moving the goalposts

5 sporting rule changes that crashed and burned

One organisation close to us all is a regular culprit.

SORRY, GAA. BUT we’re calling your black card rule dead in the water.

Let’s face it. You’ve been the culprit for a few needless tweaks and experiments hither and dither over the years, but this one would bamboozle Pat McEnaney himself!

Still, you’re hardly alone. Here’s some of the most ridiculous rule ‘innovations’ to pollute our green fields in recent years.

Football: Referees with a can of spray-paint

This was typical FIFA genius. Take a small problem like players encroaching closer than 10 yards from a free-kick and bring forth a comically unworkable solution.

Easy on the fumes there, lino.

YouTube credit: Lee Averiss

GAA: The Fist (and only fist) Pass

What seemed like just another season of Championship football came grinding to a halt time after time with a shrill blast of the referees whistle in 2010.

The association and its referees were quick to back down after a steady stream of managers spit fury on the idea that players would have to re-learn a basic skill of the game in the middle of the season.

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Rugby: Collapsing the maul

This was just down-right dangerous. For a while defending teams were allowed to take their life in their hands and deliberated crumble 800 odd kilos of beef onto their heads. Thankfully, not any more.

Has anyone told Munster it’s legal again?

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Football: The Silver Goal

The Golden Goal was harsh, but at least you knew where you stood. The Silver Goal was a wishy washy halfway house of a rule which  left a team with some, but little time to respond.

It was the rule that put Greece into the Euro 2004 final for crying out loud.

YouTube credit: Greekopolis92

GAA: The Sin Bin

It works super smoothly in rugby, but when the GAA tried it out on the O’Byrne Cup in 2005 it caused utter confusion.

The black card is the new and improved answer to the sin bin, just don’t expect that to mean it’s going to work.

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Which ill-fated rule changes annoyed you most?

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