my brain is injured

(sort of inspired by Tim’s entry below about back passes)

It originated in a sensible idea. To speed up play and cut out long stoppages, players would be carried off the field of play to be treated, unless there was some risk in moving them. Maybe it was thought unworkable at grounds where there were no motorised stretcher buggies, but they ended up dropping half of the deal, and ending up with nonsense, the worst of both worlds.

Now no one gets carried off the pitch unless they are seriously hurt and being removed. Anything short of that gets treated on the pitch – and then the player, often the victim of some appalling foul, has to walk off the pitch, adding to the delay, and stand on the sideline for some small time until the referee beckons him back on. What we have is all the delay, maybe more, and the victim gets penalised.

The other thing that’s gone beyond sense is kicking the ball out for someone to get treatment. Again, it started sensibly: to allow players needing immediate medical aid to get it. Certainly a good thing. Now players are booed for not hoofing the ball into touch because someone has had a knock on the shin, something that by no measure needs instant help.

Then there is the irritating bad-faith restart: you give the ball back to the team that had it and kindly stopped play, right? Well, it seems to be becoming common now to ‘give the ball back’ by kicking it out near their corner flag, then pressurising the resultant throw-in – again, the appearance of sticking to the code without any of its purpose. How does the sense seep out of all these things with no one noticing?