New Age approach to game-breaking

A RECENT game of rugby union in Japan was settled in a very innovative manner after the two sides could not be separated by normal means.

The match, a national semi between Yamaha and Toyota (Japanese rugby at the elite level is almost totally corporate-based) was all-square after the regulation 80 minutes.

Extra time is not allowed so with full agreement from the rugby hierarchy, the captains launched into the time honoured tradition of rock, paper scissors to decide which team progressed to the prestigious cup final!

It's a shame that a country responsible for more than its fair share of life threatening martial arts and ancient rituals couldn't conjure something a little more spectacular, but it could have been worse.

The tight forwards could have embarked on a quest to fashion origami swan figures in a set time with the winner judged by the opposing wingers (who know about such things).

That aside, the rock, paper, scissors tomfoolery sets a tremendous precedent that should have entrepreneurial sporting administrators coming up with ever more innovative methods of settlement.

Cricket, one of the few games able to be deadlocked after five Test matches of five days each has as always been at the forefront.

Not content to settle things with a quick spin of the bat and a call of hill or flat they concocted the lottery called the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Consequently, a one-dayer will never be drawn again. Unemployed rocket scientists can't understand how it works but at least we have a result.

Baseball (and a few other sports come to think of it) could resort to shaking its sluggers ? he who rattles the most wins?

A dead-heat in a marathon could easily be resolved. Get the runners to come back the following week, only this time anyone weighing less than 60kg is required to eat three square meals in the lead-up, including a chicken vindaloo in the last 24 hours.

Before starting they will also be required to strap a 30kg water container to the flat bit where their bellies should be ? that way they'll get to run in a similar condition to the rest of us!

Rugby union has it taped already with the sculling of beer, while eating a rollmop herring and a Weetbix already an entrenched method of settling most things.

Male tennis could have a serving contest (what do you mean they already have?), while their female counterparts could separated by a decibel meter.

No more tedious tie-breaks ? the loudest squeal of exertion at deuce in the last set takes the bickies.

Soccer has long dabbled with extra-time and penalty shoot-outs, but perhaps should look to its star players as a means of resolving tedious draws.

English Premier League games drawn after 90 minutes will be awarded to those teams with more than two players with Cockney accents.

In the likely event of the game still being tied referees will ask each striker to run into the penalty box where the assistant ref will waft his foot in the general direction of the approaching player. The usual histrionics will follow with the winner adjudged by crowd acclamation.

Golf should no longer resort to wearying play-off holes ? the 19th hole should be just that.

Just like the rest of us the competitor holding the 'snake' at the completion of 18 should head to the bar to shout while the other player gets the jacket and the enormous cheque.

Darts is obvious ? a hot dog eating contest until either protagonist can eat no more. Alas that may take longer than the game.

Any ideas or other comments would be greatly received via email on

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