Change is imminent, and we have seen it happen in sports over the years. While most of the upgrades are typically related to the rules, recently, newer versions of classic games have come into play as entertaining formats that have captivated the fans.
Shorter duration of play, the inclusion of lesser-known playing countries, rules that result in high scores, and a sense of performance created around the games have all resulted in a spectacular show of sportsmanship. From the mega event in cricket that is the Indian Premier League, with its dance performances and quick matches, to Fast 4 Tennis, introduced in Australia a few years back where Rafael Nadal beat all his opponents in the opening games, there is an apparent change in the way games are appealing to a broader audience.
Although there are purists who believe that the spirit of the game is often lost when played differently, the fact remains that we live in a world where it is not possible to sit and watch sports for hours at end. The shorter versions are not only helping players, teams, and companies stay in business but are also responsible for encouraging the younger generation to pick up sports as a viable option for life.
The end of a sporting season can create a void that is often depressing. Especially when it is something so monumental as the NFL. Keeping this in mind, the formation of the Alliance of American Football received a warm welcome by teams and fans alike. Eight teams participated in its first ever season in 2019. Although the Alliance has gotten into some money issues, the future still holds bright for the broadcasting of football during NFL off-season.
A sport primarily popular in schools and colleges, netball is trying to make a mark on an international stage. One of the ways to go about this is by having the sport represented in the Olympics. With this in mind, a faster version of netball is now gaining interest in the hope to impress the Olympic committee. The top teams of the world, which includes Jamaica, Samoa, and Malawi in addition to England, Australia, and New Zealand are trying to boost the acceptance of the sport by making it shorter and more entertaining.
The T20 format in cricket has been instrumental when it comes to making the game prevalent not just with the younger generation, but also with countries which till now did not have professional teams. Cricket was initially played over five days, after which a shorter one-day version continued for decades. The last few years have changed this into a 20-over per side match, reducing the time even further. Moreover, with a change in rules, it has become a lot more interesting resulting in high scores.
A speedy version of the game, rugby sevens includes seven players a side and seven-minute halves. The game is backed by the topmost rugby governing body in the world, giving it more credibility. Due to the change in the time and number of players, Rugby sevens was a part of the 2016 Olympics and will again be there in 2020 with 12 teams participating and gunning for the gold medal.