The 25 Dumbest Rules in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2013

The 25 Dumbest Rules in Sports

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    We've all had those moments when we're left screaming at the TV screen, "What the hell kind of call was that!"

    Officials are human, so they make mistakes at times—right, Packer fans?

    But blaming a ref for a bad call isn't fair all the time. They just call it by the rules of the game.

    Therein lies the problem, because some rules are just dumb—which is why after the NFL finally got away with the tuck rule—we examined some other ones we could get used to living without too.

Passed Ball on a Strikeout

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    So you're telling us that it's not really three strikes and you're out?

    A passed ball by the catcher should be enough of an embarrassment, but the batter can actually run to first base if he wants to as well?

    We swear, if the World Series ever ends on a player who only made it to first because of this rule, we're really going to lose it.

College Basketball's Possession Arrow

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    Aren't players told from a young age to hustle by their coaches?

    Well, this rule takes that key element away when a kid gives his all by diving for a loose ball on the floor but is tied up by an opposing player.

    Come on NCAA: Toss it up like the NBA does to make them earn the possession.

The NBA's 10-Second Free-Throw Rule

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    For all the different things the NBA does to try and speed up the game, this is one rule that should be waived.

    Sure, Dwight Howard—a regular culprit—took way too long in this instance. He had enough time to brush his teeth while standing on the line.

    But could you imagine if a guy ever got this called on him because he thought too much about a crucial free throw at the end of a game just a little longer than allowed?

The Selection of Any All-Star Game

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    We'd like to think that this is one the four major leagues will continue to play around with, but because it's just an exhibition of top talent, who knows?

    The thought of the top two voters in separate leagues or conferences earning the right to select their teams from a list is a cool idea.

    It would be a little more complicated than that, but you get the gist.

    Let's do away with the division and give the fans some guys playing together who we really want to see—outside of just the Olympics, that is.

Offsides in Soccer or Hockey

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    For all the conversations people have about why they hate both of these sports because of low scoring, maybe it's time for the rules committees to just get together and waive all offside calls?

    Okay, so admittedly this will never happen, but how about some sort of rule change to allow players to cherry pick past the last defenders after a certain time in the game?

    That's something that could make things interesting.

Baseball Managers Wearing Uniforms

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    More often than not, a baseball manager is a former player, correct?

    So why on earth are these guys forced to slip back into a uniform while sitting in a dugout for about 95 percent of the game?

    Besides, these guys are old and usually fat, so sitting around in stretchy polyester probably isn't their cup of tea.

College Football's "One Foot and It Counts" Catch Rule

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    We can understand keeping it at the high school level, but college players aren't babies anymore, so let's stop giving them a break by getting just one foot down.

    It's time to make it a standard—two feet down, it's a catch. Otherwise, sorry bud, better luck next time.

Soccer Protests

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    We honestly can't stand the word "protest."

    All it means to us is that someone is complaining about a decision because the outcome wasn't the one he had hoped for.

    Was there a bunch of snow and probably some bad calls in Costa Rica's match versus the U.S.? Sure. But both teams had to deal with them.

    That's soccer.

Anything Dealing with Fashion

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    Regardless of the sport, it's time for the fashion police to take a seat and just worry about the product on the field or court.

    Old-school pundits argue that an untucked jersey or a mismatching socks-and-shoes combo is disrespectful to the game, but who really cares?

MLB Dugout Warnings

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    For a game like baseball that prides itself on its rich history, we're surprised umpire warnings are even around anymore.

    Plunking a guy in retaliation has been part of the game since the beginning, so what's more classic than that?

    Besides that, no one even pays attention to warnings anymore. In a 162-game season, a good brouhaha is needed every once in a while.

MLB's Infield Fly Rule

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    We understand the rule—kind of—but after seeing it cost the Atlanta Braves a postseason game last year, it might be time to take a look at discarding it altogether or altering it in some way.

    As anyone who has played a sport knows, players react instinctively. Take this rule out, and there won't be so much confusion.

5-Second Defensive Call in College Basketball

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    With 35 seconds to choose when they want to shoot the ball, there is absolutely no reason why this rule should still be in place.

    Dear NCAA, here's an ultimatum: Either drop the shot clock down and keep this bogus rule, or keep the 35-second clock and do away with this, because it's pointless if you ask us.

30-Yard NFL Kickoff

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    Oh, don't you remember the days when kicking off to a guy actually meant something? We sure do miss them.

    We understand the NFL wants to help avoid unnecessary injuries—it's absolutely critical—but football games are typically won because of a few big plays that make the difference on the scoreboard.

