Tag Archives: Rule Changes

MLB Perceived as Having Best Officiating Among Major Spectator Sports, Beating NFL by 64-48% Margin

62 percent said legalized sports betting influences people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games; Democrats and Republicans Can agree on something: the quality of officiating.

 

South Orange NJ, October 29, 2019  — Despite seeing nearly half of all disputed calls reversed by video replay, Americans perceive the officiating of Major League Baseball better than any other major sport.

And what’s truly remarkable in this day and age of polarization, is that Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on whether officiating is good or terrible on a sport-by-sport basis.

“At last, something they can agree on,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business.  “The differences were negligible in almost every case.”

These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted last week among 703 adult Americans across the country on both landlines and cellphones.  The Poll has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent.  (The margin of error for the smaller sample of Democrats and Republicans, 176 of each, is +/- 7.5 percent.)

Major League Baseball scored a 64 percent approval rating for umpiring, with only 3 percent saying it was terrible.  And here we find 65 percent of Democrats saying it is good, and 67 percent of Republicans.

For the NFL, 48 percent rated the officiating as good (57 percent Democrats; 54 percent Republicans), but 27 percent called it terrible. A separate question, the suggestion of using replay on every call, found the public equally divided – 41 percent approving, and 42 percent disapproving, with 17 percent having no opinion.  (While the parties can agree on officiating, they don’t agree on how to improve it. On this there was division by party, with 51 percent of Democrats approving of replay on every play, but only 27 percent of Republicans approving.)

The NBA had a 49 percent rating of “good” for its officiating; the NHL 44 percent; college basketball 48 percent, and college football 53 percent, all very close along party lines (see breakdown by party at the end of this release).

Percent saying that each sport has “good officiating.”

SPORT DEM REP
Major League Baseball 65 67
National Football League 57 54
National Basketball Assoc. 55 57
National Hockey League 43 45
College Basketball 55 60
College Football 65 67

Asked if legalized sports betting influences people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games, 62 percent said yes, 20 percent no and 18 percent don’t know – again, fairly equal along party lines.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone October 21-23 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.  The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.

Media: Media: Marty Appel, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. The NFL has been criticized recently for a series of questionable calls by officials. One suggestion is to have a referee overseeing every call made or not made on video and confirming or overruling the call on the field. Do you approve or disapprove?

Dem      Rep          Ind      Other

1 – Approve                                                                               41          51              27          43

2 – Disapprove                                                                          42          40              56          39

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                     17            9              17          18

 

I’m going to read you a few sports.  Tell me if you think the officiating is good or terrible:

  1. Major League Baseball

1 – Good                                                                       64          65              67          63

2 – Terrible                                                                      3            2                7            3

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                        33          33              27          33

 

  1. National Football League

1 – Good                                                                       48          57              54          41

2 – Terrible                                                                   27          19              29          31

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                       25          24              17          28

 

  1. National Basketball Association

 

1 – Good                                                                       49          55              57          42

2 – Terrible                                                                   13          19              29          17

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                       38          24              17          41

 

  1. National Hockey League

 

1 – Good                                                                       44          43              45          45

2 – Terrible                                                                     6            6                6            5

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                        51          52              49          50

 

  1. College Basketball

1 – Good                                                                       48          55              60          38

2 – Terrible                                                                     9            8                3          13

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                        44          37              37          49

 

  1. College Football

1 – Good                                                                       53          65              67          41
2 – Terrible                                                                   12            8              13          14
3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                        34          26              20          45

 

  1. Is sports betting, which has been legalized in many states, influencing people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games?

 

1 – Yes                                                                                        62          64              62          60

2 – No                                                                                        20          19              26          18

3 – Don’t know                                                                         18          18              13          22

 

  1. Would you describe yourself as a Democrat, Republican, Independent or something else?

 

1 – Democrat                                                                            25

2 – Republican                                                                          25

3 – Independent                                                                       30

4 – Other                                                                                    15

5 – Don’t know/No Opinion                                                      4

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be the third most diverse national Catholic university in the nation.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

Public Supports Antonio Brown Suspension, but Not as a Standard Procedure for NFL

South Orange, NJ, October 8, 2019 — By more than a 2-1 margin, the American public believes suspension of players being investigated for sexual misconduct by the NFL should be conducted on a case-by-case basis, without making the suspension standard procedure.

But the case of Antonio Brown, who was signed and then released after one game by the New England Patriots, appears to be one of the “case-by-case” cases in which the public supported his suspension during the investigation.

These were the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted last week among 714 adult Americans across the country, either on landline or cellphone.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.
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Sizeable Support for Speeding Up Baseball and Increased Scoring; A Majority Likes the Proposed 3-Batter Rule for Relievers

South Orange NJ, April 16, 2019 — A third of the American public (33 percent) say they would follow Major League Baseball more if the games moved faster, (58 percent said they would not), and more than a quarter (28 percent) say they would follow more if there was more scoring, (64 percent said they would not). Nine and eight percent respectively, said they did not know.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll was conducted last week among 676 adult Americans across the country, either on landline or cellphone. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent. Certain questions, including those regarding rules changes, were asked only of those who said that they followed baseball, of whom 456 participated with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent.
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In Wake of NFL Post-Season Controversies Public Wants Rule Changes for Pass Interference and OT

In Wake of NFL Post-Season Controversies Public Wants Rule Changes
for Pass Interference and OT
Nation also ‘tired’ of seeing Patriots in Super Bowl; thinks legalized gambling can lead to scandal

South Orange NJ, February 2, 2019 – By an overwhelming margin, the public wants instant replay for judgment calls such as pass interference, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week.

