Thursday, December 18

Who Invented the Yellow Card?

Fascinating nugget son. How the yellow card was invented. It's a simple ideogram. Like the Chinese language. Should more be a logogram but let's not quibble. 

You see son, living in an Information Age means that we have to digest more and more information. So keep on top of things, one has to abstract things. When I was in my previous bank, I was responsible for creating a one pager for a bank wide transformation. A one page. Which encapsulates the past current and future state of a Multi billion dollar initiative. It was designed to be read understood and then discussed in 1 hour. One of my fields of interest is data visualisation. The science of how to portray data more efficiently. 

And it's fascinating. For the same data, decisions can be different of you've shown it in a table or a bar or radar graph. Reminds me of the quote, it's not your vote that counts but who counts your vote that counts. 

The power to communicate son. That's the key. Hold your audience in your hand. Use visual aids. 



Who Invented the Yellow Card?

Among the stadiums and balls and robots specifically designed for this World Cup, a few objects remain unchanged. Most visibly, perhaps, is the yellow card. It is now and has, since its introduction to the World Cup in 1970, been a plain, handheld, yellow, card. That's it. But that simple yellow card can literally change the game.

The use of the yellow card is strictly outlined in the FIFA rulebook, which notes that “a player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences:”

  • unsporting behavior
  • dissent by word or action
  • persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
  • delaying the restart of play              
  • failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in 
  • entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
  • deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission

FIFA also documents the invention of the yellow card. The card was the creation of Ken Aston (1915-2001), one of the game’s toughest and most respected referees, who served on the FIFA Referee’s Committee from 1966 to 1972. In 1966, Aston, a Brit, was thinking about some controversial decisions made in a recent match between England and Argentina, which was so heated that, after the game, an angry Argentinian team purportedly tried tobreak into the English locker room. At one point, an Argentinian player was trying to communicate with a German referee, and his passioned pleas, unintelligible to the ref, got him expelled for "violence of the tongue." The Argentinian player refused to leave the field until Aston intervened. Driving home after the game, Aston pulled up to a stoplight and inspiration struck. "As I drove down Kensington High Street, the traffic light turned red. I thought, 'Yellow, take it easy; red, stop, you're off'," Aston had said. It’s that simple. Aston’s epiphany is now used to indicate warnings and penalties in more than a dozen other games, including fencing, field hockey, volleyball and water polo.

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