We all love sport, and what we love most about it is how easy it is to identify all of the things wrong with it.
I also love to find elegant solutions to each problem that the stiff-necked cretins in the administrations will never embrace because they just can’t stand the idea of satisfying the fans.
Let’s be honest: there is no sport that couldn’t benefit from a few adjustments. Here I present one way in which all our favourite sports could be improved.
NOTE: The fact I’m only providing one change per sport is not meant to imply that only one change is needed. Many sports require dozens of rule changes, as the AFL Rules Committee knows so well.
But for now, each of these simple single alterations would make a huge difference to the quality of the sport and increase the net amount of happiness in the world.
A detailed explanation of each item is unnecessary, as the benefits are completely self-explanatory to all true sports fans. Bear that in mind.
Soccer. Institute a requirement that any player who falls over and stays on the ground longer than five seconds is considered seriously injured and must be taken from the field.
Australian rules. A free kick awarded against any player who kicks or handballs the ball over the boundary line. Deliberate or not.
Rugby league. Two words: contested scrums.
Rugby union. Automatic sin-binning for any player who gives away a penalty inside his own 22.
Cricket. Wides to be called only for balls that are actually too wide to play a shot to.
Tennis. Eliminate tiebreaks altogether.
Netball. Get rid of positional requirements, allow all players to cover all parts of the court.
Basketball. Enclose the court with glass walls so the ball never goes out of bounds.
Golf. Only one club allowed for each hole.
Surfing. Bring competitors into direct contact with each other on the waves.
Swimming. No suits made from high-tech materials. In fact, no suits.
Athletics. Every participant at every athletics meet must compete in at least three different events, with at least one being a field event.
Motorsport. Abolish racetracks – all races to take place on public roads, or preferably, not on roads at all.
Horse racing. Ban jockeys.
Greyhound racing. Introduce jockeys.
Cycling. Every cyclist gets one bike, which must cost no more than three hundred dollars.
Archery. Ban all technology invented later than 1800.
Gymnastics. Nobody under 21 allowed into competitive events.
Boxing. Change rule banning blows below the belt to rule giving double points for blows below the belt.
Mixed Martial Arts. All combatants to wear roller skates at all times.
Hockey (Field). Make all corners penalty corners.
Hockey (Ice). Ban skates.
American football. Make defensive and offensive teams the same team.
Baseball. Ban gloves.
I think that about covers it.