Olympic games are something that don’t often change. The reason people do them and the reason it means so much is because it’s a standardization, a measure of the physical and mental skill of human beings over the course of centuries and beyond. We have recorded measure of the furthest distance a shot put can be thrown, and each Olympic games, someone tries to beat that record. If and when new sports are introduced, they lose that context and deep history.
But watching them this year, I can’t help but feel that some of the sports are beginning to feel antiquated. Or at best, in need of a thoughtful but critical revision.
Archery is one of those.
Certainly we’ve come a long way from what I’m imagining people in the early 20th century probably used in terms of technology for the sport of archery. I don’t even know much about archery and I can theorize that this shift has been significant. And of course so too have our humans upgraded, each year becoming more agile and precise with their arrows.
But so what? Well, after watching it played for a few hours, the problem became clear… Either everybody who competes is too good, or archery has become too easy.
But being “too good” at a sport is only really an indication of the quality of the rules of said sport. Nobody can be “too good” at chess because chess has been designed in a way that it will always offer its players the ability to improve. So, this means that the problem must be that archery has become too easy. Or maybe it’s just too imprecise.
If everybody, in professional archery anyway, is always shooting 10’s, 9’s, 8’s or at the very least 7’s, then why do the rings for 1-6 even exist?
My revision proposes that we turn the entire area of 1-6 into a 1 point zone. Then, take the ring for 10 and divide it in half, the inner half being worth 10 and the outer half being worth 9. Do this to the 9 and 8 rings, as well, and maybe split the 7 ring into three parts.
The specifics aren’t important, the point here is that the game’s rules are forcing it to be a more precise game, and the athletes will respond to that in kind.
This may not be an entirely evergreen solution though (in another 200 years, would we have to update it again!?). Later this week I’ll talk about another potential solution for archery that might work even better.
[ Today I Was Playing: Hitman Go ]
August 10, 2016