Game Changers: New Rules Proposed for Sports in 2010

By Sadie Bass

Jan 5, 2010 2:16pm

ABC's Stu Schutzman reports from New York: Every sports fanatic has a beef about something. The games drone on forever; the officiating stinks; the players are rich and spoiled working for owners who are richer and more spoiled, you name it.  Well, “it’s a new decade, time for change” says ESPN The Magazine in its New Year’s edition.  In a piece called “New Year, New Rules” the magazine proposes 31 recommendations to the nabobs of sport designed to streamline the games, level the playing fields and generally enhance the experience.  Here are a few: Rule 1: Get it right — mandate universal instant replay. “All sports will implement instant replay forthwith,” says the Mag, “with the understanding that advances in technology have enabled us to review and right errors and that said errors should not influence outcomes of our games.” Rules 2-4: Speed up play.  Cut down the time football teams spend in huddles.  Limit catchers’ endless visits to the pitcher’s mound. “It’s about as exciting as the security line at the airport,” says ESPN.  Penalize pitchers who waste time licking their fingers or walking around the mound in deep thought and hitters endlessly tugging at their batting gloves. “Make pitchers pitch and hitters hit.” Rule 10: Allow football players who score touchdowns 30 seconds to celebrate.  It’s entertainment, says The Mag, “the NFL should lighten up.” There’s a rule which would standardize the length of boxers’ often very lengthy trunks.  One which would get rid of pro golfers score cards which force golfers to be accountants accountable for silly mistakes.  One which would ban the whip in horse racing. The Magazine further suggests banning baseball’s designated hitter rule; making a third strike a strikeout whether the catcher holds onto the ball or not; and modifying the foul out rule in basketball — “Hoop fans,” says The Mag, are “tired of watching an All-Star big man pick up a couple of cheap, early fouls” and then riding the bench. International soccer, hockey, NASCAR and even gymnastics are in ESPN’s crosshairs as well.  Some juicy stuff for sports fans to mull over as a news decade unfolds. You can read the website for ESPN's The Magazine here.

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