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Friday cannon fodder: sports czar

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Congratulations! You’ve just been named Sports Czar. You can change anything and everything about sports unilaterally. Where do you start? What change do you make first?

I think a no-brainer place to start is VAR. We all know VAR is pretty broken right now. Spending five minutes figuring out whether an attacker’s armpit was beyond the defender contravenes the spirit of the law, creates unnecessary delay, and is just generally bad.

I wouldn’t change VAR per se, instead I would change the offside law. I would make it so there needs to be daylight between the attacker and the defender for the attacker to be offside. If any part of the attackers body that can play the ball is even with the defender, the attacker is onside.

I’ve also got two bonus changes for you. The first: I’d completely eliminate the “delay of game” penalty in the NHL for shooting the puck over the glass. 99 times out of 100 the defender is in no way trying to delay the game. It’s a dumb penalty rule and deserved to go the way of the dodo. The second: fouls committed in the last 90 seconds of a basketball game when trailing by more than 5 points award one shot and the ball. I’m sick and tired of basketball games turning into free throw shooting contests.

So again I ask — what would your first few actions as Sports Czar be?