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The Authoritative Rules Weekly


Ron Hobson joins

as Senior Sports Writer


Rules Making News is extremely proud to announce the addition of Mr. Ron Hobson to the position of Senior Sports Writer. Mr. Hobson is currently a 39 year veteran Sports Writer for The Patriot Ledger newspaper. He is one of the most respected newspaper, TV, and radio sports personalities in the country. He not only hosts the popular and highly rated "NFL Sunday" radio show on WEEI in Boston, but he can also be heard nationally on ESPN Radio and seen regularly on numerous Boston television sports shows.

Besides being a beat reporter for the New England Patriots for 39 years, he's also covered and written stories on every major sport in the country. Mr. Hobson's expertise and insight helps solidify Rules Making News as the leading online Authoritative Rules Weekly covering all aspects of the Rules industry. This includes Rule changes, interpretations, controversies, and in depth interviews of people affected by Rules.

Rules Making News welcomes Mr. Hobson on board!


By Ron Hobson for

BOSTON --- There are times, although few, when professional sports comes up with an idea that makes perfect sense.

The National Hockey League's new overtime rule is a prime example of satisfying all areas of the sport, including the players, coaches and fans. The rule was put in to effect, in an effort to resolve more tied games. The results have been more exciting games, less ties, and a new scoring system. However, this new scoring system has taken some coaches a longer time to understand.

The league introduced a 4-on-4, five-minute overtime period after a regulation tie. Each team is awarded one point for the regulation tie. The winner of the overtime is awarded an additional point. That, of course, is different than in the past, when a point was rewarded for a game than ended in a tie. Two points were awarded to the team that won in overtime and the losing team received no points.

Grace Yu, MD, director of the Stanford Health Care-O’Connor Hospital Family Medicine Residency program, and Jeff Peng, MD, and a chief resident this year, both said it’s more McColl’s style to enthusiastically dive into his work and learn everything he can to build his medical knowledge and skill.

“He doesn’t really talk about all of his accomplishments,” Peng said of McColl, who is a second-year resident. “He focuses on learning and medicine, and he’s just a great guy to have around.”

Still, McColl’s penchant for staying in the background isn’t easy to pull off. He stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall and carries himself with the confidence of the linebacker he was for the 49ers beginning in the 1981 season when they won their first Super Bowl.

"I think what you have seen with the new overtime rule change is teams have become a little more conservative in the final five or ten minutes of the third period," said Dale Arnold, the veteran television broadcaster of the Boston Bruins on New England Sports Network. "The thinking is, at least let's just get a point. Then when we get to overtime, we'll go like crazy and get that extra point."

Arnold says some coaches, like the Bruins' Pat Burns, understood what the added point would mean in the long run. Some teams will play overtime in a wild frenzy if it is against a team that doesn't play in the same division or conference. But, against a team in their own division, the play even in overtime would be a bit more conservative.

"A case in point was a situation that the Bruins were involved in the other night when they were playing Vancouver, a western division team," said Arnold. "If you lose the extra point to them it really doesn't matter, where if you are playing New Jersey and you are playing them for a playoff berth, you don't want to give up that point."

The Bruins were flying all over the rink in overtime. It was the most exciting hockey of the night.

"It was unbelievable for the fans," said Arnold. Burns said early on in the year it would take a while for coaches to get a feel how you were supposed to play the overtime. He has gotten the feel for it quicker than others."

There was an overtime in New Jersey recently where the two Bruins' defensemen, Ray Bourque and Tim Sweeney, were behind the New Jersey net at the same time. They were going for the win. p>Sometimes when Milt McColl, MD, is on rounds with other physicians in his medical residency, patients turn to him, thinking he’s the doctor in charge who can answer all their questions about their health. But he quickly corrects their mistake.

“No, no, I’m still learning, he tells the patients, deferring to the senior residents or attending physicians he’s accompanying on the rounds.

The patients’ confusion isn’t surprising. McColl isn’t exactly your typical resident ­— many of his peers in the residency program are close to the ages of his grown children. I profiled him in a recent Stanford Medicine news article.

But the endearing thing about McColl, say people who know him from the program, is that he’s a friendly and humble guy who doesn’t like to draw attention to himself.

But he doesn’t talk about that much, instead explaining how, like his father before him, he managed to juggle playing football during his undergraduate work at Stanford, then with the NFL while also attending medical school. William “Bill” McColl, MD, became an orthopedic surgeon after attending medical school at the University of Chicago while playing for the Chicago Bears in the 1950s. Milt McColl earned his medical degree at Stanford in 1988 and got his medical license after an internship that ended in 1989, just months after he played his last professional football game.

"It was like it didn't matter, they were going to go for it," said Arnold. "I really like the 4-on-4. It's like east/west hockey, where guys from western Canada would play guys from eastern Canada 4-on-4 in practice. The fans love it. I think the players love it. The whole idea is a big winner for everyone."

There are, however, a few detractors of the new system. Roger Neilson, the coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, has said that it has become a challenge to follow the league standings. Under the old system the three-column standing format signified wins, losses and ties. Now they are required to have a fourth listing of wins in overtime.

Nor does he talk about his success in the medical device industry that held his attention 28 years, most recently as CEO of Gauss Surgical Inc., which developed a mobile platform for real-time monitoring of surgical blood loss. He left business behind when he decided a couple years ago to finish his residency, with the eventual goal of practicing family medicine, something he said he wants “to do for the rest of my life.”

He said he appreciates the contribution the medical device field makes for patients, and he liked being involved in development, but time he spent volunteering at a primary care clinic in San Francisco made him realize how much he loved working directly with patients.

“When I go home at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve done something I really enjoy doing,” he told me.

"I don't want to come out against 4-on-4," said Neilson in a recent Hockey News article. "I don't mind it, but I do mind the standings, I think they are a mess. I just think that overtime losses should be ties, like they were meant to be. And like they really are."

Basically, Neilson is more worried about bookkeeping than the new overtime rule. Despite the fact there's a little more figuring in the tallying of points, the end result of the new rule is better hockey for the fans and that's what it's all about.