8 Weird Rules in Sports That Will Surprise You

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People say that rules are there to be broken, which is probably why some athletes do just that. Every sport has its own set of rules, some of which you can’t argue about because they protect players and the sport, and others, people just can’t agree. Such borders on the weird rules in sports because they are almost inconsequential to the outcome of the game. Check out these weird rules in sports.

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Disqualification for Using an Unsigned Score Card

Spotcovery-8 Weird Rules in Sports That Will Surprise You
A display of the golf course. Source: Photo by 10 Star

Golf provides one of the most weird rules in sports. Any player who hasn’t signed their scorecard is disqualified. That’s very harsh as many people would argue that the player should be allowed to sign afterwards or later. After all, the organizers know that they registered for the event and have the points collected.

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Second Serve in Tennis

Spotcovery-8 Weird Rules in Sports That Will Surprise You
A tennis player about to serve on a clay court. Source: Photo by Gonzalo Facello

When I first started watching tennis, I never understood why the player got two chances to serve. Doesn’t it take the edge away as professional tennis players are well trained and they should have to be able to execute their first serve? 

There isn’t a big loss, but it’s rare for professional athletes to get second chances when they mess up the first so tennis players should count themselves lucky.

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Golf Course Silence

Golf course etiquette. Video Credit: Skins Golf

The weirdest sporting experience I’ve ever had is having to be silent at a sporting event. This is what happens in golf tournaments. When a play is preparing to take a shot, game marshalls will raise their boards with the sign “Quiet please”, to alert fans to maintain silence. 

The point of this is to do away with any destruction so that the golfer remains focused. If you’re a photographer, ensure your camera doesn’t produce the click sound. It beats the purpose of being at a sports event.

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Goalkeepers Staying on Line During Penalties

The technique of saving the penalty kicks. Video Credit: Business Insider

There have been so many rule changes in football and some are highly questionable. One of them is the fact that goalkeepers are now mandated to stay on the line until the penalty taker hits the ball. 

Many argue that it gives the goalie little chance of ever saving a kick. However, this rule was implemented as goalkeepers tended to abstract penalty takers by coming off the line.

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Player Down Without Contact

Another weird rule in sports that will make you question the essence of college football. In this rule, a player is considered down when his body parts other than the feet and hands touch the ground, even without contact. 

This is contrary to what most sports like soccer operate. A tackle should rule the player down other than just a slip or fumble. Perhaps it’s time that college football and the NFL rules are integrated. After all, some of these players will go to the NFL.

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Timeouts in the NBA

Timeouts in the NBA. Video Credit: Sports Magnet

One of the most frustrating things in the NBA is a timeout that comes when the game is just minutes away from ending. 

It takes away the adrenaline and the most climactic moment of the game to allow the teams, who already have a plan to get a bit more coaching. 

This can change the trajectory of the game as the team that was on a high, lose that momentum. Just let them play.

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Yellow Card For Removing a Shirt

Getting a yellow card in football. Video Credit: Tifo Football

For a long time, footballers celebrated a goal by removing their shirts. However, in 2004, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) outlawed this practice so today any player who removes his shirt gets carded. 

This behavior was considered unsportsmanlike, but some fans argue that it’s more of an expression of passion and intensity of the game. In a tournament like the World Cup final, a player will still be carded for this after winning the game. 

Handball Rule in Football

Handball rule in football. Video Credit: Tifo Football

The handball rule is useful in that when a player deliberately touches the ball, he or she should receive the appropriate caution. In this case, a yellow card, a red card and the opposing team can get a penalty if it happened in the 18-yard box. 

However, recent rule changes have ruled out “intent” in judging a handball. Sometimes, players end up touching the ball without intending, for example, when sliding or running, and some referees have issued a game-changing decision like a penalty. 

This leaves players, fans and coaches wondering where they should take their arms or how they should position themselves.   

There are so many other weird rules in sports that leave fans and players wondering how they can keep up. A lot of criticism is levelled towards sports governing bodies as most of its officials are deemed to be out-of-touch and trying to remain relevant by making unnecessary changes.

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