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Is football a more complex sport than baseball, basketball, and soccer?

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3 hours ago, candyman93 said:

If you understand what a pick and roll is, you understand 99% of basketball right now. The other 1% is the difference between what is worth 3 points vs 2 points.

Well I know what a pick is, but not a roll. So I understand 50.5% of basketball. xD

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I think "complex" can be too easily misunderstood as to mean "requiring superior strategy" or something like that.  

The rules of the other games are relatively simple compared to Football; however, that is not to say that those games themselves are more simple than football.

Soccer's rules are very simple, but the strategy of playing soccer is every bit as complex as you'll find in other sports, American football included. However, those without a more intimate knowledge of soccer typically discount it. People do this with everything. I didn't appreciate the complexity of bowling until I spent a summer hanging out at a bowling alley and really getting into the sport. 

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Looking at the sports from an introductory level, it is a lot easier to get kids playing soccer, hockey, and baseball at an early age (preschool/kindergarten). Basketball is more difficult in getting kids at the game  skill and concept level (dribbling/passing/ catching and double dribble/traveling/spacing/fouls). 
Anybody who has ever coached youth football knows how difficult and long it takes to get 11 nine year olds line up and ready to run an offense play somewhat correctly. And then we get to learn to not jump off side when the play is on “Hut 2” instead of “ Hut 1” LOL. 
 

As for the complexities of higher level games, I think about how many different penalties are possible involving 22 players on a single football play.  And we don’t even know what a “catch” is. 

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I think the answer is football, but there are more “games within the game” in baseball than football IMO. Either sport at their highest levels have lots of complexities, it’s closer than people think.

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Hockey: icing is not good, when in fact the entire rink is ice. Fail.

Football: 53 guys on the roster but only the kicker and punter actually touch their foot to the ball. 51 fails. 

Baseball: only four bases and one ball. Fail.

Basketball: only two baskets and one ball. Fail. 

Soccer: LeBron-level flopping, with cleats. Fail. 

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Maybe. The non-Americans I work with seemed to pick up the rules pretty quickly when we'd watch the games at my apartment, but they all mostly played rugby as well. There was a fair bit of symmetry between the two.

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To play/coach: Football

To watch as an inexperienced viewer: Football

To watch as someone well versed in watching sports: Baseball

There's a lot of little things in baseball that go unnoticed by everyone but the guys SUPER into it and the statistics are more complex and thorough than anything football has. However, it's a lot easier for someone new to grasp the basic concepts of baseball compared to the basic concepts of football. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Spartica4Real said:

To play/coach: Football

To watch as an inexperienced viewer: Football

To watch as someone well versed in watching sports: Baseball

There's a lot of little things in baseball that go unnoticed by everyone but the guys SUPER into it and the statistics are more complex and thorough than anything football has. However, it's a lot easier for someone new to grasp the basic concepts of baseball compared to the basic concepts of football. 

See this is my problem though. The more analytics are introduced into basketball and into football now these notions of complexities become simply added components.

Like in basketball there’s a “game within a game” as well as in football as well.

When you have a great defender that’s guarding you, utilizing spacing, drops steps, hesitation maneuvers, euro steps, pump fakes, proper pivot (without being called for a travel), triple point stance, head fakes, picks, crossover dribbles, foot angles, body contortion, shoulder dips, etc, etc... are all happening on any given interaction between a defender and an offensive player... and that’s just the OFFENSIVE ARSENAL (and not fully covered). Watching Kobe Bryant vs Bruce Bowen or Shane Battier or the Celtics championship defense was like watching a master class. A basketball player like Kobe and Jordan are also watching tape of competitors to analyze complex tendencies to develop an attack strategy offensive/defensively. It’s not just a guy dribbling a ball around aimlessly.

In football there are tons of games within the game. Sure on a basic level you have offense, defense, special teams. But I’ve been watching football for some time and still am not fully aware of all the different route releases a WR might have at his disposal to get a corner to flip his hips early to control the route, how he might manipulate defenders by waiting until the last second to look for the ball. Or on the opposite side of the ball how a defender might try and confuse a QB/WR timing by presenting a specific strategy to get the QB/WR tandem thinking a specific route release perfect to beat that only to switch to off coverage at the last second with a shade to the outside. Perhaps the QB is also reading a slight lean in said corner that is a slight minuscule tell that he does when he’s generally going to switch to a zone coverage, even if he’s presenting press man... thus that small tell might tell the picture of what the entire defense could be doing.

