Sporting Life

From rules to records, nothing survives test of time

Almost nothing in sport is sacred, not traditions or technique, not records or champions. Nothing stays, not coaches and not stadiums. Nothing lasts forever, not playing surfaces or tennis players like Suzanne Lenglen, who chewed mid-match on sugar cubes soaked in cognac. Sport is the ultimate arena of change.

Rules and regulations, especially, are tinkered with every month, contemplated by committees and pondered by panels, who get under the hood of a sport and try to tune it better. Not every result is genius. At the 1936 Olympics, basketball officials insisted on a ban on any player taller than 1.90m. Fittingly that rule was sunk.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2020, with the headline 'From rules to records, nothing survives test of time'. Subscribe