    Kickoff returns are a huge part of that.

MLB Replay

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    This is always a sight for sore eyes, isn't it?

    Instead of wasting everyone's time and getting the umps to huddle up, maybe we should finally implement full replay to determine if a ball was fair or foul or if a guy got tagged at the plate.

    After all, it is the 21st century—just saying.

NFL Overtime

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    After fighting for the past 60 minutes, the world's most profitable sport in the world has its games decided by a damn coin.

    This is completely ludicrous to think about, but it's the lay of the land currently.

    The league wants to increase the regular season to 18 games, but taking the right amount of time to determine the winner in a game is too much to ask.

    Just go to college football's overtime format already!

Rain Delays in Baseball

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    Let's be honest here, umps—just call the game.

    For various reasons, rain delays should just be done away with all together.

    1) After a player has been sitting around for a period of time, he doesn't want to come back on the field.

    2) Fans absolutely hate these things, and chances are, they don't stick around to wait them out anyway—instead opting for the turnstiles.

    3) If the game does end up getting called and picked up either the next day or later in the season, there's next to no one in the stands to see it.

    It might be entertaining to watch players have some fun during a downpour, but that's not enough of a reason to hang around.

Points for Overtime Losses in Hockey

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    While we're not downplaying the significance or greatness of the Chicago Blackhawks' streak to start this season, it did have a couple areas of shaded gray.

    Namely, the whole "earning a point for an overtime loss" thing.

    No one likes a tie—we get that. But if a team loses, there's no way in hell it should be rewarded in any form—even if that does mean going into extra time.

Amateurism in College Sports

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    Most of us probably remember the case of Jeremy Bloom, but let us refresh your memory.

    The bro was gifted with some good athleticism—playing football and being a pro skier—but after competing in the Olympics and other World Championships on the slopes, the NCAA said, "No thanks" when he tried playing for the Colorado football team.

    If the NCAA doesn't want to pay its players, that's one thing—and we could go on for days to argue why they should—but when a guy is this talented in multiple sports, the NCAA has to cut him some slack.

Intentional Walks

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    We all understand why teams do it—it's called strategy—but that doesn't mean we have to like it!

    Whenever fans are forced to watch a catcher stand up with his arm out, it's the most blatantly wasted time of any sporting event.

    In fact, whether it's playing for a double play, avoiding a power hitter or some other reason a team does it, the point of a baseball game is to get people out. So why is a manager putting someone on base freely?

College Basketball Timeouts

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    Yes, advertising during sporting events is a major business, but why should fans and players suffer through these things?

    College teams already have seven timeouts per half to use, yet because some fancy bigwig knows how to make money, we need to see an automatic timeout after a dead ball every four minutes.

    On top of that just being way too many stoppages during a half, there's no consistency. Sometimes there won't be a dead ball anytime around those set times.

Signing Your Scorecard in Golf

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    Congratulations, you've just enjoyed the greatest four days of golf in your entire life and won your first tournament.

    But while scurrying to the locker room to dry off and get ready for the TV interviews, you forgot one little detail—signing your scorecard.

    We know golf is a mental game, but we never thought handing over an autographed scorecard was the one thing a golfer has to remember doing.

Pass Interference

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    We bet if you asked all the refs in football how they'd define pass interference, they'd each tell you something different.

    That's because it's one of the most subjective rules in sports.

    We're Ohio State fans, so we know how this rule can affect an outcome of a big game, but that doesn't mean we like it—though we're not ready to admit that wasn't pass interference anytime soon.

Excessive Pine Tar

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    Can someone from the MLB office explain to us like a third grader why this rule is still in place?

    We have a hunch the answer will be along the lines of, "Because it always has been, so it will remain to be."

    Just because some guy back in the 1800s thought pine tar to be some sort of competitive advantage does not mean it still is in the 2000s.

    It's time to be a little bit more progressive, baseball.

Boxing Scoring

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    It might be time for boxers to just start beating the pulp out of each other until one of them either quits or gets knocked out, because there's been way too many instances when a judge's opinion hasn't exactly been objective.

    Don't let someone wearing a suit and tie be the final decision-maker on how bad a boxer just got his face beat in any longer.

Fouling out in Basketball

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    Fouling out of a basketball game is by far the worst rule on this list.

    Not only is it inconsistent across all levels—five fouls in high school and college, while six in the NBA—there's no way of knowing what is and isn't a foul.

    Some refs may see something that's nothing but an acting job yet actually call it a foul.

    There obviously has to be some sort of limitation, but when a team loses because its best player is on the short end of a bad call, that just stinks.