Changes in sports

A while back I did a piece about how cricket has changed over the years since I was a child, and tonight, while typing this, another sport is on TV thats trying to change its style, just a matter of whether this is a good, or a bad thing? Yes, the Brits at least will know I’m talking about snooker.

According to Wikipedia, snooker came to TV in 1969, in the form of Pot Black on the BBC. This was the first days of colour TV, and of course snooker was something that only really worked in colour, so suddenly it came to people’s attention. Whether I watched it at the start, I cant remember, but somewhere in the early days it was switched on at home, even if I was then watching it only in black and white! These were all 1 frame matches, in a 30 minute programme, once a week. Though again according to Wiki, they were all recorded in one go, not one match a week, as an innocent child assumed.

Snooker is one of those sports I’ve sort of followed over the years, the high point probably being that Davis v Taylor world chapionship final in the mid 80’s. What a difference, that was live, and the last frame lasted nearly an hour! Since then the fortunes of snooker has risen and fallen, and is possibly now on the rise again? Possibly due to the bout of gimmicks bought into the game, possibly not?

So, Premier League snooker, is it good or bad? My view, not sure. The fact that people can go to one night of snooker, see 3 matches, and get a ‘winner’ to the night is possibly a good thing, though as the winner thing still only counts towards a league, thats a matter of judgement. Ironically I like the idea of the shot clock, it speeds up the game, and some players (principally Ebdon) take far too long over basic shots, let alone tricky ones. Snag is, there are times you see awful shots played, because of said clock.

Generally I think whats happened in cricket has been good, even if I’m still not a 100% fan of the 20 over stuff, but coloured clothing I do like. Snooker I’m more old fashioned over, I havent really being grabbed by all the trendification here, but that might be my age?

I wonder if in time other sports will need to change, soccer tends to be popular in many countries, though you wonder in the future, as attention spans shrink, if people will really stay excited about the umpteenth 0-0 draw of the season? Rugby league has seen this change, I remember when a team scoring points totals in the teens would not only win, but often win easily. Nowadays more than 50 points in a game is the norm, not the exception! Darts is another sport where however much you admire the skills of the players, variety of targets (most of a leg at least) is pretty limited.

What other sports could try something new? Athletes running the ‘wrong way’ round the track might prove interesting I guess? A one day golf tournament maybe?

Just food for thought really. Any views?

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