Originally Posted by gonzostrike
the "rule" in a sporting event is the "law" applicable to that event.
I don't think it's merely semantic. Laws are something that apply to everyone, whether they want them to or not, and they are (or at least may be) enforced with by the state with all its power, including violence. Rules of games are something you choose to be governed by when you choose to play the game, and they don't affect anything other than the outcome of the game. They're fundamentally arbitrary.
|you think the 10 yards reflects nothing?
The difference between 10 yards and 9 yards, 2 feet, 11 inches is nothing. Okay, it's not quite
nothing, but it's arbitrary.
|you think the distinction between 2pts and 3pts for a basket reflects nothing?
It is very important: indeed, the outcome of a game sometimes turns on it. The minor distinction is that between 23'8" and 23'9". The real point is that the 3-point line is just an arbitrary dividing line. Just as the line that's ten yards downfield from the first down is arbitrary.
There's no logic or reason for drawing either line in that exact place. The Canadians put the first-down line in the same place, but they only get three downs to pass it. The colleges draw the 3-pt. line closer. Indeed, the NBA drew it closer for a few seasons in the '90s.
The 45mm boot-height limit is not any more (nor less) arbitrary, nor is the 55mm stand-height limit, etc.
There's not really anything wrong with that. For games to work their best, they have to have clearly-understood rules. It wouldn't really do if every time a shooting guard made a shot from out on the court, he then presented his case to the referees, arguing why it was "really far enough" that he should get an extra point (then perhaps settling for 2.6 points).