Do fans of other sports talk about rules changes as much as F1?

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    Keith Collantine

    Here’s a great point I saw on Twitter and one I’ve always wanted to ask fans of those funny sports that don’t have cars in them:

    Do F1 fans and the media spend too much time talking about how the sport should be changed? What non-motorsports do you watch and are they always talking about changes to the rules?



    I don’t think there are many sports where rules change as often as to motorsport and whenever there is a rule change, there is debate and people for or against.

    Take football for instance and the introduction of video referral. It’s a proven tool in many other sports (rugby and field hockey just to name 2), the technology is there and it would not bring much extra cost to big teams, championship and competition. It would only makes the result a bit more fair, yet a lot of people complain and are against since it is not the identity of the sport (something we might have heard before in F1, ID, DNA, you name it).

    One could argue that those are sport with a long history, a strong identity making people refractory to changes. But golf is a great counter exemple. Rules have not changed for like 40 years and they are proposing a heavy revision to the rule book to make rules simpler, more accessible to everyone and probably more attractive. Once again this makes sense and people are mostly in favor of such changes recognizing that it is needed to do so at our time. You will always find people against, but not as many. It is however a big talking point in media as well but with lots of curiosity as to what will be the result and mainly approving the change.

    A last example, probably the closest to F1 I can find : America cup. This is highly technological sailboat racing (enough to attract Adrian Newey). The rules are changed for every new challenge (every 3-4 years depending on the challenge). It’s a totally new class of boat which is defined every time which I find really exciting as I am found of technology and pushing the limit (reason for which I began follow F1 in the first place). They have had a challenge basically decided in courts which has made much noise and for which the community was unanimously against. But since then they have reacted well to prevent such occurrence. Rules clarification are made by an independent board. It has work very nicely recently to make sailboat racing dynamic and accessible to everyone (specially bringing the action close to shore). The only voices against rule changed I have found regularly is about foiling, some people think that it is not sailing to have flying boats and that the link between grandpa sailing every sunday and the cup is lost. But it is still mostly accepted by the community as a necessary step towards performance and to keep the class as the pinacle of sailboat (which is not the case anymore with F1, there is not that step in performance and wow factor compared to other series despite their complexity). The big black point according to me (not spoken about in the media and not relayed by the fan, probably due to the fact it is not in the media) is that sailors and media are highly controlled in what they can say. No swearing on board because there are cameras on board with sound and is susceptible to be aired, no bashing of the events, in one word everything should be always great. It provide a good and positive image of the sport, but it is really too much control to me.

    Sorry for the (very) long reply.
    In other words, yes people are reacting but probably not as much as in F1. I am pretty sure every rule change divide people who need a bit of time to reunite around the ne rules before it gets changed again. And F1 is just splitting people more and more, everyone having a different opinion about what the rules should be.



    Nice post mate!

    As an Aussie my mates will constantly argue over AFL rules and interpretations. They don’t stop to be honest, drives me mad as AFL is not the sport it was 20 years ago.

    But we do have a group of 5 dad’s at local footy that follow F1 (not F1F’s like me but know their stuff) and we dont talk about the rules as much as our AFL mates do. But that may be more so they don’t look into the rules a deep as I do maybe.



    Well, I started watching diving last year and I have not noticed such discussions at all. Then again, you can probably not compare diving with F1 in this regard. F1 is just so incredibly big, its fanbase is humongous. Countless blogs and other websites are dedicated to the sport, news and new articles seem to appear every minute. There are not many diving fans, who would be ready to spend hours discussing if Tom Daley should have got 8s or rather 9s for that dive, whereas F1 folks will go to any lengths to prove that Hamilton did not deserve that penalty or that Alonso would beat Vettel if they were driving for the same team.

    That goes for the rules as well. There are just so many dedicated fans (or F1 pundits, for that matter) who dig really deep so it makes sense that they discuss everything F1-related, including the rules. In fact, I do not think it is a bad thing as long as we stay pragmatic and do not ask for a revolution after every Russian GP.



    There’s not much to discuss in many sports isn’t there? Most of them have a rulebook older than the bible whilst the F1 one changes almost every year.

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