NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the completion of the organization’s first-ever completely incomprehensible rule book for the upcoming 2015-2016 season.
The “Rubixcon Project,” started by Emmert’s late predecessor Myles Brand, sought to create a rule book that combined all the rules for Divisions I, II and III into one tome. During the editing process, the rule book itself appeared to gain sentience and purposefully worked to make itself as confusing as possible.
“Administrators in athletics departments have told us about the complexity of our rule books for years,” said Emmert at the unveiling. “Anecdotally, we had a lot of evidence that we had the most incomprehensible rules in the world, but we wanted that status to be definitive. We committed to creating a rule book so large and complicated that no one could possibly navigate it, thus giving us the ability to sanction ‘violators’ at our smallest whim. Eventually, every school will be a part of the rules community.”
The new rule book is 53,048 pages long and weighs in at nearly 200 pounds. Most of the type is set in 9 point text, with some footnotes printed in type as small as two point. In addition, two critical pages on eligibility are presented as “microdots” with entire pages’ content reduced to a point the size of a pin.
“For certain areas, we had to ensure that no one could possibly discern what our intent or exceptions were,” said executive editor Ellen Piawoty. “For our most complex policies, we felt the content couldn’t be obfuscated enough so we simply shrunk the text size to the smallest possible.”
“The microdots were a stroke of genius,” she added.
Other sections of the rule book were carefully rewritten by taking the existing text and running it through a language converter that changed sifted the English through Bulgarian, Azerbijani and Thai before reverting back to English. Piawoty said the resulting text retains a hint of the original intent.
She cited an example from rule 11.01.3.1. “The old rule read ‘The compensation or remuneration set forth in Bylaw 11.01.3 shall be charged against an academic year.’ The new triple-translated version reads ‘The change or counting leave the city law of God 11.01.3 the number of times for one year.'”
North Clarke College compliance officer Tod Morris said that the new rule book was perplexing, but that it would actually make his life easier. “There is no point in trying to enforce anything anymore, so I am not even going to try. Even their mailing address is listed in what I think to be Farsi.” he said. “The positive thing is that the book is large enough for me to rest my feet on, which will really help with the gout.”