Referee! What kind of call is that!

Too many rules can get in the way of fans' enjoyment. Art by Neha Sekhon
Too many rules can get in the way of fans’ enjoyment. Art by Neha Sekhon

In sports a player can’t blame the referee entirely for making a bad call, but it is the leagues themselves that should cater to having fewer rules to get more out of games.

The MLB saw six new rules enter the game to make it faster, however historically baseball is a slow and long game to play that requires a lot of mental and physical talent. The league has stated that a batter must maintain a foot in the batter’s box, the manager only has three mound visits a game and a pitcher must throw within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. I can’t help but to acknowledge that these rules may speed up the game, but what exactly happens to the player if they don’t follow these rules? How is an umpire supposed to keep track of these times during an MLB game? I’ll tell you. According to The Atlantic players will receive a fine of up to $500 dollars for breaking the rules after spring training so players can adjust to the new game.

That my friends, is unenforceable, a ruling that would make officiating of this game 10x more difficult than other restrictions and most importantly, players probably won’t care about them too much to throw the ball within the time zone. $500 fines are nothing for MLB players like Alex Rodriguez for instance, who make millions per year.Are these really rules to speed up the game or are they there for money? I guess we’ll never know.

In the NHL, hockey goaltenders used to have the ability to play the puck wherever they wanted and skate with it for how long they wanted to. Let’s not forget one of the greatest moments when Patrick Roy took the puck to centre ice and juked out the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. That was a sight we will never be able to watch again now that the league enforces a new rule to restrict goalies to a 22 foot trapezoid to play the puck.

My question is why is it such a problem if the goalie wants to travel up ice with the puck and try to score a goal? It would be their fault but the goalie is a player on the ice and should be able to do what he pleases; even if he wants to join the power play, so what. Another rule that is bizarre is lifting the puck over the glass as a penalty for supposedly “delaying the game.” Are you kidding me? I can understand if this rule applies during a powerplay or when there is two minutes left to go in the third period and your team wants to hold on to a lead. However, has anyone ever thought about something called an accident? It happens and its incredible how a two minute penalty is applied to the player that puts it out of play.

And then there’s the NFL, where there’s a rule that is going to make things difficult for the officiating crew and something that is completely “pointless” to the game. On they speak of a new rule that is set to open up. The field goal posts are as wide as 18 feet and will remain that way for normal field goals. But when an extra point kick is to be taken, the league wants to squeeze the posts by four feet for the PAT (Point After Touchdown) kick and move it from the two yard line to the 15 yard line, essentially making it more difficult to attain a point following your touchdown. Why? This is ridiculous to implement such an unnecessary rule for the game of football. If it’s one thing that’s easy in the game it is the PAT and why not give the players something simple about the most physical game in North America. Their lives are going to be more difficult just to get a point once they’ve worked so hard for a touchdown and let’s not forget the difficulty of field goals to begin with.

Whether it is football, hockey or baseball, forget all of these new rules and just let the players play the game and let the fans enjoy it!

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