# MAKE SPORTS FAIR

## RULES TO MAKE SPORTS CONTESTS FAIR

Every day, I see sporting contests that are inherently unfair. Even the Olympics use unfair methods. Here are simple rules to make currently unfair sports contests fair:

### GENERAL RULES:

1. NEVER use an elimination tree tournament if more than one place is awarded.
Examples of sports violating this:
• The NCAA Basketball Tournament should not award second or third place if they continue to use a tree.
• The Big Ten turned a fair system into an unfair one with the addition of a tree playoff.
2. NEVER divide the contestants into groups for preliminary or regional heats or playoffs if the number of contestants advancing to the next stage from each group is less than the number of prizes.
If quantitative values, rather than places in the groups, determine who advances, this rule does not apply.
Use the Fair Sports Calculator to figure this out.
Examples of sports violating this:
• Olympic downhill skiing has 4 contestants per heat, but sends only two to the nest stage, even though there are three medals.
• Some stock car and dirt track racing groups use preliminary heats for qualification. Only one car from each heat advances, but the final race pays three places.
3. ALWAYS use quantitative values to determine the final places where such values exist.
An archery example: Count arrows in each ring of the target. Measure distances from the center in the event of a tie.
Examples of sports violating this:
• Some Olympic skating events use the winner and second place of each heat, rather than the finishing times.
• Indianapolis 500 uses the 11 best from each day, rather than the 33 best.
4. ALWAYS use a round robin playoff where two contestants must play each other in each game.
To reduce the total number of games played to a manageable number, divide the contestants into groups according to rule II.
Use the Fair Sports Calculator to figure this out.
Examples of sports violating this:
• Almost all football, baseball, basketball, chess, and hockey tournaments.
• Olympics team sports events.
5. ALWAYS use multiple trials where performance varies widely among individual trials.
The best trial shall be selected as the result. Do not average or sum the trial results.
Examples of sports violating this:
• In auto racing qualifying trials, each car gets only one chance.
• In Olympic events, a bad run ends a contestant's try for the medals.
6. ALWAYS use multiple trials where team performance varies in individual games.
A series of an odd number of games shall be used. The team winning over half of the games wins.
Examples of sports violating this:
• Single elimination football playoffs.
• Olympics team sports events.
7. NEVER disqualify a contestant for something that is someone else's fault.
The contestant so affected should get another try.
Examples of sports violating this:
• In Olympic events, a contestant falling due to the action of another is disqualified.
• In auto racing, a bad driver's bad driving can take a good driver out.
• If a star player on a team is injured, the team loses games afterwards.
8. NEVER put dangerous obstructions in or near the field of play.
Examples of sports violating this:
• The Olympic luge track death, due to posts next to the track.
• Too many auto racing tracks have walls immediately adjacent to the track. Leave recovery spaces on both sides.
• Ski slalom gates that can bend and trip a skier.
9. NEVER make racing contestants cross each other's paths.
An exception is if avoiding a collision is intentionally part of the sport (e.g. figure 8 auto racing).
Examples of sports violating this:
• The Olympic speed skating with crossing lanes (Instead, have one lane, and start the skaters on opposite sides of the track).
• In auto racing, cars cross the paths of other cars entering or leaving the pits.
10. NEVER make rules that predetermine an alternation between teams when a certain event in play occurs.
This does not apply to such sports as baseball and tennis, where teams take turns having the ball or the serve.
Examples of sports violating this:
The jump ball was not fair. Neither is the arrow. Let the referee bowl the ball into the circle, use a random event, or release an odd number of balls on the field and give the ball to the team recovering the larger number.
11. NEVER put spectators so close that they can interfere with play.
Examples of sports violating this:
• Baseball has the stands too close to the field of play. Put a gap between the home-run fence and the stands.
• In auto racing, too many spectators throw things onto the tracks. Leave a recovery space between the track and the stands.

There are some games that are inherently unfair. Major overhauls in the rules would be needed to make them fair.

### SPECIFIC SPORTS

• Football: Make the field goal rule the same as the touchdown rule.
The wind blowing the ball back through the uprights should not undo a field goal.
The field goal should be scored as soon as the ball breaks the plane between or above the goal posts.
• Football: If the game is played outdoors or in a domed stadium with the dome open, check and adjust football pressure if the temperature changes by over 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gas laws of physics affect football pressure, even if no air ever escapes from the ball.
• Basketball: The shot clock is ridiculous. It removes some of the most exciting plays.
Let play continue until a score is made, the ball goes out of bounds, a violation occurs, or someone calls time out.
The jump ball was not fair. Neither is the arrow.
• Auto Racing: NEVER close the pits when the yellow light comes on.
Make the pit entrance lane long and wide enough that any car wishing to pit can enter it easily and safely.
Never penalize a driver with a running, but damaged car, for entering the pits.
Put the pit entrances and exits on the side of the track away from the finish line.
Put the pit exits on the side of the track where the racing is not going on, rather than having slowing cars interfere with racing.
Put pit turn signals on the cars.
• Auto Racing: NEVER use engine type or horsepower rules. Allow all possible power plants.
Remove the engine rules, so newer and better engines can be developed and used.
The better car, not the better driver, should be the winner. It's the only way to advance the industry.
• Auto Racing: NEVER put walls next to the racing surface.
It is wrong to damage so many cars and put them out of the race when one car gets out of control.
Put a recovery area on both sides of the track, so a driver can recover control of an out-of-control car.
• Pinball Tournaments: All contestants must play the same machines, not supposedly identical copies.
Each machine has its own small differences. No two machines are alike.
• Pinball Tournaments: Do not use a machine in multi-player mode.
Some machines can leave the playfield in different states at the end of a ball.
An example is a machine that locks balls and releases them later.
Two players playing this machine in the same multiplayer game do not have equal chances.
• Pinball Tournaments: If several different machines are used, adjust the scores for equal effect.
Divide each score by the first replay score, giving a percentage.