It’s Just Not Cricket

We all know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and generally speaking that’s good advice.

We’ve seen this when they start tinkering with TV programmes and the intro music changes or the format gets meddled with.

But sometimes we just need to embrace change and break with tradition. Why keep something the same all because it works? A variation or something brand new can work too!

The problem is we resist change and get very tetchy about it. We fight it. We don’t like it.

Cricket is a good example of this. This is a game with a ‘six-ball over’ set up that has served the game for years and years. But now the England and Wales Cricket Board will abandon tradition by scrapping this as part of its 100-ball competition and will have overs of either five or ten balls! Some are up in arms and say this is just not cricket!

Another example of “that’s the way we have always done it” syndrome is darts.

The arrangement of the numbers around the circumference of a standard dart board is 20 1 18 4 13 6 10 15 2 17 3 19 7 16 8 11 14 9 12 5

No one knows how this particular pattern was selected but it has been part and parcel of the darts scene for years. There have been variations of these numbers too and these haven’t caught on. A new revolutionary dartboard has been suggested called the “optimal” dartboard. This rearranges the traditional positions of the numbers 1 to 20 to make them as mathematically perfect as possible.

On a standard dartboard, the low numbers are placed next to high ones. This makes for an interesting game because it penalises players who miss their targets. David Percy, Professor of Mathematics at Salford University, has an idea to add a couple more constraints to make the dartboard as hard as possible:

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