Top 10 Unwritten Rules in Sports

Unwritten Rules A successful bunt during a Major League Baseball game this past weekend caused an unwarranted brouhaha between a petty pitcher and a shrewd hitter.

Toronto Blue Jays’ outfielder Colby Rasmus laid down a perfect bunt against Texas Rangers’ pitcher Colby Lewis in the 5th inning of a 2 – 0 game. Rasmus’ infield hit irritated Lewis because his bunt single came during a defensive shift employed by the Rangers.

Lewis yelled at Rasmus when he successfully reached first base during the game and commented after the game that Rasmus’ ploy was unethical and violated the unwritten rules of baseball; namely, bunting against a defensive shift.

Lewis’ pettiness has prompted me to pen this blog.

That’s because the subject of unwritten rules in sports always stokes the embers of animated discussions among diehard sports fans.

Some fans immediately laud unwritten rules as time honored traditions that compliment the black and white regulations permanently etched in NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and FIFA rule books.

Other sports enthusiasts like me revile unwritten rules and dismiss these quirky superstitions as loosely interpreted gentlemen’s agreements. Breaking them is not illegal, but unwritten rules purists view any transgression as highly unethical.

Who can argue with the premise that if unwritten rules are so important to be followed, then they should be written down, chronicled and brow beaten into the hearts and minds of those who play, officiate, coach, report on or attend actual games.

It should come as no surprise that unwritten rules capture a written spot in one of my FREE sports comic books: Worst About Sports.

FREE Worst About SportsClick on yellow cover image above to safely download the FREE sports comic book: Worst About Sports.

Here are my top ten picks for one of the anathemas of the sports world – unwritten rules:

  1. in football, no contact should be initiated by the defense during a football kneel down at the end of a game whose outcome appears to have been decided.
  2. in baseball, a batter should never cross the pitcher’s mound after grounding or flying out.
  3. in golf, replace all divots, keep quiet when others are putting or driving, stand away from the pin, rake sand traps, etc. There are plenty of them in this sport.
  4. in hockey, only Stanley Cup Champions are allowed to actually touch the Prince of Wales Trophy.
  5. in soccer, giving up possession of the ball to the opposing team which just lost a player to injury.
  6. in basketball, dribble out the clock at the end of the game when the outcome has been decided.
  7. in baseball, don’t steal when several runs ahead.
  8. in baseball, don’t bunt when your team has a cushy lead.
  9. in baseball, don’t stand in the batter’s box admiring your home run and further embarrassing the pitcher.
  10. in baseball, discuss a no-hitter in the making.

I’m certain there are plenty more unwritten rules in the NFL, NBA and NHL. But, I won’t waste any more of my time writing down rules that other sports fans believe should be painstakingly followed, but never written down.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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