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NHS Chief Advocate

Barksdale: Some Pro Sports Rules Just Don’t Make Sense

NFL+wide+receiver+Tyreek+Hill%2C+left%2C+was+fined+in+2023+for+violating+a+league+rule+about+his+socks.+%28Courtesy+of+All-Pro+Reels%2FWikimedia+Commons%29
NFL wide receiver Tyreek Hill, left, was fined in 2023 for violating a league rule about his socks. (Courtesy of All-Pro Reels/Wikimedia Commons)

There are always rules made before each season for professional athletes. Some are made to help player protection or make the game go by faster, but some rules players and fans find to be ridiculous. 

“Yeah, I got fined for my socks,” professional football player Tyreek Hill said to the Palm Beach Post on Oct. 5. 

Yes, the Miami Dolphins wide receiver got fined $7,000 for not wearing the proper uniform. 

The National Football League’s rules state that “Skin exposure of the lower leg and ankle area due to improper wear of game socks and/or leg coverings is prohibited at all times throughout the game.” 

This rule is absolutely ridiculous. These guys are professional athletes who have been playing football for almost all their lives. Why bother with this insignificant rule? 

The NFL wants to have a professional look and wants players to look the part. But is it really necessary for professional athletes to wear socks that are too short? Unless there is a logo or brand that is banned by the NFL, there’s no good reason for it.

There are stadiums that have high temperatures like the one Hill plays in. Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, for example, has an average high temperature of 87.5 degrees, according to the Miami New Times. 

Players are already running and exerting force on each other every play. Between socks, cleats, pants, jersey, helmet, and shoulder pads, there’s quite a bit of weight along with the extra trapped heat. 

Another rule that doesn’t make sense that was added to Major League Baseball was banning the shift back in September 2022, a rule which went into effect for the 2023 season. 

MLB’s shift rule means that the four infielders need to be separated evenly so that two players are on each side of second base and are on the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered. 

This rule was made by MLB to “increase the batting average on balls in play, to allow infielders to better showcase their athleticism and to restore more traditional outcomes on batted balls.”

This idea does allow for infielders to show their athleticism more and increases the chances of pull hitters earning base hits, but it also takes a part of the game away that allows fans to be curious for how defenses would prepare against the game’s best hitters.

“Without the shift, it takes away from the excitement of seeing where the hitter usually hits the ball, and it’s always more exciting seeing a home run hit over the shift,” said T.J. Angiolini, a Nonnewaug sophomore baseball player. 

The shift takes away from the excitement of a player like David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox coming up to bat and hitting a home run over the shift, like he did in the 2013 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, as well as many other times. And it also prevents players like Ortiz surprising a shifted defense by laying down a bunt in an open space on the field.

The bottom line? We just want rules to make sense.

This is the opinion of Chief Advocate reporter R.J. Barksdale, a junior football and baseball player at Nonnewaug.

About the Contributor
R.J. Barksdale '25
R.J. Barksdale '25, Reporter
R.J. Barksdale is a junior at Nonnewaug. He likes sports and plays football and baseball. He also is part of the ag program. R.J. is from Beacon Falls and is interested in writing about sports.
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