Major League Baseball has adopted Experimental Rule 7.13, governing collisions at home plate. Including the rulebook commentary, which guides implementation of the rule, it takes 351 words to say that runners may not go out of their way to barrel over a catcher, and that a catcher cannot block home plate without having the ball. The word “buttocks” is included, so you know it’s good. ...
Kicking Back Comments: I'm not sure what is funnier the "rule modifications" suggested by SN, or concern showed my MLB to make this "experimental" for 2014. I mean, come on folks, if you think it is important, do it, don't go half way.
For any interested, the text of the rule itself can be found here, in a tweet from MLB.
In the ether, the points have some merit. While I am sure that some actual polling went behind the conclusions, I have to believe the sample size was so small and the focus so narrow that the actual results are not quite on point or at least so general to be not helpful to anyone specific.
Don't get me wrong, they are worth reading as again, each has merit, at least at the highest level of abstraction. Also, the title is a good idea unto itself as well ... provided they are the right referees and coaches. At the professional level this is an absolute necessity, but even there, with the right people. Can we really imagine the outcome of placing a group of young, youth referees in a room with a bunch of older coaches? Are the issues all rules and regulations, or is there something else at play here?
Do we really think that if we take Peter Walton's advise from this article and have referees be more demonstrative in signaling fouls that the types of issues hurled on referees, such as abuse, will end?
How about inconsistency? Do we as referees always want to be consistent regarding fouls all the time for the same reason? I hope not as any number of situations may cause us to intentionally stray from this course of action.
Two very concrete points I really like are (a) make players and coaches take a referee class and exam. This sadly was recently removed from anyone who was getting their "A" license and to the best of my knowledge the certification requires no actual referee classroom work or experience. (b) Is to require coaches to referee a set of matches to feel what it is like to referee.
Some have commented this is not very practical and I disagree strongly. With these (2) steps you could make at least coaches feel empathy for these young youth referees which is what I believe is the intent behind "getting in the same room."
I think we keep forgetting, it is not about the silly rule book or how it is executed in the majority of the youth soccer games across the planet ... it's about the people and how we choose to manage each other. I believe humility and empathy are far more important than demonstrative signals and consistency.
Don't believe me? Try using NFL type signals the next time out and see the reaction you get.
By now most have heard about how the US Men's Olympic Hockey has advanced to play Canada in the Semi-Finals today (21-FEB-14) at 12:00 EST.
Team USA has played well, but not without controversy during the match with Russia on 15-FEB-14, where the USA won in overtime after a goal (box score) which was disallowed by American NHL referee Brad Meier.
My beef is actually with the supervisor of officials for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Konstantin Komissarov. Now you say, that's odd as Komissarov was front and center in defending the referees for making the correct call, and has been vocal about it since the event occurred. My issue is why Meier was even assigned in the first place.
Meier was born in the US (Ohio) and was shortly moved to Canada where he has spent his life, however has never renounced his US citizenship and holds passports for both countries, making him both a Canadian and US citizen. From this my question becomes why oh why was a US citizen assigned to a US match!?!?!
There were several other referees available to do this (list of 2014 officials here) so why even have a whiff of impropriety? Yes Meier is supremely qualified and did a nice job in the match and no I don't think he was tainted in any way, but why even risk it?
Now look what we have ... protests be damned as they are of no consequence ... we have a good referee that made the correct call who will be excluded from any future games this Olympics IMHO. Now functionally that may have been the case anyway as if either the US or Canada go through he would be excluded due to seeing them already or his citizenship, respectively. Then again, can he "turncoat" to US citizenship if Canada goes through?
My point being that I think it was actually pretty silly to assign a US Citizen to a USA match, even if that citizenship is shared with another country. It has put a fog on the USA win over Russia, will certainly have a similar effect if they medal, and most importantly to me, has an excellent referee out of the ruining at a chance to referee a medal match.
Over the last couple of years I had described how like soccer players, soccer referees are endurance athletes, particularly when it comes to refereeing a several match set in the same day.
Recently, the NSCAA held its annual convention in Philly and was attended by Jay Williams, who is the author of several publications including the blog The Science of Soccer. Kicking back has been following him for some time and enjoys both the raw science and commentary he provides.
Mr. Williams was recently asked to speak at the NSCAA annual convention and provided an excellent presentation and slide deck about recovery, both can be viewed here at his blog.
Why beyond curiosity is this important you may ask? I'll offer (2) reasons:
It helps to further understand the sport and its participants from a scientific perspective. Understanding what a player is going through is important to understanding how to manage a match. If you have ever run into a player who is "bonking" and their mood, you'll know what I mean.
Referees are endurance athletes and this information applies to them as well. Don;t forget a referee is running around for 90 minuets as well, and expends energy just like anyone else. Keep in mind, the ability to make accurate decision is also based on fatigue, and how quickly one fatigues depends in part on energy levels of the individual. You want to make good decisions for 90 minuets, fuel yourself properly.
Take a look at the preso as it presents some very necessary steps to assure an individual recovers properly for the next effort.
I'd also recommend the blog generally as the information presented is quite good.