Sports and how Time is a Factor
Authored by: Sean  

How interesting it is to consider different sports and games from the viewpoint of time. Yes, you can kind of play with time – imagine being able to juggle wristwatches, wall clocks, pocket watches, stop clocks or stop watches. Imagine being able to throw all these timepieces up in the air and joyfully watch them glint in the sun as you handle them deftly. Playing with time indeed!

For this blog though, we are talking about the way different kinds of sports and games are governed by many rules, including time. Take basketball for instance. This is a very popular game in quite a few countries around the world. The National Basketball Association, or NBA, lays down the rules of a basketball game as being played in four 12 minute periods. There is also 5 minutes overtime.


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Interestingly, basketball also has something known as the shot clock. This is nothing but a 24 second interval within which the team with ball possession should attempt a shot! Ice Hockey is one of the fastest games (in terms of pace of game) on the planet. Interestingly, it is also one of the few games that is played in three sections or periods. Each period lasts 20 minutes. Since there are plenty of stoppages, an ice hockey game can stretch to way beyond 1 hour.

American football seems to be the one game that stops time a lot! Traditionally, it is played in 4 quarters of 15 minutes each. But there are such frequent time outs that this game can be prolonged for a very long time indeed.


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Interestingly, baseball seems to have no fixed time frame. Did you know that the longest baseball game has stretched to almost 8 and a half hours? This was in 1981 and the game was played between Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings.


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Of course, we are talking about professional baseball games but there are plenty of other instances of baseball games lasting a staggeringly long time. Perhaps on the other end of the spectrum lie sporting events such as the various kinds of races and swimming events. The objective here is very simple. Run as fast as the wind! And to the fastest man, goes the spoils of victory.  So here, there really is not a fixed time frame to finish the sport in. Yes, the race will start at a particular time but it is really up to the athletes to finish it whenever they want/can. So there you have a Usain Bolt who seems to justify his name in spades. Can you even imagine running 100 meters in 9.63 seconds? Bolt was invincible at the 2012 Olympics.

In fact, even in other races (that last way longer than 9.63 seconds) it is all about finishing in record time. For instance, it could be the grueling Tour de France or one of the famous marathons that are run all over the world.


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Here, it is a question of one athlete constantly trying to break a particular world record or a timeframe. At the end of the day, sports and games are also governed, in very different ways, by time. But one thing for sure, athletes such as Usain Bolt and so many others give you memories that can last for a lifetime.

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