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Flopping: Is It Ruining Sports?

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I am a huge sports enthusiast to say the least. I enjoy watching and playing every sport under the sun. To say that I am proficient at every sport would be bending the truth a bit, but I love them just the same. However, certain aspects of some sports absolutely enrage me. At the top of the list is flopping.

For those of you who are not familiar with this term, flopping is when a player experiences minimal contact from an opposing player and proceeds to fall to the ground in a fit of pain. In essence, flopping is faking to get the call. It is a cheap trick and players who are thought to be flopping should be heavily penalized for it.

You may think that flopping is not something to get so riled up about. But, you are wrong and here is why. Flopping is ruining sports. When a 200-pound guard cuts through the lane and bumps into a 350-pund center, would that contact really make the center fall to the ground? Take for instance Shaq and Tony Parker. There is just no way that someone so small can make someone so big fly threw the air as is seen when someone flops. Now, I have heard the argument that players simply embellish what are truly fouls so the officials see what is really going on. But to me, that is just plain wrong. Did you ever see Bill Russel or Wilt Chamberlain flopping? No. They played hard and tough and found ways to win championships without ever flopping. It is ridiculous. And the worst part is that referees fall for it. So, on one hand, sports are being ruined because flopping is straight up cheating and players get away with time and time again.

On the other hand, flopping is ruing sports because it has become so ludicrous at times that referees often ignore real fouls because they feel that the players are just faking it to get calls. For example, last night I was watching the Under-20 World Cup. The United States was taking on Uraguay in the first round of the knockout stages. Now, for anyone who has ever watched soccer (and believe me, I am probably the biggest soccer fan around) diving, the soccer version of flopping, is very prevalent in the game. Often times, replays show that the player, who seems to have had his leg broken by the “foul,” was not even touched at all. However, during this game that was not the case. Danny Szetela of the United States was marking one of the Uruguayan forwards when his Uruguayan began to flail his arms about, eventually striking Szetela in the head. During Szetela’s descent to the ground, the USA players were completely outraged. But the referee and the linesman, who were only a few yards away, let the infraction go unpenalized. Not only did the player deserve to be called for a foul, he also deserved to be thrown out of the game. However, seeing as how the referee thought Szetela was faking it, there was no call.

These kind of antics make it incredibly difficult for the referees to know what is a true foul and what isn’t. With bodies hitting the floor every five seconds, when do you know who is really being fouled and who isn’t? The result? The integrity of sports is being threatened. Sports are becoming unpure. Nowadays, the best actor, not the best athlete, comes out on top. Something must be done about flopping or the quality of the sports in which it occurs is going to continue to deteriorate.

In my opinion, each sport should have some kind of punitive panel consisting of people dedicated solely to policing flopping. By using video replay, floppers can be caught in the act and penalized accordingly. Maybe then this nonsense will stop.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Gym Bags and Portable Scoreboards.