15 Strange Things That Are Banned in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2014

15 Strange Things That Are Banned in Sports

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    Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

    Regardless of whether we want to abide by them, life has rules and restrictions that are set in place to help make sure we all stay in line.

    And in sports, there are just as many weird laws that players, fans and teams need to pay close attention to in order to avoid getting a slap on the wrist.

    But just because a league puts these things in place doesn't always mean that they make sense.

    That's why I took a look at some of the strangest things that sports have banned over the years. Sure, they have their reasons, but some of these are seriously ridiculous.

No Tweeting During Office Hours

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    While I totally understand why a team might not want their players tweeting updates and pictures of things that are going on before or during a game, does anyone else find this as a little odd?

    I mean, wouldn't the world blow up if, say, Tom Brady tweeted out a video of the normally reserved Bill Belichick giving one last speech prior to the New England Patriots taking the field?

    Of course it would—and seeing how some players have done it, they seem to want to do it.

    In a world where content is king, I say sports leagues banish this rule and give fans the real inside scoop.

Ball Spinning in the NFL

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    It might not be the oldest celebration in the book, but having a football player spinning the ball has been around for quite a long time—until recently anyway.

    While I can understand the NFL cutting down ways of showing up opposing teams by taking out choreographed celebrations, I'm not really sure who's being hurt when a player decides to toss the ball ferociously to the ground?

    Honestly, the player doing it might be at the most risk; he could hurt a wrist.

NCAA's Media Guide Page Limit

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    CHARLIE NEIBERGALL/Associated Press

    As someone who got his start as a media relations intern in the University of Kentucky's Athletic Department, I can tell you that there were plenty of days spent editing hundreds, if not thousands of media guide pages.

    For that reason, I applaud the current college kids who have my old job because you now have it lucky.

    Thanks to the NCAA setting a 208-page limit on media guides in order to level the playing field in recruiting efforts, there isn't as much work that needs to be done.

    Just when you thought that there couldn't be anything weirder in sports, college athletics does something like this to prove us all wrong.


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    For those who aren't familiar with Adderall, it's a substance that helps people focus on a specific task at hand, resulting in a higher working memory to retain information.

    And while there are millions of people who take it in the world to help with things such as ADHD, NFL players aren't so lucky.

    That's because the league has banned and suspended players based on the drug being found in their system.

    With long hours of working out, studying film and practicing, it's no wonder Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman thinks half of the league takes the stuff—something that commissioner Roger Goodell will surely be unhappy to hear.

College Kids Giving Autographs

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    OK, so this isn't exactly the ban itself—ask any of your favorite college athletes to sign something for you, and they normally do it without any problem.

    But as we've seen a number of times before, things get sticky when someone wants to offer an athlete some money for their signature, preventing the kid from making outside money from something as simple as putting their name on a piece of merchandise.

    I get why the NCAA enforces this, but that doesn't mean it's right.

Tucked-in Hockey Jersey

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Normally, most people would say that tucking in a shirt is the more appropriate way to look nice, looking more professional and less casual.

    But the NHL has a different stance on that and have banned players from tucking their jerseys into their pants.

    Yeah, you read that correctly: The league actually adopted a rule that states skaters could be penalized if the numbers on their back aren't visible at all times.

    Is it just me, or is this one of the most ridiculous bans in all of sports?

Saluting in the NFL

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    It's one of the most famous touchdown celebrations of the past 25 years in the NFL, but the Mile High Salute would actually warrant a flag if done in today's game—if done in the direction of another player, that is.

    While guys can still show some pride for America by saluting the fans, the refs keep a close eye on them, making sure they don't overdo it by facing an opponent, which would earn a penalty.

    Somewhere, Terrell Davis is shaking his head in shame.

No Buzz Allowed

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    Remember when all of us soccer fans were forced to hit the "mute" button during the World Cup in South Africa back in 2010? Yeah, that's no longer going to be an issue because FIFA has banned those annoying vuvuzelas that fans were blowing into.

    While that's great news for everyone watching a soccer match, it's still one of the strangest bans a sporting organization has ever had, right?

    They're just plastic toys!

Asthma Inhalers

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    Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    I mentioned the NFL banning Adderall a little bit earlier, but a few sporting organizations around the world may have outdone themselves with this one—because the use of Asthma inhalers is prohibited.

    We probably all remember those kids in middle school gym class who always had one handy, right? Well, according to many, these things can give users a competitive advantage because they increase lung capacity.

    So sports like swimming, football and others that require a lot of effort decided they would just ban inhalers altogether.

Dunking a Football

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    This is one ban that got a hell of a lot of attention this past NFL offseason, with the league deciding to completely ban players from dunking the football over the crossbar of the goal post.

    As one would expect, it didn't go over too smoothly with the athletes—most notably New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.

    Some of these guys just want to show they have serious hops, but the league doesn't seem to be too impressed and will impose a penalty and fine if a player does it.

Removing a Soccer Jersey After Scoring

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    Sorry, ladies, but thanks to the banning of soccer players removing their jerseys in celebration of a goal, you no longer get to see the abs of your favorite players.

    There are a variety of reasons why FIFA opted to rid the sport of goalscorers from doing this, with one being sponsors being angry that a dude's torso was shown rather than a company logo as cameras zoomed in on the player following their goal.

    If you ask me, it takes some of the joy out of soccer—but players are still known to do it.

No Snapping Allowed

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    We all know that social media has become a heavy influencer in the college game when it comes to recruiting, as head coaches are now able to keep tabs on future players and promote their programs on personal accounts.

    But make no mistake, the NCAA keeps a close eye on everything that goes on.

    That's because the organization has come down hard on teams who post pictures of players or coaches with potential recruits, giving a new meaning to the term "photobomb."

    The NCAA might not be stepping into the background and ruining a photo, but they are penalizing two people for posing together in front of a camera—it's just bizarre.

Excessive Pine Tar

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    Does anyone really know the pine tar rule in baseball?

    Seriously, if leagues and umpires really want to help manage the amount that a player puts on his bat, why not just prohibit it in the sport altogether?

    With this law being such an objective decision by umpires, I'm not sure anyone will really know what the ban actually is, let alone why it's actually in place.

    Just ask Hall of Famer George Brett if he still has any idea why he was called out for having too much of the sticky stuff on his bat during a game in 1983. I would bet he has no idea.

A Hairy Situation

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    Although the NBA allows players to dye their hair crazy colors and get creative with a few of the things they get buzzed in, one of those is not the logo of a brand.

    One guy in particular, New York Knicks forward Iman Shumpert, found that out last season.

    That's because Shumpert was forced to shave out the Adidas logo that was previously there, leaving him with a blank triangle on the back of his head for a few weeks because the NBA bans any logos on anything but sneakers.

    I think Shumpert should have come up with a good excuse to keep it.

Spiking the Football

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    It's arguably one of the most recognized and common celebrations in football: the spike.

    But thanks to the NFL cracking down on celebrations in recent years, even this one has found its way onto the "Can't Do List."

    That means that players like New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski should, technically, be given a flag anytime he does it—but refs, thankfully, don't always throw one.

    It probably has something to do with Gronk being a monster, but I'd like to think refs are just being cool and understand how absurd banning a player from spiking the ball really is.