Perhaps I’m underestimating baseball because it’s the sport I played at the lowest level compared to the rest, but I keep seeing how deep it is because of “the game within the game” with no one actually explaining what makes the game so “complex” in comparison to any other sport.

Most simply say “the game within a game” and that’s it.

Edited by diamondbull424
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did he have full control of the ball during the landing....

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Some baseball player - "round ball, round bat, but you gotta hit it square."

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Baseball die-hards tend to be really jealous of football fans for some reason.

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The question itself is "complicated".

 

Football is the game with by far the most convoluted game.  With an array of rules that doesn't make any easy, logical sense, and frankly most hardcore fans can't even completely figure out how they're adjudicated.  It's by far the most difficult of the major sports for someone to just "casually" watch, or get into, or to introduce absolutely green beginner players as a youth coach.  It has extremely high "barriers to entry".

At the end of the day though, you can still kinda boil Football down to the same thing as most "stick and ball" sports..."You put the ball in the other end more and you win!"  Which is what happens every year 'round the SuperBowl.  Just most people don't really understand exactly what led to that happening.

 

Same is true of sports like Soccer and Hockey though.  It's easy to just define them as, "ball/puck goes in net, duh".  But they're both built on very similar strategy that has far more nuance to it than that.  It's also strategy that adds a degree of complexity by playing out in real time...without a stoppage to call a new "play" after every down.  It's constant adaptation on the fly of "systems".  There are still very much "set plays"...but they're more complex in that they're plays of opportunity...rather than just lining up and executing it as part of normal gameplay.  Where everything in Football at least starts out as a designed, set play.

 

Honestly, soccer bores me to death.  I can't watch it without falling asleep.  I appreciate the strategic element to it.  It's just insanely slow and boring.  I just think it's better served by putting it on ice, with sticks...and calling it hockey.  The thing that's so complicated about hockey...is that you're making decisions on a surface substantially smaller than a football field, walled in, and on ice where everyone is moving significantly faster.  The play doesn't just stop...between every pass and let you rest.  It's an ever-evolving situation, developing at high speed.

 

Football has a degree of nuance that is lost on most people who haven't played it...but at its core, it still boils down to a series of very specific assignments, snap to snap.  Each player still only has one real role to fulfill.  Sometimes that depends on a key, but it's still just following a set of rote instructions specific to your position and role.  That's simple.  The opposite of complex.

 

The "complex" part of Football, is in trying to have 11 or 12 players all execute a specific set play time after time.  The unity of it, is complexity of its own.  But other sports face this too.  Just with...a lot fewer people on the field of play.

 

 

Basketball to me, is a sport that i don't even know what to say...it just makes no sense from the start.  Why you gotta bounce the ball and not just bull it to the goal?  It's weird and arbitrary, but not in a complicated way.

Baseball is a deathly boring sport as well.  But i can see the appeal of it at least.  It's the absolute poster child for being deeply not complicated, to the point it's where most of sports analytics started and have been the most successful.  It's a game built around isolation of roles.  Which makes it probably more interesting statistically, than actually watching it.  Which seems like a really bad thing.

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On 5/26/2020 at 9:36 PM, Spartica4Real said:

To play/coach: Football

To watch as an inexperienced viewer: Football

To watch as someone well versed in watching sports: Baseball

There's a lot of little things in baseball that go unnoticed by everyone but the guys SUPER into it and the statistics are more complex and thorough than anything football has. However, it's a lot easier for someone new to grasp the basic concepts of baseball compared to the basic concepts of football. 

I feel like the fact that baseball can be so neatly broken down into statistics is an argument against it's complexity. 

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4 hours ago, Tugboat said:

Basketball to me, is a sport that i don't even know what to say...it just makes no sense from the start.  Why you gotta bounce the ball and not just bull it to the goal?  It's weird and arbitrary, but not in a complicated way.

Everything you broke down about soccer and hockey comes up within basketball. The only difference is the utility of how you move the ball/puck. They each have their own rules/restrictions. One might ask... why can’t you use your hands to touch a soccer ball? Someone else might say “well it IS called futbol”... but it’s all still arbitrary.

But yeah I agree somewhat, I was never particularly a fan of soccer (probably because my HS football team competed with our soccer team for sport supremacy... they won), until I got into college and realized what made it good. Though what makes it good is also what makes Hockey good as well. Those series of plays the ALMOST lead to a score, but don’t... which builds to a crescendo where each score feels far more special than in basketball (outside of a buzzer beater, those are dope in every sport). 

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