Rule changes needed to keep sports fresh

BILL MARTIN

Whenever some talks about changing the rules in a professional sport, I am always reminded of James Naismith’s 13 original rules of basketball.

Here’s just a couple of examples from the 1891 journal.

There was a jump ball after every basket. Granted there wasn’t a whole lot of scoring in the peach basket days.

You had to pass the ball after three dribbles.

Can you imagine if those were in effect today?

Eleven of the 13 rules are no longer relevant.

Just for the record, David Booth of Austin purchased the signed original document, which I have seen, for $4.3 million.

The NFL is bantering around the idea of doing away with kickoffs—they say—due to safety concerns.

As far as I am concerned, they can throw in extra points too.

There hasn’t been an outcry of opposition to the possibility, but it would be a boost to another professional sport who’s competitions have become too long—especially since the implement of replay.

No kickoffs and no extra points would chop off needless play that grinds the games to a halt and gives the television networks two more opportunities to run commercials.

How many times does someone run a kickoff back for a touchdown? Rarely.

How many times does a kicker miss an extra point? Even rarer. Does anybody really watch the extra point?

The record for kickoff returns in a season is four. For a career it’s eight.

I’m sure the NFL is afraid it will turn into the Indoor Football League, which by the way, is fun to watch.

And the way these high octane offenses are geared up these days, they are leaning towards the IFL anyway.

As far as baseball is concerned, it could use a complete makeover.

Baseball is losing television viewers by the truckloads, yet the games continue to grow longer and longer.

Where to begin.

The first one is easy—no more visits to the mound. Please!

These ploys to give a reliever more time to warm up are tedious and insulting.

When you see a tip-toeing manager heading to the mound for the second time, you know you have a 10-minute break to probably change the channel— and probably never turn it back and therein lies the problem.

Draw a circle around the mound in which the pitcher is not to get out of. No roaming the hills between pitches.

By the same measure, batters do not leave the batter’s box. If you step one toe across the line, it’s an automatic strike—or ball in the pitcher’s case.

I once played in a softball league that used the twostrike, three-ball format. Also, if you hit a foul ball on your third strike—you were out.

I don’t know if it’s time to do anything that drastic, but maybe start leaning in that direction.

Sports purists will hurumph and complain, but our favorite sports need to keep up with the times (re: three-point shot).

They are losing a generation of fans, especially baseball.

Kids don’t go outdoors to play games anymore, they sit in the living room in front of a screen. And on those games, they don’t kickoff or attempt extra points.

Remember, it used to be illegal to pass the ball in football.

The 5ive

Here are five of the strangest sports competitions from around the globe:
1. Midget tossing (Australia).
2. Wife toting (Finland).
3. Toe wrestling (United Kingdom).
4. Chess boxing (England).
5. Octopush (underwater hockey in New Zealand).


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2013-08-22 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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