Let’s get rid of some sporting rubbish in 2013

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Lleyton Hewitt is temporary coming out of retirement for Australia's Davis Cup showdown with USA. (AFP PHOTO/Luis Acosta)

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    If I could wave a magic wand to make instant changes, my targets would be cricket, tennis, and golf.

    Cricket
    Abandon the Argus report, and revert to three national selectors – John Inverarity, Rod Marsh and Andy Bichel – all full-time.

    Scrap the rotation policy, with every cricketer in contention responsible for his own fitness report, signing a statutory declaration he’s fully fit to be eligible for selection.

    That signature would cover any potential litigation that looms from such former fast bowlers as Nathan Bracken, who contends he was forced to play when unfit, a decision he reckons shortened his career.

    And reassess Pat Howard’s newly created role as director of team performance. What has that position proved, if anything?

    Finally, find a manufacturer who can produce a ball that swings. I refuse to believe the current crop of fast bowlers around the world are incapable of making the ball move in the air. My belief is the seam is far too flat and the shine doesn’t last as long as it did 25-40 years ago.

    Tennis
    Get the sport moving by banning the time-wasting tactics.

    Strictly police the 20 seconds rule between points. Rafael Nadal is a serial offender with his illegal gamesmanship to slow down play to his own liking, regularly taking over 30 seconds to serve or receive.

    Limit selection of balls to serve to just three. Many players take as many as six to decide, which is rubbish.

    Limit bouncing the ball before serving to four max – Novak Djokovic bounces up to 32 times before his first serve, and 16 before his second.

    And allow coaches to sit on the side-line bench with their charges, as Davis Cup captains do. What’s the point of spending hundreds of hours on the practice court together, only to be told coaches must zip it in the player’s box on competition days?

    In the bad old days of amateur rep rugby, coaches weren’t allowed on the field at the half-time huddle. Thankfully that archaic rule went by the boards and if rugby can change, tennis can.

    Golf
    And my pet hate. Golfers should be allowed to repair sprig marks between their ball and the hole.

    Obviously the best-performed golfers in any tournament are at the tail of the field at the weekend, the all-important money rounds. Yet they have to negotiate a minefield of sprig marks, giving an unfair advantage to those playing earlier in the day.

    Administrators eventually out-lawed the stymie where a golfer could leave his ball between an opponent’s ball and the hole. It was a two-stroke penalty if you struck an opponent’s ball that stymied you.

    Sprig marks are a similar hurdle to overcome. Give that rule the long overdue flick to make it an even playing field.

    Happy New Year Roarers, the wand is back in its holster.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • January 1st 2013 @ 8:10am
      Red Block said | January 1st 2013 @ 8:10am | ! Report

      Here’s a few more.
      CRICKET
      Allow a 14 man squad containing an extra bowler, batter and a wicket keeper. At the conclusion of first innings allow one tactical substitution but it must be a bowler for a bowler or a bat for a bat, which are nominated before the toss. This way a fast bowler could play the first innings but is substituted for a spin bowler in the second.
      Also if a player is injured, he can be replaced at any time provided the injury occurred during the current match.

      NRL
      If the dummy half runs and is caught with ball, it shall be a turn over. According to NRL.com.au, this play of running from dummy half occurs on average about 70 times a game. It is so boring.

      AFL
      If the ball hits the post, it is play on. Stop all the replays of judging to see if a ball kinicked the oversize goal padding.

      BASKETBALL
      Please make the hoop two feet higher, this takes away the emphasis on height and focuses on shooting not some 7 foot giant dropping the ball in the bucket.

      I was going to include rugby but it would take to long.

      • January 1st 2013 @ 9:14am
        Col said | January 1st 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        Hi five for the dummy half rule mate – Souths would do a lot of tackling. Add to that tries scored from dummy half are worth three points, and tries scored with two or more passes worth 5.

        David, agree with the spike rule in Golf, however if were brought in there would need to be a clock put on the time allowed to take a putt – much like the snooker clock. Imagine how long some would take over a putt if they were allowed to repair EVERY spike mark!

      • January 2nd 2013 @ 6:23am
        David Lord said | January 2nd 2013 @ 6:23am | ! Report

        Roarers, before we go any further, the head shot of Lleyton Hewitt in this column does not suggest, for one second, he is part of the sporting rubbish to get rid of in 2013.

    • Roar Guru

      January 1st 2013 @ 8:40am
      The Bush said | January 1st 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      I cannot see where Nathan Bracken is claiming he was “forced to play”. He is claiming pure medical negligence on the grounds of a gross failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis. I also don’t understand why you think the players need to sign Stat Decs, which wouldn’t be worth the paper they written on in my opinion (in those circumstances) anyway, as it is not the players pushing for this stupid system – it’s CA.

