New sport suggestion for Olympics Athletics

Poorer nations fare badly in Athletics events in Olympics due to lack of facilities, scientific training methods, complexity of the sport etc.

I suggest that the federation introduce a sport that levels the playing field. The event should need minimal infrastructure requirements and any one anywhere in the world should be able to excel in it. Rules should be very simple to.

Here is my sugggestion. An event titled ball throw and catch. All you need is a tennis ball and a field. Athletes should be bare footed.

Rule is simple. Participant should throw the ball in the air and catch it (one or two handed). Whoever covers the maximum distance from start line to throw and catch the ball wins. Ball will be the widely available tennis ball. No height or weight restrictions for participant.

Lets have your suggestions too

Since chess is in the running to be an Olympic sport, it qualifies as requiring minimal infrastructure.

I also suggest Power Googling and International Jeopardy.

Most Track&Field events don’t require much infrastructure.

If those are your criteria why invent a new game? Ultimate Frisbee is already well established and all you need is a frisbee and a field.

Actually there are already sports which athletes from poorer countries can compete in without recourse to much equipment - there’s a reason football (soccer) is so massively popular across the globe and in third world countries like Brazil - you just need a ball.

Also running (road running in particular). Athletes from some African countries outrun everyone here.

We could introduce some sports which are currently ignored but are hugely popular in places like India (anyone for cricket?)

At the end of the day, athletes without funding for training are always going to suffer. If it doesn’t already do so, perhaps the Olympic Federation should run an elite athletes programme where they fund talented individuals. This is what the UK started to do seriously a few years ago and the results have been startling, with the UK now finishing second in the Olympic medals table above China and Russia.

Athletes must have a monthly income under $300 and tuberculosis.

You’re gonna need a lot more rules. Running start or not, for example.

One complication: What constitutes “catching” the ball for distance measurement? Maybe the point of first touch. But is the ball allowed to be “juggled” a bit before being caught? I.e., could the player tap the ball with his/her outstretched fingertips (setting the distance) and then later complete the catch when it comes back down?

Baseball seems like a simple game. But there are a lot of subtle rules like fourth outs and such. E.g., the other night there was a game where the catcher caught a foul ball against the mask in his hands. Nope, can’t do that. Neither announcer (quite experienced) had ever seen that called before.

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Since this is about sports, let’s move it to the Game Room (from GQ).

Maybe not the running events(except the track) but field events require facilities.

Pole vault, even the high jump require bars, stands, and something to land on. Discus, shotput, hammer throw, and javelin just require the projectile, an open field and some string. Maybe not suitable for an inner city area but not tremendous resources. Of course training and competition are important for every sport though. Even in the hypothetical throw and catch event the well funded teams will have an advantage there.

ETA: and maybe something to mark a circle on the ground or toe board for the throwing events, but that’s still minor equipment.

You forgot the drugs. Seriously, all the below-Olympic Level big Events have had by now countless scandals over whether chemical compound X found in an athlete’s blood was a leftover from an illegal drug, or from his toothpaste (yes, that was actually used). With so many substances closely mimicking or outright copying natural hormones like steroids, or using own blood substitition and similar methods, Doping detection is always several steps behind. Coaches advise their athletes when to stop taking which drug so it will be gone when testing rolls around.

And then you get to Russia, which simply has a hole in the wall of the lab to Switch the Urine samples for clean ones, or China, which mass-forged birth Dates for Girls in Gymnastics.

What Chance does a Country like Kenya have there? The only Chance is competing in a Sport nobody else is interested in in the first place.

If you expect Olympic caliber athletes, you can’t jury rig the facilities.

And all the field events are very heavy on technique. You absolutely need coaching.

Kenyans have won a lot of Olympic medals. Boxing and running are the ones I know about. Boxing is another sport not requiring where poor nations can do well. A boxing ring and gloves are needed but they’re fairly common and often makeshift for training. A few countries will dominate though because they offer better trainers and competition.

Yup. Kenyan athletes have earned 100 Olympic medals, most of them in long-distance running events (where Kenyans and Ethiopians have dominated for the past few decades). All of their medals have been in boxing and track & field.

I think the OP is still too prohibited. Not everyone has access to or can afford a tennis ball. So lets change that to dirt. And make the game like dodge ball. Teams of people throw handfuls of dirt at each other. If you get the other player in the face they are out. Bonus points for getting them in the eyes or mouth and they have sit out for a while to get cleaned up so they can see or breath again.

While the OP is ridiculous, there has been criticism that the IOC has spent way too much energy on Sports that European and N Americans follow and not so much elsewhere. One of the reasons badminton was introduced in 1992was since it’s very popular in the Far East, which was growing in influence in the 1980’s. Ditto Judo at the 1964 Tokyo Games, Taekwondo at Barcelona at Seoul 88.

I won’t disagree with the first part that without real facilities at some point athletes have no chance in the Olympics, but rarely are they totally unavailable to an athlete who can demonstrate some prowess using only makeshift facilities.

The second part is absolutely correct and largely what poorer nations are missing. Without the coaching, and in many sports competitive training, athletes can’t reach world class levels of performance.

Participation in those events could be doubled by adding a catching category.


The best way to produce high-end athletes from poor countries is to economically develop those countries.

With economic development comes the ability of large numbers of people to have free time for recreation. Out of this large pool the country’s best athletes will emerge. Without economic development, many people who might have become top athletes will never have had the chance because they are too busy trying to put food on the table from too young an age.

Yes, it is possible to re-direct funds away from economic development and instead direct funds to sport and athlete development, but that in itself is not enough to create the largest size pool possible from which to draw the very best athletes.