed their run a great deal, and for me baseball is a distant third behind basketball and football. San Francisco was fun to watch.

I am so glad to see you stopping by, and I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Jordan, thanks for stopping by. Taunting, huh? I have to admit an admiration for clever celebrations. I can't remember who it was that pulled out the cell phone after a score, but that was classic. And it does add something unique to the game when someone taunts or celebrates in a new way. So, sure, I'm all for it! Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Bogerk, thanks for commenting. You make a good point. Maybe innings should have a clock and only last a maximum of ten minutes each. A game would still last three hours, and that should be plenty. Or, they can give a pitcher ten seconds to throw the ball. That would take a lot of the dead spots out of the game. Either way, I think it would be fun watching players scramble across the park after a hit.....

Thanks again for your comments.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Polly! I'm not sure the powers that be in baseball intended a sport soothing enough to sleep to, but I have to agree. It often puts me to sleep. Perhaps a little mayhem would keep me awake. Anyway, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Take care.

Mike


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

As a parent, I would love to see the fights abolished from hockey. I vividly remember my son's first fight. My head was in my lap while I waited for another parent to tap me on the shoulder signaling its end. I still won't watch, but it doesn't bother me as much anymore.

At the end of the day............ it's all part of the game, and the most serious injuries I've ever seen come from skate blades and the occasional high stick that meets up with a face. Gone are the days of men without helmets............. now they were a breed unto themselves............

As for changing the rules.......... I don't know. College hockey rarely has fights anymore; in junior hockey, you better be ready to drop the gloves......... most often at the face off. In professional hockey............. I rarely see any real fights anymore, unless of course the so called "enforcer" steps on the ice. Then, well......... ya just know!

Baseball............ only in person! Television will put me to sleep every time! Kaie


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Good ideas Mike. A lot of people would vote for the Cable TV Option. Would help release the Tension.

Thanks for an interesting read.

Ps. I'd like to see women referees in Men Football games. Oh.. that would be such a laugh.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kaie, thanks for your comments. I agree completely about abolishing the violence that has infiltrated hockey. It is a beautiful and graceful sport, and violence turns it into (basically) a circus act. ESPN is guilty of showing fights as "highlights" on Sports Center, glorifying the violence and subsequently perpetuating the illusion that it is part of the game.

My comments were meant to be humorous, but I am serious when I say the safety of all participants should be of paramount importance. Anything else is a betrayal of the game and everyone who plays it.

Thanks again for your comments. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elena, thanks for reading. I would have to give the cable television channel a try, although I'm not sure I could stick with it for long. And, you're right--women referee's for football would be interesting, indeed. I'm ready to give it a try.

Thanks again. Hope your weekend was a good one.

Mike


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Oh my what a great report, don't get me started, my team got penalties called on them for putting both hands together forming an O for OSU, after making a touch down. It was considered unsportsman like. Ugh please really as if. Great peice, well done and enjoyed. :)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Katie! That's pretty extreme to penalize a team for forming an "O" with their hands.... but unfortunately, I can see it happening. Rules against taunting are interesting in and of themselves, and I have to confess that I enjoyed some of the celebrations.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to OSU.

Mike


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

No one has yet mentioned your musical score suggestions. You must have had a lot of fun dreaming up this hub. Losers getting to dance with Sarah Palin... Haha! Funny and up rating!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peggy, thanks for stopping by. This was a fun hub to create, and I still think the musical score is a good suggestion. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a great Sunday.

Mike


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US

I was laughing about the football, I am imagining the bigger guys, my goodness that will be mayhem, Nice again, Maita


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Maita. I would love to see all those football players charging at each other trying to get the ball. It would certain be a game only for the brave under those circumstances, wouldn't it?

Thanks again for reading.

Mike

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