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Rashard Higgins’ controversial Browns fumble stirs a debate: What is the worst rule in sports?

Browns receiver Rashard Higgins had the sport in his fingers, and he handled it carelessly.

This isn’t how one survives within the NFL playoffs. Which is why Cleveland goes residence.

Higgins’ fumble as he prolonged the ball towards the purpose line — however didn’t fairly make it — traveled over the suitable sideline ultimately zone. By rule, that resulted in a touchback, and the Chiefs had been awarded the ball at their very own 20-yard line with 1:34 left within the first half. The Browns trailed by 13 factors at that juncture, so a landing would have put them inside single rating of the lead going into the break. They wound up dropping, 22-17.

The Browns grew to become victims of what some individuals name the worst rule in sports activities. These persons are flawed, however their argument is a compelling one.

There is no such thing as a different place on the sphere the place a fumble that travels out of bounds is just not returned to the fumbling workforce. Simply people who happen on the finish zone and are usually not recovered by both workforce (or people who happen at one’s personal finish zone and unrecovered, leading to a security). CBS analyst Invoice Cowher advised at halftime of the KC-Cleveland sport the fumbling workforce ought to retain the ball however be positioned again on the opposing workforce’s 20. He identified that’s a extra extreme value than any offensive penalty incurs.

The Higgins play ignited a vigorous debate, performed out on Twitter, about whether or not this, certainly, is the worst rule in sports activities, with dozens of various laws offered as prospects. Right here had been just a few of the main candidates.

MORE: Did Chiefs’ Daniel Sorensen commit helmet-to-helmet penalty against Browns?

Dropped third strike in MLB

There are those that assume that is ludicrous, however it’s completely grounded within the logic of the sport. If the catcher needn’t catch the ball to finish the out, then why wouldn’t any foul tip on the third strike be rung up as a strikeout? This isn’t a nasty rule. That is an important rule.

Verdict: Not even a contender.

Designated hitter in MLB

We’ve lived with this one for half a century, and it’s at all times been pointless. It removes some attention-grabbing technique from the sport – sure, I do know, the world hates the sacrifice now – and places yet another participant into the lineup who does nothing however swing for the fences. It’s an invention designed to create extra motion, and such calls for often come from those that don’t care a lot for the game.

However right here’s the factor: It’s a good rule. Every workforce has the chance to exchange its pitcher with somebody more proficient at hitting. Prefer it or not, it’s neither illogical nor unjust.

Verdict: Doesn’t even stand up to bat.

Defensive move interference = spot foul in NFL

Faculties award solely 15 yards for defensive move interference, and plenty of who comply with NFL soccer imagine this needs to be the rule within the professionals. However lowering the penalty incentivizes breaking the rule. If I’m a school DB who’s probably crushed for a TD, I seize the receiver and pull him down. Worst case state of affairs: 15 yards as a substitute of fifty. Greatest case: Ref misses my foul. 

Verdict: The NFL has this one proper.

Focusing on in faculty soccer

Let’s see: Somebody on the market believes defensive gamers ought to have the ability to use their helmets as weapons? That may’t be true. Most likely it’s the assumption that the penalty – rapid ejection – is just too harsh. This can be very punitive. However one would assume with such a extreme sanction awaiting those that interact on this conduct, there can be virtually no cases of it in faculty video games. And nonetheless we had the identical Clemson participant dismissed from consecutive CFP video games.

Yep, it’s harsh. It must be to get gamers to cease main with their helmets. 

Verdict: Come on, individuals, use your heads.

Charging in faculty basketball

The game’s rulesmakers – overwhelmingly coaches and sport officers – love expenses greater than cupcakes, sunshine and Tom Hanks motion pictures. The coaches assume it rewards toughness and teamwork; principally it rewards flopping and punishes thrilling assaults on the basket.

This isn’t a few ballhandler who bulldozes the participant assigned to protect him; the problem with expenses is the with the “assist” defender who slides in on the final second and absorbs contact from the participant who’s attempting to place the ball within the basket, which is the article of the sport. The justification for the cost rule is the defender is entitled to the house being occupied. However no lively participant needs to be occupying house; she or he needs to be performing a operate. Standing is to not be confused with defending.

In 2013-14, then NCAA coordinator of officers John Adams and the principles committee tried to cut back the incidence of such expenses by requiring the defender to be in authorized guarding place earlier than the offensive participant initiated a scoring transfer. The cost practically was extinct. Refs complained it was too onerous to name. Coaches hated it. And right here we’re.

Verdict: This may be the light-heavyweight champion.

Fumbling by the tip zone is a touchback in NFL

That is what obtained us began, so it’s price discussing. It’s straightforward to declare this a nasty rule, as a result of it’s undeniably punitive — and it doesn’t match up with the logic of the sport. If one fumbles within the area of play and the ball goes out of bounds, it’s returned to the spot of the fumble. So if Higgins’ error had been addressed in line with the usual rule, the Browns would have had the ball on the KC 1, first and purpose.

There’s something to be stated, although, for punishing a participant who’s careless with the ball at an important place on the sphere. Cowher’s thought probably can be enough punishment. A really sturdy argument may very well be made for following the principles in pressure for the entire of the enjoying area.

Verdict: Probably the No. 1 contender.

The advance-the-ball timeout in NBA

That is the undefeated champion. Being permitted to advance the ball nearer to the purpose by calling timeout is fully contrived. It penalizes the workforce that does the higher job by the course of the sport. It’s antithetical to the aggressive logic of the game. Time and house matter for all however these essential closing seconds, then they’re tossed apart for the sake of manufactured drama.

Does it create pleasure? One might say that it does. It additionally diminishes pleasure, as a result of the problem of conjuring a game-winning basket when the ball is superior to midcourt is way much less daunting than when one should traverse the size of the court docket in 4.8 seconds (Tyus Edney) or 2.5 seconds (Bryce Drew) or 2.2 seconds (Christian Laettner). And, worst of all, there’s no value to be paid for these 50 toes. They nonetheless assist you to take your timeout and draw up a play.

Verdict: Endlessly, trash. 

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