Why to change All-Star voting policies

Why to change All-Star voting policies

Carson Field, Sports Editor

With the NBA and NHL All-Star Games looming, there has been talk about how the selection processes are flawed. These systems have proven to be flawed, when players that were not necessarily deserving of being an All-Star were leading vote-getters. In the NBA and MLB, the fans get to vote for the starting lineups, the NHL lets fans vote for captains, and the NFL lets the fans account for one-third of the total vote.

There is one answer to this problem: minimize the power that the fans have in voting. The fans should not have as much power in All-Star game voting because it gives All-Star status to undeserving players, it hurts players’ Hall of Fame chances, and fanbases can skew the voting.

The first problem with giving fans power in the selection of the big four sports’ All-Star Games is that it occasionally puts undeserving players in the games. For example, in this year’s NHL All-Star voting, Coyotes left wing John Scott was voted into the All-Star Game, despite only playing in 11 games this season and not scoring a goal in one of them. The only reason that fans voted for him is that he had a cool story, he was cut from the team three times and there was a rally on Twitter. Another example of undeserving players being chosen in these high-caliber games is Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, who is an NBA legend, but has struggled this season. Once again, the only reason that Bryant was chosen is because this is his last season in the NBA and is loved by many fans.

Another reason to limit the fan voting in All-Star games is because it hurts the deserving players’ Hall of Fame chances. One of the main criteria for Hall of Fame selection in the big four sports is number of All-Star selections. A player with five selections to the one of the All-Star Games will have a much better chance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame than an athlete with three or four selections.

Finally, fan-based All-Star voting can be skewed by strong fan bases. In 2015, the MLB All-Star voting seemed to be somewhat flawed when the Kansas City Royals got seven players into the All-Star Game, the most of any team. While Kansas City did end up winning the World Series, they put players who some might have seen as undeserving into the game. The Royals very nearly put the worst qualified hitter in the American League at the time, Omar Infante, into the All-Star game, but luckily star second baseman Jose Altuve beat him out. The situation with the 2015 Royals is another reason that the fans should be limited on their voting power.

Fans have abused their power to vote for the All-Star Games in previous years, proving that they should no longer get as much power when voting for these high-caliber games. I am not in favor of giving the fans no power when voting. In my opinion, the NFL has the most reasonable fan-voting process. The NFL’s process of letting the fans get one-third of the vote is much more reasonable than the NBA, MLB and NHL, which give fans the ultimate power on voting for starters or captains. Hopefully the commissioners of these leagues will give some thought on limiting fan voting, due to the number of voting problems over the past few years.