Sports are almost always a pretty big source of controversy; it’s just their nature to be. If they weren’t, they probably wouldn’t even exist. What do we mean by that? Well, in order for something to be a sport, it pretty much requires competition, and in order for something to be competitive, it almost necessarily requires the same sort of spirit that generates controversy – the drive to beat others, be better, and win. Well, the controversy we’re talking about today is a little bit different; today we are talking about sports rules.
Although the controversy in sports usually comes from the referee making a bad call, some doping allegations, or cheating in some form or another, the controversy we will be discussing today has to do with the structure of the sports themselves. To make it simple, we’re talking about rules. Although rules are necessary for every game and sport, many times the rules can be seen as stifling. They can actually make the competition less enjoyable than it otherwise would be. This is what we are concerning ourselves with today. The rules on our list range from downright silly to just completely unnecessary. These are 25 Sports Rules That Are Silly And Controversial!
In Kyokushin style karate, you aren't allowed to punch people in the head, but you are allowed to kick them in the head.
Yea, we know it’s to protect the puncher’s bare hands. But if we’re so worried about hurting ourselves, what about the guys head when he gets kicked? Shouldn’t that be protected too?
Note: it’s combat, we’re being sarcastic.
Every rule of ferret-legging
Seeing how long you can hold a ferret in your pants is in and of itself quite silly.
The seeker and snitch in quidditch
Ever since quidditch became an actual sport (we’re being serious – usquidditch.org), it has become apparent that JK Rowling never intended for humans to try playing it. The snitch was just a plot point to make Harry important, but now on college campuses all around the country, people are chasing “snitches.”
The amateur rule in the Olympics
At least back when it was in effect
Losing points in gymnastics if you don't have perfect hair
Now you know why every gymnast’s hair looks like plastic.
Penalty on the crowd in NFL if they were too loud
Guess what happens when you penalize the crowd for yelling to loud? They yell louder! Thankfully, this rule is gone.
Designated hitters in the MLB
Because the American League has designated hitters and the National league doesn’t, the World Series basically changes depending on which stadium it’s played in.
Love 15, 30, 40
Don’t date tennis players…love means nothing to them.
Golfers not being allowed to ask their opponents for advice
It’s a penalty if they do.
3 timeouts during the 4th quarter in the NBA
It makes the last 30 seconds of the quarter last longer than the first 11.5 minutes.
Fanboost in Formula E auto racing
The driver with the most twitter mentions during a race gets a power boost for a short while. (Formula E cars are completely electric.)
No instant replay in pro-wrestling
Okay, yeah, we’re joking. It’s scripted anyway; what’s the point?
Water polo players whose caps come untied are ejected.
If this rule were actually enforced, less than half of each team would be left.
Dress codes in golf
Long pants and polo shirts only. It’s no secret that this is a hugely contentious issue.
At least one girl having to touch the ball during every play in volleyball
This wasn’t just gym class. This can be found in the official international volleyball rule book.
Note: it’s actually the girls that tend to hate this one.
No contact in women's lacrosse
Isn’t it supposed to be a contact sport?
The caution clock in NASCAR Truck Series
If caution (debris on the track that basically causes the race to reset) hasn’t been called in 20 minutes, then a “competition caution” is called. Supposedly it tightens up the field to promote excitement. In reality though, it has even caused several crashes. Kind of ironic right?
Sacrificing the winning team's captain during the Aztec sport of tlachtli
Or was the it the losing team? Or the whole team? Nobody is completely sure, but almost without fail, somebody would get the knife after every match.
Baseball players are not allowed to associate with players of the opposing team while in uniform.
Fortunately, this one isn’t enforced.
Injury timeouts in college wrestling
Isn’t that the whole point of the sport? Ok seriously though, this rule is abused all the time, especially when someone pretends to get cramps or something similar.
Over-celebrating is a yellow card in soccer.
…and in the NFL it’s a penalty.
No checking in women's hockey
Why do women’s sports always require so many special rules?
No replays in soccer (football)
It’s supposed to keep the game going, but there has been a lot of push for this lately.
Having to wear a suit if you are ineligible to play a game in the NBA
Apparently, it’s because too many players were showing up dressed as hood rats. Thanks, Allen Iverson.
Losing a point in gymnastics for picking your wedgie
Technically, it’s half a tenth of a point.