On a weekend where short form sport almost took over the sporting landscape in Australia, it makes you wonder what is next.
We have just seen Auckland Nines Rugby League, Rugby Sevens, and Nitro Athletics. All after the very popular T20 Big Bash, and the much less successful Fast4 Tennis. Well, there’s only so much you can do to make Tennis interesting. There’s even been a short form sport of Netball with Fast5’s.
With the modern world having a shorter and shorter attention span, who can blame any governing body for coming up with a bastardised short form sport to entice more fans. What else can they do.
Everything these days needs to be done quicker, with less detail, and with plenty of action. Hell, even the President of the US now runs the country (and arguably some of the world) with just 140 characters or less.
Despite this trends of attention spans in nanoseconds, there will hopefully always be room for the purists and the longer form of sport. Cricket purists will still hope fully be able to enjoy all 5 days of a Test and whine with good reason at just how bad and self indulgent the clowns on Channel Nein (2016 Jerks of the Year) are. Or room for the people who still rubs their hands with glee at the end of a 0-0 draw between 2 Championship Football sides or watch 4 days of a non Golf major, hoping for some Rod Pampling updates.
But short form sport is here to stay and will no doubt grow, given how very successful the T20 Big Bash (keep your grubby hands off it Channel Nein).
There’s still some sports left that need a little short form sport facelift, and a little Jazz. Who better than The Gurgler Sporting network to come up with some suggestions.
TURBO 18 GOLF
Golf is pretty boring, and long. If any sport needs a short form sport version it is golf.
Sure there’s skins, but features just 4 players. Not good enough. We suggest Turbo 18 Golf.
It features 18 players and a two hour time limit. Of course to fit all 18 at once will require a shotgun start, just the way The Gurgler likes it. To give a little pre match sizzle the shotgun order can be drawn 18 minutes before the start, and the clock is ticking once it’s done.
The two hour time limit is in place, and the worst three are eliminated every half an hour. Leaving nine of the best for the last 30 minute scramble. Players may not get through 18 holes, but anyone who does gets a bonus 5 points.
Scoring is via Stableford scoring, so getting through the most holes may not necessarily be best if you score like shit. There’s no calling up. If someone is quicker behind another player, the quicker can play through at the same time. Including on the greens where we might see two golfers putting at once.
There are to be no practice wings or lining up putts. We will also remove mot of the clubs so players are left with just 6 clubs of their choice. No Buggies or Caddies. It’s all about speed and the golfer with Turbo 18 Golf.
THE 400 x 1 M TRACK RELAY
As successful as Channel Seven claimed Nitro Athletics was, it probably wouldn’t be so without Usain Bolt, and he won’t be around forever. So Athletics need to plan for a Bolt free future.
People love the 4 x 100m relay, in the spirit of new short form sport and raising the excitement levels, we suggest the 400 x 1 metre relay.
Aside from seeing how Jamaica are, athletics punters and sports fans everywhere all tune in to see the baton change, hoping for a drop to spice things up.
So we say why not have more of them. 396 more of them.
Each team has 400 athletes on track 1 metre apart, and the raft of baton changes begin. With 3200 athletes on track it will be impossible not be captured by all the action.
With so many baton changes there’s bound to be multiple clangers, and that’s just what the punters are hoping for. Hopefully there will be more in the stands than the amount on track.
So sit back and watch the chaos of the 400 x 1 m relay.
FORMULA 5 SUPER PRIX
Given the dominance of Mercedes in previous year’s (and Red Bull, Ferrari et al before that) and F1 new US owners looking to shake things up, there’s never been a better time for short form sport for F1.
Please accept – The Formula 5 Super Prix.
Throughout 2016, only the poor starts from the Mercedes pair gave hope of some good racing until the Red Bulls came good. In fact in a lot of races not affected by rain, the first 5 laps and especially the first lap and corner is usually the height of the excitement for the race.
So we say, why not have 5 lots of 5 laps super short sprints.
Each mini race begins with standing start, with a cooling down lap in between each start. Grid order is based on the previous race, except the first where it is reverse Championship order.
Points are awarded from 1st to 5th only, with the final of the 5 races to be double points. Points are combined for the overall winner.
Imagine, the best part of the race 5 times over. Now it could be a reality with the Formula 5 Super Prix.
TRIPLE PLAY BASEBALL
Given the success of short form sport for Cricket with T20, its American cousin may well be able to join the party.
The short form sport for Baseball could be so easy, and all brought to you by the number 3.
Instead of 9 innings, there will 3.
Instead of 4 Balls, and three strikes there will be just 3 pitches. A best of 3 for balls or strikes.
3 Outs remain to keep the 3 theme.
We’ll even throw in a bonus 3 runs for any home run that is hit way back, way back, way back and it is gone out the ballpark.
If the rare of even of a triple play is achieved, that team automatically wins, no matter the score.
Triple Play Baseball could be the short from sport answer for Baseball.
OTHER SHORT FORM SPORT IDEAS
Sick of being told there’s F*** All for them in various sporting shows, time limits with exploding balls punishing slow play, and flaming hoops will no doubt excite new Croquet fans.
NFL have just had their big day, and probably don’t need a short form sport. But if they do, we suggest just 1 down to reduce the tedium of watching a game.
SUPER OLYMPIC RELAY
Somehow getting a relay/decathlon type event where every single sport is run at once. It begins at dawn and finishes under lights at the main stadium that night condensing the Olympics into one day.
Imagine the Equestrian rider handing over to a gymnast by leaping over the Pommel Horse who then dives on the 3m springboard, who then does a 200m IM, who then throws a ball to the Water Polo team who then bat a Volleyball on who then provide an Alley-Oop for Basketball and so on.