Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fair Play: Host's hold over events make SEAG nutty

EVER since I heard that a Southest Asian Games host can add or drop any event it wants, I’ve always thought that this rule should be revised, if not dropped.    

It seems hosting the biennial games is such a burden that you’d have to give all the incentives to the hosts to make it worth their time or the millions they are likely to spend.

Seriously, if it’s that burdensome to host the SEA Games, why not make it quadrennial like the Olympics, instead of doing it every other year?

Take the case of this year’s games, to be hosted by Myanmar this December.  It won’t have water polo, badminton, gymnastics, lawn tennis and table tennis because the hosts have zero chances of a medal.

Imagine, a multi-event meet without gymnastics? And tennis?

What farce is this?

In lieu of these Olympic events, the Myanmar Games will have strange events like kempo, tarung derajat, vovinam and chinlone.  The addition of chinlone highlights the absurdity of this practice.  Based on online sources, chinlone is a traditional “sport” in Burma that combines dance and sport and is non-competitive as six guys don’t compete against each other but in essence, help each other as they pass around a ball.

Imagine that, a non-competitive event in a sports competition.

What’s next?

A question and answer portion in athletics?

The most Twitter followers in football?

The prettiest basketball player?

The most non-officials in the delegation?

Like my high school math teacher kept saying, there are many ways to skin a cat, and in this case, there are many ways to make hosting the games beneficial for the host, without the absurdity of having other countries worry about what games will be dropped.

How about a second entry for the hosts in some event? Let them field their developmental pool members in the competition, so they can be honed.

Sure, that may give them a bit of an advantage in the medal tally, but still, that’s a whole lot better than this practice of adding and dropping certain events.

Just imagine, if one national team has set its sights on the SEA Games and has, say, designed a program toward that goal only to realize months before the meet that the event is dropped?


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