Inside Things--Nuances the casual fan misses

Inspired by these posts from silenus and** Telemark**, what other little courtesies occur regularly between participants in various sporting events that tend to get overlooked by the casual fan?

150+ views and not a single example?

Bumping for another try…

This might not quite fit, but it’s close. Back in the days when rugby did not allow substitutions other than to replace an injured player (and hence they were called “replacements”, not “substitutes”), if a prop forward got sent off, another player would fake an injury so he could be replaced by a prop forward. The referee knew exactly what was going on but allowed it because it is dangerous to allow a non-prop forward to attempt to play the position - think “broken neck”. And somebody has to play the position else you could not have a scrum.

The only other baseball “courtesy” I can think of is that a batter will often delay getting into the box after the previous batter has done something remarkable (think Grand Slam) in order for the previous batter to get a curtain call from the dugout.

Also happens when a former player returns to his old home stadium - during his first at-bat the catcher will sometimes to talk to the pitcher or futz about with the plate so the batter can get a hand from the home crowd.

Players will also retrieve a ball for an opponent’s first major league hit so the batter can keep it as a souvenir. The same thing for other milestone hits (that aren’t home runs).

Hockey players will flip the puck in the air so a linesman can catch it on-the-fly so he doesn’t have to stop and bend down to pick it up.

I imagine this doesn’t happen in higher leagues, but I’ve seen a football receiver line up before the play starts, have second thoughts that he might be offside, and glance at the official. The official will nod if he’s still OK, otherwise he knows to back up a bit.

I would add that on double plays involving second base, the ump will call the out even if the middle infielder doesn’t touch the bag, to protect the fielder from the baserunner sliding in. Assuming he’s at least somewhat close to it, that is.

I’m missing something here. If both players sent out were on the same team, and there was a prop forward on the bench, why not just replace the first prop forward with the second?

If the players were on opposite teams, how would this help either team?

I don’t know anything about rugby, but I think by “sent off” he means thrown out of the game (think red card in soccer).

I do know a small amount about Rugby, and I’d assume it meant the prop forward was sent off for breaking a rule, and so his team would be playing one player short of a full team. The player faking an injury would presumably be on the same team.

I don’t know how regularly this happens, but I remember seeing a tennis match a few years ago when something happened that I thought was really cool. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who was playing or where it happened. Here is the gist of what happened:

I think they were in a deuce situation. Player A served the ball and player B returned it. Player A could not return the ball but the line judge ruled that it was out, awarding the point to Player A. Player B complained a little (not anything theatrical like McEnroe) but the judge wouldn’t listen. Player A then went over to the judge and complained, saying that the ball was clearly in, and even pointing to the spot on the ground. The judge kept motioning to Player A to take the next serve, and Player A kept trying to correct the judge’s call in favor of his opponent. Finally, the judge indicated that he needed to move on.

So, Player A went to the base line and batted the ball out of bounds for his first serve. Then he did it again for his second serve, losing the point, and bringing the score back to deuce.

I thought that was a really nice move on his part to not take advantage of a truly awful call.

Correct. “Sent off” = “thrown out of the game” in US parlance.

HS official: It’ll happen at higher levels too. 7 must be on the line for offense, 4 in the backfield. So the wideouts will check with the wing officials to see where they are being ruled to be. One hand back by the WR is saying “I am supposed to be off the line, you rule me in the backfield?” and the wing official will confirm and hold a fist back to indicate off the line to him and the crew. They’ll also confirm players who say they’re on the line, though there is no specific signal for it. Otherwise there are illegal formations (not enough on line) or ineligible receivers (too many on the line) - and coaches just get mad about that.:rolleyes:

There’s no American game that requires teams to play short if a player is thrown out.


Not the same thing. In hockey players are sent off for a short period as a punishment for minor fouls. If a player is ejected(or given a 10 minute misconduct) their team does not play shorthanded.

Technically it could happen in basketball. If enough players foul out, they’ll play with fewer than five on a side.

This makes me wonder what happens in MLB if you use all of your players and then someone gets hurt. Anyone have a ruling on that?

You play with eight.

A bit more about line calls in tennis.

Generally speaking, if a call is close, players can look at their opponent and the opponent will give either a head-nod or a subtle shrug of the shoulders to indicate if it was a correct call or not.

This includes even when they have a court with instant replay, which could actually hurt the opponent if the call is overturned.

It’s just sportsmanship, really.