Sports Perspective: A look at professional sports - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Sports Perspective: A look at professional sports

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Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:00 am

In recent years, many professional sports leagues have altered the traditional rules of the game. Whether it be to protect the health and safety of the players, or to simply restore the integrity of the game, there has clearly been a lot of changes throughout professional sports.

It began with the NFL (National Football League) becoming much harsher on what players can do on the field regarding the types of hits they are allowed to deliver. At one point, there was no problem with helmet to helmet contact or diving at the quarterbacks’ feet. Now, not only are players penalized on the field, but depending on the degree of the hit, many are fined as well.

Although it has never been allowed, restrictions on performance enhancing substances have been rapidly increasing. The outbreak of Lance Armstrong and his use of such substances have deeply affected the sport of cycling. The transportation of these drugs were either just not apparent or people simply turned the other way. However, with his story publicized, the amount of those illegal substances has dropped severely.

In addition, the MLB (Major League Baseball) has continuously been attempting to reduce the use of performance enhancing substances as well. Although they are not completely gone, the MLB has made noticeable progress in reducing their use and restoring the fairness and integrity of the game.

The new transformation in professional sports has now moved to the NBA (National Basketball Association). The flopping epidemic is now over. In an effort to “Stop the Flop”, the league has created a policy in which is defined as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.”

The result: players will get a warning the first time and fined $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 for the fifth time. If players reach six or more violations, they could face suspensions.

(Editor’s Note: See more from Sports Perspective online at

As for player reactions, they seem to be pretty upbeat and excited to get back to the fundamental game of basketball. Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant and Oklahoma City guard, James Harden were some of the first to come out in agreement saying that “it’s good” and “I like the rule”.

Ironically, the European players have quickly been targeted because of their popularity in flopping which mostly stems from soccer. However, Denver Nuggets guard, Danilo Gallinari believes that those allegations are unfair saying, “We flop as much as other players all around the world flop.”

As generations pass and professional sports progress, there is a clear need for these types of changes throughout sports leagues. There are many factors that have influenced these changes and they will continue to have to make them.

Through new equipment and technology, players in the NFL must receive the protection they are beginning to gain. It is also the history of injuries and the rates of suicides during retirement that have prompted the NFL to make the changes they are making. In addition, the NBA has taken a tremendous step in retaining the integrity of the game in which they were beginning to lose.

Looking to the future, I can predict that these types of changes will continue in professional sports world-wide. The next target must be soccer because their flopping epidemic makes NBA players look like they had no idea how to flop.

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