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What Ideas Do You Have to Improve Your Favorite Sport?

Written by corres2

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What’s your favorite sport — to play or watch? What about the game do you find most compelling? The strategy? The uniforms? The history?

Despite your love, are there any things that irritate you about the game as it is presently played? Are games too long? Rules too confusing? Is there too much or too little scoring? Is the game not adapting to these modern times and a new generation of fans?

What ideas do you have to make your favorite sport even more fun, exciting or successful?

In “Sports Have Been on Pause. It’s Time for a Reboot.” the Times Sports desk reconsiders the health of professional sports and offers a plethora of ideas to improve them. Here are excerpts from their recommendations for baseball, football, basketball and soccer:

In M.L.B.

Speed up the game, but for real.

Eliminate mound visits. Reduce warm-up pitches. Stick to two-minute gaps between innings. Keep batters in the box and pitchers on the mound.

If you own a team that finishes last in the division three years in a row, you and your family must divest entirely.

But the team stays put.

Encourage bat flips.

There is nothing in the rulebook prohibiting bat flips and fist pumps — just your grandfather’s old-fashioned sense of decorum.

In Pro Basketball

You wouldn’t cut away from the climax of a movie, so why keep doing it during a big game?

More than other major sports, the N.B.A.’s drama is mostly found in the final two minutes — a span that can take 20 minutes in real time. The N.B.A. is addressing this, slowly, by limiting late timeouts. But keep the cameras rolling, and the audience in the arena, with no commercials.

What’s more thrilling than a 3-pointer? How about a 4-pointer?

Players like Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry have stretched the floor and the imagination by being efficient scorers from beyond 30 feet. Reward them.

Make “posterize” more than a metaphor.

Players dunked on memorably must be made into actual posters, to be handed out to children at the next game.

In the N.F.L.

Get serious about helmet technology and brain injuries.

Every shot to (and from) the head must be penalized — even “accidental” ones — until they’re rare. And it’s long past time that the N.F.L., which admits to the game’s damaging effects on brains, invests fully in a moonshot-type reimagining of the helmet. The hard shell was designed decades ago to prevent skull fractures, not concussions. Go full marshmallow?

In Soccer

Stop letting men’s soccer run women’s soccer.

There is no reason for women’s soccer, a sport experiencing its boom in the 21st century, to adopt structures and rules created by men in the Victorian era. Want to tweak some rules? Go for it. Want to have continental superleagues, as they do in European basketball and the N.B.A.? Go for that, too. Then create a global club championship for the top teams in each league.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

  • What’s your reaction to the article and its many recommendations — ranging from the creative and daring to the practical and the silly? Which improvement offered by Times writers would you most like to see come to true? Which of the proposed changes do you disagree with and think might hurt the game? Explain why.

  • Before making your own bold proposals, first tell us your favorite sport to play or watch. What draws you to the game? Which aspects do you find most compelling?

  • Next, diagnose your most beloved sport: What, if any, are the weaknesses of the game in its current form? Do you see any obstacles to its long-term success and health? For example, is it too long? Too slow? Not enough scoring? Too much scoring? Does it require too many people or too much equipment to play? Is it too dangerous or too expensive? Is it turning off younger fans?

  • Now, tell us how you would fix your favorite sport: What bold, wild or even fanciful changes would you propose? Share at least two ideas and explain why you think they will improve the sport.

  • Finally, how hard would it be to put your changes in place? What might be the drawbacks or unintended consequences of your game changes? How might purists or other critics respond to your proposals? What would you say to persuade them to join your side?

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