Should NFL coaches or Major League Baseball managers be required to pay a fee in order to protest a bad call? They would be if football or baseball were an Olympic sport. Here is an excerpt from this fascinating report in the Sunday Times:
Unlike major professional sports like soccer, baseball or football, protests are relatively common in Olympic sports, and each sport’s governing body has strict rules about the protocol. There are time restrictions. There are guidelines on whether the protest can be oral or must be in writing. And there is, ultimately, the bill.
And don’t try to pull out a credit card at the protest table.
“It has to be cash,” said Ivor Lehotan, the vice president for information for the International Biathlon Union. He added, dryly: “It’s like a processing fee.”
Depending on the sport, the fee varies: for luge, it is 50 euros (about $67). Cross-country skiing, like snowboard and Alpine skiing, demands 100 Swiss francs (about $112) but stipulates that all protests must be submitted in English. Bobsled and skeleton are among the most expensive: they require a deposit of 100 euros before any protest will even be considered.
Notice that this system converts official protests in Olympic sports into mini-wagers, since the Times’ report goes on to explain that you get your money back if the judges rule in your favor.
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