Want to Inject Fun into Sports? Check Out These New Rules
Everyone loves complaining about rules in sports and how new changes can improve the game. From experts to your Uncles around the Thanksgiving dinner table, everyone thinks their ideas will make the game more exciting. Of course rule changes happen every off season, some are helpful and some not so much (NFL, figure out what is a catch). What if we looked at sports and implemented some fun rule changes that would be ridiculous but still add some excitement? This is the New Rule Blog…
MLB: If a fan catches a foul ball the player is out
Why: I love baseball but a lot of people are losing interest in the game and saying it is boring. Here is the jump-start it needs, fans love (or hate if you are like my wife) seeing a baseball coming towards their section and this new rule adds some excitement to the game. I’m sure the first objection is “but what if it’s a home game, they aren’t going to catch it to get their own guy out” if a ball is coming towards you that question leaves your mind because you want that souvenir. Everyone from players to umpires to fans become immediately more engaged and important to the game. Imagine this scenario: it’s late in the game and a ball goes into the stands, all eyes in the stadium are glued to the ball and a Dad holding a baby makes a great snag for the out. After the game interviews would be much better, “it was a great catch by that guy holding the baby, I can’t complain about that one.” Check this out and tell me it would not be exciting as hell!
NBA: Overtime becomes sudden death
Why: Every overtime game immediately becomes a must watch event with every shot having the potential to be a game winner. This also forces teams to really step up their defense and not wait until the last two minutes to actually start playing. The whole arena would be standing from the tip off and the longer it goes the more tension builds inside the arena. Everyone is just waiting to explode with a made basket. Imagine the Hornets and Knicks going at it with no one making a basket. Of course fouling and free throws would have to be ironed out, but overtime immediately becomes more exciting.
NFL: When icing the kicker, if the kicker makes the kick as the timeout is being called the team gets one point and they also get to try the kick again for three points.
Why: Let’s be honest icing the kicker is a little sketchy and this would add a new wrinkle to the thought. Coaches would really have to think about calling that timeout if the game is close and four points could really affect the outcome. This would also give kickers added incentive to make both attempts and they could influence games even more. I see this rule affecting playoff positioning but more importantly playoff games. Even if it’s not a four point game and a coach decides to call the timeout it could come back to bite them in the end. In the end, we would probably have to add some kind of incentive for the coaches if the kicker missed the first attempt.
NHL: If you hit the crossbar on a shot you earn a penalty shot on the next play stoppage. (idea courtesy of Duggs)
Why: Everyone loves the penalty shot in hockey, a goal can swing the momentum to your side or a big save can do just the opposite. Hitting the crossbar is extremely difficult and why not reward that. According to NHL Reference, last year there were 43 penalty shots and 15 goals for a 35% success rate. A little high but not a crazy number that swings one way or the other, imagine a defenseman ripping a shot from the blue line and hitting the crossbar to earn a penalty shot. It just sounds fun for a guy that never gets the chance to compete in a penalty shootout to earn that opportunity. Is this a logical rule change? Absolutely not. Would it be a lot of fun? You better believe it. (by the way, the Blues won the Stanley Cup…..never forget)
Golf: For one major you have to putt with your opposite hand.
Why: Golf was a hard sport to think about a fun rule change, there just isn’t a lot of leeway for changes. Winning a major is already incredibly difficult and putting is no walk in the park either. This could be fun though, imagine a golfer lining up a putt to win a major, all they have to do is sink a 10 foot putt……with their off hand. We could see some real frustration and some surprising excitement, some people are ambidextrous so we would have to see how this works out.
Gymnastics: If there is a tie on an event or competition it is settled with a handstand obstacle course. (Idea courtesy of my wife, Ellen, who coaches gymnastics)
Why: No one likes ties in any sport and they don’t happen too often in gymnastics but this would be awesome to watch. This adds a new way to settle a tie and it keeps the sport involved in some way. To settle an individual tie, it would be a timed event but every time you fall it adds two seconds to your total time. To settle a team tie, it would become a relay race for the whole team. Imagine a tie for first and it goes to a handstand obstacle race to decide who gets gold and who gets silver. Everyone in the arena immediately becomes excited and more involved, sign me up.