I find it interesting (not that I’m watching the Olympics or anything) that a) the Olympics can have totally different rules for a game than other forms of the sport and b) that the rules change from time to time. This is interesting because whenever I propose changes in sports rules, say to my in laws who are all sports fanatics, they scoff at me. Like the other day, I said “why not give the pitchers only three balls instead of four?” … thinking this may make the game more interesting. Or, “Why not let the fielders tackle the runner if necessary … but then give the base runner blockers. That would be cool.”
Nobody takes me seriously.
But in the Olympics they have creative rule making such as I have been suggesting, and a lot of it has to do with how to end the game.
- In Olympic baseball, if the score is tied at the end of the 9th, a 10th inning is played. If the score remains tied, subsequent innings are played with a new batting order set for each inning, and two men on base (first and second) at the start of the inning. Wow. Maybe all baseball innings should start, by default, with three men on base. That would be interesting. The first pitch in any inning could then end the inning (with a triple play) or score four (with a grand slam). THAT would be cool./li>
- In Olympic soccer, theyused to use a combination of overtime with sudden death followed by penalty kicks, which I think is different than regular soccer. You see, in Olympic soccer, they don’t want ties. However, this year the rules were changed so that a score in overtime (as the one I just now saw Argentina score against The Netherlands in overtime) does not end the game. Rather, overtime is divided into timed segments that must be completed.
Given this admirable flexibility allowed in Olympic sport, I’d like to suggest a few other ways to end games that are tied. Please feel free to add your ideas as well.
For soccar, I had these ideas:
- Every five minutes, remove one member from each team without replacement. Eventually, you will be down to a goalee and one other player on that big field. That could be fun.
- Start sudden death overtime play, and then, at a random moment not sooner than five minutes or later than 10 minutes into play (assuming there has not been a score) drop two additional balls onto the field from the roof of the stadium (or the blimp). All three balls are then in play. That should be interesting, and should end the game very quickly.
- Have overtime played by the appropriate number of players from that country’s Olympic team, but NOT from the soccer team. So you may have the Norwegian swim team playing against the Jamacian fencing team, for instance. But playing soccer. This would certainly encourage cross-training.
For baseball, I like the current plan, but I have a few suggestions:
- For the overtime innings, switch around the pitchers, so each team has its own pitching staff pitching to itself. This would essentially be like a home run derby. That would certainly assure the members of the audience getting a lot of free baseballs.
- Forget the defensive team entirely. Just switch to home run derby mode.
- Continue the game in the Water Polo arena. I know that may be tough on the Polo Ponies, but it would be interesting.
For really close calls that really can’t be authentically and believably timed (like swim matches that end with a one one hundredth of a second difference), determine who gets the win in one of the following ways:
- Compare the human rights records of the countries involved in play.
- Tie together the wrists of the leaders of the nations involved, give each a dagger, put them in the Water Polo arena and see who comes out alive. The team linked to the leader that does NOT survive wins.
Please write in your ideas here: