Friday, July 28, 2006

What's the Worst Rule In Sports?

This week's question is one of the guys...generally.

What's the worst rule in all of sports? There are some really bad ones. Here are a few that I loathe to kickstart the conversation and one for argument's sake. In no particular order.

A) The designated hitter rule in the American League.
What it means? Pitchers don't hit.
Why I hate it? Pitchers are baseball players. If anyone should get to skip hitting it's the catcher. He's got the most grueling position in the game. It boosts offense and offense doesn't need boosting anymore. It was a silly rule when it was originated, now it's maintained to keep old guys no longer capable of playing the field in the game.

B) The Tuck Rule in the NFL.
What it means? "If a QB loses the ball before he has tucked it firmly into his body, even if his intention no longer is to throw it, the play is an incomplete pass."
Why I hate it? No one knew this rule even existed before the 2001 AFC Championship game when it rescued the derriers of the New England Patriots. How can I be sure no one knew this rule? Because if we had known about it, we would have been lobbying to have it eliminated long before then. This rule is an obvious bail out rule. It takes the subjectivity of deciding when the act of attempting a pass has ended and the act of bringing the ball down began out of the hands of the official.

C) The Falling Out of Bounds timeout
What it means? A basketball player can leap in the air and be flying out of bounds, but can be granted a timeout while in midair.
Why I hate it? Does the player have possession when he's flying out of bounds? I don't think he does. He/She should be in contact with the playing surface. But I mostly hate it because it's overly used and it eliminates the old favorite of throwing the ball at full force at your opponents lower abdomen.

D) The Trapezoid Lane in the international basketball
What it means? The lane is a trapezoid. Duh.
Why I hate it? It's ugly. And every year we have to hear Dick Vitale or some other brainless nitwit tell me how the college game needs to adopt this rule. But mostly it's just ugly.

E) Moving the Ball to Midcourt with a Timeout (NBA)
What it means? A team can call a timeout and the ball is moved from the baseline to midcourt for the upcoming inbounds play.
Why I hate it? They did NOTHING to advance the ball. Name one other sport where you can advance the ball by calling a timeout. It's ridiculous and as silly as the DH.

F) Offsides in Soccer
What it means? An offensive player must be at least even with the deepest defender when the ball is played to him. Only after the ball is kicked can he advance beyond the defender.
Why I hate it? I don't, but every non-soccer fan in the United States does. Americans are focused on scoring and that's all we care about. Soccer is not all about scoring. So we hate rules that we think stop scoring. But it introduces strategy on the side of the defense and DOES NOT eliminate the threat of offensive speed. I'll repeat that. It DOES NOT eliminate the threat of offensive speed. When the ball is played, it's a sprint to the ball. That's using speed folks.

Those are my six to start things up. Add any rules you think are bad and comment. Be sure to rank the worst rules to determine a winner (or loser, as the case may be.)


Piccu said...

The DH rule is the worst rule there is. Not only does it take the pitcher out of the game, it just frees up a spot for the guy who would be bagging groceries if he had to play the field.

It also gives pitchers in the AL carte blanche when it comes to throwing at someone in a game. Pitchers do not have to worry about getting plunked when they come up to bat. This seems like a rule for kids, not professional baseball players. Unfortunately, the MLB Players Union will never let this go because it creates another high paying job for someone.

As for the out of bounds timeout, I believe the NCAA this past summer ruled against this and now you cannot call a timeout as you are flying out o bounds. Not sure about the NBA.

Speaking of college basketball, I think the no jump ball after a tie up is a rule that needs to be gotten rid of. You punish a player for making a great ddefensive play by looking at an arrow to see if his team deserves the ball? Come on, jump it up like real men. I do not see what the big deal is. Why have they never done this? It doesn't take up time, it is not hard to do, just throw it up in the air and get out of the way. Maybe the NCAA refs are afraid they won't be able to throw it up correctly. I throw up correctly everytime I see this call.

Travis said...

As a WKU fan, I'm torn about that rule. It was a foul called on a jump ball that cost WKU a chance at a national title one year. The only foul called on a jump ball I've ever heard of in my life. Greg Smith was called for a foul against Cazzie Russell when the ball was given a bad toss. Russell never even jumped, but to get to the ball Smith had to lean over and he touched. Russell made both FTs and Michigan went on to the Final Four.

So yeah, part of the reason is that refs can't throw it up correctly.