Rules That Needed to be Broken

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Rule changes this century that shaped the way players play and fans talk about sports today.

by John Gettings
AP/Wide World Photos

Could last summer's amazing home run totals in Major League Baseball have something to do with rule changes earlier this century?

Imagine watching a basketball game that took four hours to play because teams could hold on to the ball as long as they wanted to and attempt as few as 10 shots in a game.


How about an ice hockey game where nobody could pass the puck forward and the goalie faced four shots the whole game.


This could have been the case if not for some imaginative people. People who for one reason or another wanted their game to move in a different direction. There have been thousands of rule changes in sports made during the 20th century, but these seven stand out has having the biggest effect on their respective games.

Keep in mind most of the rules for our most popular sports like baseball, golf and soccer were written well before this century. We'll save that list — and a list of the rules that were way too crazy to get passed — for another day.

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