Professional sports rules you'd like changed

I’m not sure if this thread has been done before, so here goes. Post here your gripes about crap rules in pro sports that really need to be changed.

Mine is the overtime coin toss in the NFL. Basically, whoever wins the coin toss wins the game. It’s highly likely that the coin toss winner (and therefore receiving team, since you’d have to have farts in your head to elect to kick during overtime) will score the touchdown to end the game. The coin toss loser doesn’t even get a chance to answer the touchdown.

While I’m at it, bring back end zone celebrations! They were fun to watch! If the team just scored against doesn’t like it, then they chose the wrong profession.

I agree with this one. It’s like Rod Woodson said last year when asked about the Patriots running up the score, to paraphrase “If you don’t like what they’re doing, then stop them”.

The rule I’d most like to see changed, though, is the icing rule in hockey. Currently the team that ices the puck can negate the icing by touching the puck first which leads to a mad, and often dangerous, dash towards the end boards with a forward and defenseman jockeying for position. I think it’s too dangerous and it slows the game down, call the automatic icing right away like they do in international play. God it pains me to agree with Don Cherry.

Heh. I saw your thread title, and the first thing I thought of was the NFL overtime coin toss. Either play a fifth quarter, or give first possession to the visiting team, countering some of the Home Team Advantage.

The fact that it’s a touch down though neither player nor ball touches the end zone, if someone just holds the ball above the end zone for a split second. :mad:

The winner of the overtime toss only wins like 53% of the time. It is an advantage, but not a major one. That said, I do think it can be improved upon.

I’d like them to reign in the anti-celebration penalties. Let the players have fun out there. I would be willing to leave it in for anyone who celebrates a tackle after a 35 yard run though.

Couldn’t disagree more. The problem almost always comes down to players throwing dangerous, illegal hits, not the icing. If the NHL would crack down on hits on icings the problem would disappear.

(That’s my rule change, by the way: hefty penalties for hits on icings).

For us non-hockey fans, could someone please describe what icing is?

From what I’ve heard from my father, it’s all about money and how the advertising works (or something), so they try to limit how long overtime actually is.

I believe that. Let’s say your early game is a stinker between two bad teams who are tied at 7-7. The late game is then going to start which either features your home team or is a game of national interest. The network can’t cut away from the first game, so fans miss part of the late game. If OT was a full quarter, that would mean missing an entire quarter of a game that most of the audience actually cares about.

Oh come on, you always loved Grapes!

The two-minute warning in football.

Has there ever been a more cynical, ridiculous and offensive rule in professional sports? It’s nothing but an excuse for yet another timeout/ad break, and it’s a travesty.

Here’s a universal sports rule I want to see changed:

Let coaches/players/managers/owners bitch about the officiating after the game.

If your officials are really impartial*, why can’t they take a good verbal thrashing in the interview room from a coach? They don’t have anything to hide*, and they’re not going to take any revenge, right?

(* offer void in National Basketball Association)

Other than that, I’d like to see a little more standardization of the basketball rules across the NBA, college and high school. Personally, I’d like to see the NBA and high school drop quarters in favor of halves, because playing quarters chops the flow of the game up too much. And don’t come at me with the TV commercial time argument, because they don’t have any problem televising college games.

Completely agree.

But, along with that, i would make it absolutely forbidden for the coaches/managers to argue with the officials during the game. This is particularly ridiculous in baseball, where assholes like Bobby Cox get defended because he’s “sticking up for his players.”

Fuck that shit. The players are multi-millionaire adults, not Little Leaguers; they don’t need their manager sticking up for them. Cox, Piniella, and all the other crybaby managers should keep their wrinkled asses in the dugout during the game.

Forget the touchdown; even a measly field goal is enough to win in overtime. The team that receives the kickoff can expect to start out around their own 30, so all they have to do is drive 40 yards to the opponents’ 30, where a reasonably good kicker can make the 47-yard field goal for the win. My rule suggestion is to ban field goal attempts in sudden death overtime. That would at least give the coin toss loser a little bit of a chance of getting a defensive stop.

Icing occurs when a team shoots the puck from their own half of the ice past the opponent’s goal line. If the defence touches the puck before the offence, the play is whistled dead and the next faceoff will be in the offence’s defensive zone(did that make any sense at all). Wikipedia has a diagram show what is and isn’t icing(the red line is the centre line on a hockey rink).

The problem that can happen is that an offensive player and a defensive player can get in a race to the puck. This means that they’re approaching the boards at high speed. If either loses their footing at a critical moment, they can go feet-first into the boards at high speed, which can cause significant injury(head first, of course, can be even worse).

The proposal is to change the icing rule such that the play is whistled dead the moment the puck crosses the goal line. That prevents the race from taking place which gets rid of the injury risk. My counter-argument is that
a) the offense negates the icing way more often than people think
b) players don’t just happen to lose their footing very often – it only happens when another player causes them to lose their footing. As it’s illegal to hit a player who is not in possession of the puck, the problem isn’t really the icing race but the fact that players are getting illegal taken down when they’re in a vulnerable position.

I see your point Rysto but I still would like to see automatic icing implemented; I just don’t think it’s worth the risk but if they do crack down hard on the interference I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this one.

SHHHH! :wink:

Bill James has a bunch of suggestions for changing the rules of baseball in the Historical Baseball Abstract, but one I really like is that a pitcher gets one throw to a base per inning, and after that he’s charged with a ball. It would speed up the game quite a bit and probably result in more stolen base attempts, which I think is a good thing.

In regards to the NFL overtime rules, the coin toss should never be more than a random way of determining certain variables. The whole of idea of “winning” a coin toss should be anathema to any sport where physical skill is the main factor in determining the better side.

Before overtime, after the coin toss, the side that guesses correctly should be given a choice. Either they receive the ball but are banned from attempting a field goal during that initial drive OR they kick it off and give the ball and the ban to the other team. In this way, there is a trade-off from getting the first (and possibly only) crack at scoring. The game would then proceed normally after that.

Also, during this first overtime drive, there would have to be rules in regard to fourth down conversions. On fourth downs, since the field goal option is out, the team can either punt or go for it but the latter can only be attempted one time and, perhaps, not past a certain point on the field, such as the opponent’s 40 yard line.

Another alternative is to award the win to the first team that scores a touchdown, or its equivalent, two field goals. That is, the first to get to six points. In this way, if you want to play it safe and go for a chip shot three points, that’s fine but you’re just giving the other team a chance to score a touchdown and win on the next drive.

Of course, this would increase the number of games ending in ties.

This may be true, but most of the instances I’ve seen where a player goes headfirst into the boards have been a result of incidental contact, not a deliberate hit. We are talking about two people converging on the same point at high speed after all, it’s not realistic to expect that they won’t make contact.

I’m with Grapes and HKF.

In soccer: I’d like to see the handling rule changed from intent being required to the fouling team gaining an advantage from it. This change wouldn’t be a big deal really. I’d like to see leagues hand out fines and suspensions, using video evidence, after games are over for simulation, diving, cynical fouls, etc. I saw Makelele once get a player ejected because he threw himself to the ground after getting a finger tapped to his chest just as the ref looked over. Ideally the red card would have been taken back for the next game and Makelele would have received a fine and/or suspension.

I find that suggestion interesting although maybe a bit excessive at just one throw an inning. I’ve always wondered what could stop a pitcher from throwing to a base endlessly. However, if there was a limit, wouldn’t the problem be that the base runner would then have no concern whatsoever as to how big his lead was off the base? If the pitcher is forbidden to throw to a base (or will be punished with balls), the runner can take a lead halfway to the next base.