      I’d still love to see it done away with anyway.

      • January 1st 2013 @ 10:56am
        B.A Sports said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        I agree

        And appearing on a Celebrity Dancing Show kind of knocked a lot of his claims on the head. Andto be fair I don’t think Nathan Bracken is claiming anything – its his money and fame hungry wife isn’t it?

    • January 1st 2013 @ 9:43am
      Professor Rosseforp said | January 1st 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      The problem of sprig marks in golf could easily be solved if the game were simply abandoned as a sport. Yes, some people excel at it, but some people are good at sticking peas up their nose. Get rid of golf.
      There should be an embargo on AFL and League after the grand finals. No press coverage for about 5 months, to give us all a break. Rider: criminal activities could still be reported on in the crime sections of the dailies.
      Tennis: too many “stomach bugs” affecting too many tournaments — teach basic handwashing techniques to all players and officials, and feed players sterilised food only.
      Football: enforce rules regarding physical contact between players. I’m tired of seeing holding of arms, judo throws over the hip, pulling of shirts etc, and the offenders allowed to play on — or worse, to claim a free kick when they fall over. Yellow card, then red card — the players would soon get the message when they had about 3 players left to play 60 minutes of a game.
      Cricket: no new forms of cricket allowed, but Cricket Australia should be encouraged to merge with Vigoro Australia if throwing by bowlers is still going to be ignored in 2013.
      Swimming: too many short distance races, not enough long distance races.

      • January 1st 2013 @ 5:09pm
        Steve said | January 1st 2013 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

        Good suggestions Prof,
        but couldn’t we keep golf, but swap the balls for cane toads, and replace the hole with a brick wall or big sheet of reinforced plexi-glass at the end of the course?

      • January 1st 2013 @ 10:07pm
        Steggz said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

        +1 to your football recommendation, Frustrates the life out of me, plus I get emails and sms’s from my dad complaining about it!

    • January 1st 2013 @ 10:17am
      Tom Callaghan said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      Aaaah g’day David mate!
      I hope that you are lookung forward to another year of British sporting success,espeially against Australians!
      London 2012: GB 29 Australia 7!

    • Roar Guru

      January 1st 2013 @ 10:52am
      sheek said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      Salutations David,

      The rotation policy is a joke. It’s not that I’m opposed to the rotation policy in toto, but it should have the proviso “as required.”

      So who will be rested tomorrow? Jackson Bird is in the frame because Siddle & Johnson have both already been “rested.” Here’s a guy who had a good test debut, has a full steam of momentum, wasn’t over bowled & the selectors are going to rest him!

      How incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly stupid.

      CA is already in damage control & the publicity machine of defending the indefensible is in full swing. Halfway through the last day of the previous test, the respondents on channel 9 were disagreeing two out of three with the rotation policy. I was surprised one-third were gullible enough to say they support it!

      Mitchell Starc was brought out to say he supported the rotation policy. His words can be taken with a grain of salt. Either he supports his employers or he can kiss his career goodbye. As if he’s going to say he doesn’t agree with the rotation policy. Not on your nelly.

      The credibility of players comments is zero. They have enormous vested interests in saying the “right” thing.

      Now James Sutherland is saying we will have to live with it. Sorry James, most of us aren’t as stupid as you would like to wish we are. We can see through the sham. It’s all about protecting Cricket Australia. The welfare of the bowlers is really an afterthought.

      • January 1st 2013 @ 1:20pm
        Talisman said | January 1st 2013 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        Agree 100% sheek. For some reason, administrators everywhere think spin is all you need. Also, could someone tell me why Argus was commissioned to do this report in the first place? From where I sit, Sutherland & co are employed & paid handsomely to run cricket in Australia. That means knowing what’s going on in cricket, here & overseas, what’s wrong with it & how to fix it. I’d have thought that knowledge & ability would have been in their job description. So, do they still get their overblown salaries just to delegate the decision-making process to a third party? No, I’m not whingeing about the size of their pay packet, just the workload they bear to get it.

      • January 1st 2013 @ 10:09pm
        Steggz said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

        Bird won’t be rested. Starc comes back into the side as he deserves to be in the top 3 pace bowlers as it currently stands.

    • January 1st 2013 @ 11:08am
      vocans said | January 1st 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

      I agree about the ball and swinging it. Get rid of the front foot rule as well. If umpires miss a no-ball on the field have the third umpire do it from the screen. This will help bowlers’ injuries, and might even give the ball just that little more room to move. Batsman have it too good these days. Bat technology goes on improving but who’s improving the ball for bowlers? Thank God fielding has improved so much – otherwise the runs would have been flooding the game. Fielding has masked this issue.

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