Merchapolooza | 10% Off The Barstool Store When You Use Your Favorite Personality's CodeSHOP NOW

What Are the Dumbest Rules in Sports?


So this is a question I posed on Twitter today and started getting responses from all over the place. The question is simple. What is the dumbest rule in sport. I was thinking about this last night while watching the FC Cincinnati/New York Red Bulls US Open Cup Match with FC Cincinnati’s best player suspended due to yellow card accumulation, which is my vote for being the dumbest rule in sports. Why does it matter how many yellow cards or technical fouls you get to be suspended? Each ref is different and can have a shorter leash or not. There’s already punishment in place if you get multiple in a game, so why extend it over multiple games?

Listen, there’s no doubt there’s a million dumbass rules in sports. There’s a handful of different ways to improve all of them, but that’s not what this is about. This is about hate. This is about what one thing happens during a game that drives you nuts. Is there something that should be on the list here? Did we miss something? Let me know @barstoolreags

Without further ado the definitive list of the dumbest rules in sports:

This was brought up a bunch of times and I tend to agree with this, though there’s plenty basketball rules to fix before this. The idea is simple. You shouldn’t be able to give yourself an advantage because the other team scored. I’d be fine if you get a defensive rebound, call timeout and advance the ball, but if the other team scores no advantage should be gained. Not to mention, the full court has given us some memorable plays at the collegiate level when you look at Tyus Edney, Christian Laettner and Bryce Drew.

Yep, another dumb basketball rule as this falls on the refs. I think most refs aren’t great, that’s not a surprise, but this is one where common sense just isn’t used. We see this happen quite a bit as a team will essentially get punished for a great defensive possession. There will be a turnover or an airball and as the defending team starts to push the floor, the whistle blows the play dead and they have to bring the ball out of bounds because the ref calls a shot clock violation. In theory, I understand the premise of it that you don’t want a loose ball to occur and reward the offense. However, the moment you blow the whistle, the team who just had a shot clock violation can now set up a defense instead of scrambling. Just let the boys play, sir.

Another one that popped up multiple times. This rule sucks. If there’s a pitch coming in that’s clearly going to be wild on a 1-2 count, why wouldn’t you just swing and then run to first base knowing there’s a good chance you can beat the throw? I hate rewarding people for failing and that’s essentially what this rule is doing. You get 3 strikes. If all 3 strikes are exhausted you’re out. No exceptions. Let’s change this one.

Yeah, math sucks. Let’s just go 10 yards and make life simple for everyone.

We see this a lot in Champions League and it’s something that is frustrating. Why does it matter where you score the goals? It should be wins then aggregate goals and then just play sudden death. Don’t give me this away goal bullshit.

My brand is strong with these responses as this is something I’ve been talking about since I started at Barstool. Yes, I hate the charge and think it should be changed. I’m all for banning the charge, which I understand will never happen, so let’s make an adjustment. Start playing with the defensive 3 seconds rule. Make the lane more open for the offense so a ref can’t make another incorrect block/charge call. Seriously, their ability to get this call right is about the same as the Jets winning the AFC East. The thing here to remember is this is just a charge, not an offensive foul. You can’t truck stick someone or shove someone, but I hate rewarding a guy for simply standing there, holding his nuts and falling down. Or even worse is when a big guy gets a charge called on him simply for being bigger because there’s a switch and a guard in the post flops and a ref sees little guy on the ground and blows the whistle. The madness has to stop. Widen the lane a little, add in defensive 3 seconds and it’s at least a starting point.

As for the 5 fouls I’m all for moving this to 6 fouls. Spare me the NBA plays 48 minutes therefore they get 6 fouls while college plays 40 and they get 5. Should high school ball get 4 fouls for playing 32? There’s no way around it. College basketball refs are actually bad. There are way too many missed calls leading to guys in foul trouble coaches still living with the 2 fouls in the first half and you sit forever philosophy (yeah, it’s not smart). Throw in the fact a technical counts for a personal foul and it’s even worse. You need to move the fouls to 6 fouls or take away the technical being a personal. We see too many big games – think the national title game – where it’s a ref show and we don’t get to see the true teams play. I’m not here to see the 9th player off the bench playing 14 minutes and you are a liar or a family member of that player if you say you do.

This rule is awesome. In fact every coach/manager should be in full uniform like baseball managers. Give me Andy Reid in shoulder pads and cleats.

This one came through a lot and I get it. My question is what’s the alternative? Where does the fumbling team get the ball from?

Do hockey rules need enforcers? Better consult with Jordie on that one. I do agree with the delay of game, I think it’s a dumb rule as it’s just smart to launch a puck over the glass at times. As for the offsides review I will say I like it when it means my team didn’t give up a goal. Thrilling to see that happen, especially away from home.