No 6: Changing the Offsides Rule in Soccer
The rule is currently called very defensively, with any “ties” going to the defense (above being a PRIME example). There are more on-sides players being called offside than there are offsides players being allowed to continue playing. This obviously cuts down on scoring. Instead, the game should be called to benefit the offense, with all “ties” going to the attacking team. If any body part of an attacker is level with any body part of a defender, the play should go on. This would increase scoring without sacrificing the true intent of the rule, which was to eliminate cherry-picking.
No 5: Making NFL OT a Single 15-Minute Quarter
The fairest way to determine a tie in a football game is to play more football, and the best way to recreate the conditions of a football game is to play a complete timed 15-minute period (instead of a single play like the video above). There are no walk-off touchdowns in regulation football (unless the clock hits 0:00 during the play): the same should be true for overtime. If the score is still tied after a 15-minute period, only at that point would you do sudden death, and only to avoid injuries.
No 4: Making ALL NFL Plays Reviewable
Right now replay challenges are only allowed on plays where the video should (theoretically at least) provide a definitive answer. Did the ball cross the goal line? Was the player out of bounds? Where should the ball have been spotted? Calls like holding and pass interference are considered “judgement calls” and can’t be reviewed. Except that we all know deciding where a ball should be spotted is just as subjective as pass interference. A well-trained ref should be able to decide the correct call after watching a play in slow-mo, “judgement call” or not. Simple as that.
No 3: Putting Sensors in Balls in Footballs and Soccer Balls
How has this not been instituted yet? The technology (see above) is clearly there. Put a sensor in the footballs to determine whether they crossed the goal line and whether a field goal that goes directly over a goalpost is good or not. And eventually to measure first downs. For soccer the technology could be used to determine when the ball crossed the goal line. Too obvious not to happen. GET. IT. DONE.
No 2: Increasing (or Eliminating) the Limit for Foul-Outs in the NBA
Jeff Van Gundy mentions this constantly and he is 1,000% right. Why should we be denied the opportunity to see the best talent just because of an arbitrary rule designed when George Mikan and a bunch of accountants made up the NBA. The game is faster and more physical now, and the players are more skilled and more likely to make teams pay at the free throw line. If the team who fouls is going to be punished either way (unless they are fouling Andre Drummond or DeAndre Jordan), then why does it matter which players commit the fouls? Instead, we constantly see stars sitting out major chunks of games with foul trouble (see Steph Curry above). Doesn’t the NBA want to entertain the fans? Make the foul-out limit eight. Better yet, get rid of it altogether.
No 1: A Shot Clock for Pitchers
New rule: the pitcher gets 12 seconds from the time he receives the ball from the catcher to get rid of it again. If he doesn’t, a ball gets called. If the batter steps out, it’s an automatic strike. This would rapidly speed up the game and increase fan interest. Perhaps even among those hard to reach millennials. The fitness of pitchers would also take on increased importance. Unlike several other ideas on this list, you can probably expect something like this to actually happen in the next few years. Versions of it have already been experimented with in the Arizona Fall League and in various minor leagues (see above).