When it comes to rules in sport, there is something for every situation. These rule books are tomes full of minutiae for referees to memorize and apply correctly. Some of these are weird sports rules you have never heard of from a range of different sports. Here are just a few:
Major League Baseball
If a ball gets stuck in a mask or you touch a ball with your hat.
Rule 5.06 in the MLB rulebook states that if a pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask and remains out of play, runners can advance one base. Rule 7.05 in the same rulebook says that a fielder should not touch the ball with his cap, mask or any other piece of kit no longer in the proper place on the body. If a field uses their hat or glove to touch the ball, the runner can advance three bases.
Dice banned in Canada
Craps is a game in which the players make wagers on the outcome of the roll, or a series of rolls, of a pair of dice. The name is believed to come from the French crapaud, meaning toad, and is possibly a reference to the way players would squat down to shoot dice on the streets.
In Canada, it is illegal to use dice when playing Craps. The craps game rules came about after the reported use of remote-control dice in some establishments. Some in Canada have found a way to use cards to play Craps.
National Football League
The legal free-kick and drop kick
A fair-catch kick is rare, but it is a legal play in which a kicker attempts an uncontested field goal from the spot where a fair catch was made. The last successful free-kick was in 1976. Even more rare is the legal dropkick, which occurs when a player drops the ball and kicks it as, or immediately after, it touches the ground, in an attempt to make a field goal or extra point. In 2006, Doug Flutie converted the NFL’s only successful drop kick since 1941.
Throwing a ball into the goal
There are a couple of weird sports rules in international soccer. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rules state that a goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in. The same association states that a goalkeeper is allowed to hold the ball in his hands for a maximum of six seconds, otherwise an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team.
Golf club breaks mid-swing
If the head of a golf club head becomes separated from the shaft during a backswing, the player completes the swing but misses the ball. In this instance, the player will not be credited with a stroke. However, if the clubhead breaks off on the downswing and the player misses the ball, they are considered to have made a stroke.
National Basketball Association
Facing the wrong way on the court
If both teams accidentally face the wrong way when the jump ball is tossed up on the court, officials have just 24 seconds to stop play and restart the game or half. If more than 24 seconds have elapsed, Rule 2, Section VI of the NBA rulebook orders teams to continue to shoot for that basket for the remainder of that half, then shoot at the opposite basket in the second half or overtime, if there is still basketball left to be played.
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