Asked if replay review should be allowed for judgment calls like pass interference, 82% said yes, with only 10% saying no and the rest having no opinion or saying they did not know.
Among those who said they followed the sport closely, even more, 89%, said yes, while only 7% said no.

Even among the respondents who said they follow the NFL very closely, 85% said yes, they “think instant replay review should be allowed for judgment calls like pass interference.” Among that group of very close followers, however, 13% said “no.”

Regarding overtime possession rules, a majority of respondents polled said that each team should get at least one possession in overtime: 58% said that both teams should have the ball, with only 33% saying the rule (a touchdown on first possession ends the game), should be left alone.

The poll received 985 adult responses across the country, using both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

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31% of Fans Find NFL Less Enjoyable with New Safety Rules This Year

South Orange, NJ, November 2, 2018– With the NFL having instituted a number of new safety rules this season, the football-loving public has weighed in, with 31% saying the game is less enjoyable, and only 11% saying it is more enjoyable.  54% say it has no effect.

Among men, 35% say it is less enjoyable, and among women, the number is 15%.

“It is noteworthy that men prefer the more violent game, as articulated by President Trump,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.

Responses are based on the number of people (469) who have said that they have watched NFL games this season.

The poll was conducted October 29-31 among 839 adults across the country, on landlines and cellphones.  Of the group that has watched the NFL this year, the sampling has a margin of error of +/- 4.6%. Continue reading

Baseball Games ‘Feel’ Faster with Limited Visits to the Mound (2 to1), But Length of Game, Drugs, Declining Interest, Big Market Advantage Are Still Problems for Baseball

South Orange, NJ, May 1, 2018 — By a 2-1 margin, and In the first measurement of “speed-up” rule changes initiated this year by Major League Baseball, 46% of Americans believe that these changes, especially limiting visits to the mound, will make the game feel like it’s going faster. Only 24% said it would not feel faster, (31% had no opinion).

The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted last week after three weeks of this season had concluded, presented a positive endorsement for MLB of its changes.

The Poll was conducted by landline and cell phone at 736 adults across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.7%.

The poll showed 53% saying games took too long, with 40% disagreeing. When the same question was asked by the Seton Hall Sports Poll in 2011, only 44% said the games took too long, with 51% disagreeing.

“The balance has shifted,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Stillman School of Business and its Sharkey Institute. “More fans now believe the games are too long, but MLB should be pleased to see that about half the people at least ‘feel’ they are faster paced.”

The “feel” of the games having a faster pace was important to officials at MLB during the winter, when the changes were approved.

By 3 to 1, a rule that was implemented only on the minor league level was soundly booed by respondents. The minors are experimenting with allowing a runner to be stationed at second base to start an extra inning, but only 20% said they favored that at the Major League level, and 60% disdained it.

Baseball still has at least a perception problem when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, with 39% saying they believe the problem still exists, with 31% disagreeing.

Asked if big market clubs have an advantage in acquiring the best free agent players, 80% said yes, compared to 84% when the poll asked the same question seven years ago.

The poll asked whether there are not enough African-American players in the Major Leagues, a question that was also asked in 2011. Attitudes have shifted over seven years:

There are not enough African-American Players in the Major Leagues

Agree Disagree No Opinion
2018 32 39 29
2011 18 62 14

Among white respondents this year, 27% felt there were not enough; while 43% disagreed. Among African-American respondents, 61% agreed while only 19% disagreed.

By a 4-1 Margin, Ages 18-29 Say They Are Less Interested in Baseball

Asked whether they were more interested, less interested, or “about the same” regarding interest in baseball, by a 4-1 margin, those ages 18-29 said they were less interested in the game. 23% of that age group said they were less interested, and only 5% said they were more interested.

As an aggregate, 13% of total respondents said they were more interested, 21% said less and 60% said their interest was about the same as in the past. Broken down by gender, 15% of women said they were more interested, and 15% said less. But 11% of men were more interested vs. 27% less interested.

In 2011, the aggregate poll found 17% more interested, 18% less interested, 58% about the same.

More interested, less interested or interest in baseball about the same:

 

More interested           Less Interested        About the Same

2018                            13                                21                                60

2011                            17                                18                                58

 

“The numbers are not shifting in a positive way for baseball,” said Gentile.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone April 23-25 among 736 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute, with cell phone interviewing provided by Braun Research.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

 

With regard to your interest in baseball, are you more interested, less interested or is your interest in baseball about the same as in the past?

More interested       13

Less interested       21

About the same       60

Don’t know       2

  1. I’m going to make some statements about baseball. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the statement: The games take too long.

Agree       53

Disagree       40

Don’t know/No opinion       8

 

  1. Big market teams have a better chance of acquiring the best free agents than smaller market teams

Agree       80

Disagree       7

Don’t know/No opinion       13

  1. There are not enough African American players

Agree                   32 (w-27%, A-A 61%)

Disagree       39 (w-43%, A-A 19%)

Don’t know/No opinion       29 (w-30%, A-A 21%)

 

  1. Too many players use performance enhancing drugs

Agree       39

Disagree       31

Don’t know/No opinion       30

6. Do you think changes to the rules of baseball this year — particularly limits on visits to the pitcher’s mound — will make the game feel like it’s going faster?

Yes       46

No       24

Don’t know/No opinion       31

 

  1. The minor leagues are experimenting with starting each extra inning with a runner on second base. Would you like to see this rule implemented in the major leagues?

Yes       20

No       60

Don’t know/No opinion       20

8. More home runs were hit in the major leagues last year than ever before. If home run numbers significantly declined would your interest in baseball increase, decrease or remain the same?

Increase       4

Decrease       12

Remain the same       76

Don’t know/No opinion       8