Anyone who's played poker in a casino is likely familiar with the "English Only at the Table" rule. I believe it's a regulation designed to curb any collusion that might go unnoticed by a dealer unfamiliar with foreign languages. Of course, I always think of the scene in Rounders where Worm is dealing off the bottom of the deck and complains about the Russian mobsters violating the rule.
But I digress...
It seems that at least one professional sport is following poker's lead.
Beginning in 2009, all players on the LPGA tour will be required to speak English. Apparently, the geniuses running women's golf think the reason no one watches their sport is because of those damn foreigners.
The solution? A lot more broken English. Imagine if you were told that in the next 6 months you needed to know how to speak Korean. I doubt you'd fare very well.
Starting in January, every player will have to pass an oral exam. I'd be real curious to see how that test is administered. What exactly is the threshhold for proficiency? Seriously, this has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read.
This regulation likely won't be as successful as the LPGA's last initiative designed to boost ratings. A few years ago, players were told to sex it up. They were encouraged to wear sexier outfits and to, well... be hotter. That managed to boost ratings by a factor of absolutely nothing.
Nonetheless, there's a reason you likely know the name Natalie Gulbis (pictured and ranked 34th in the world) more than Yani Tseng (ranked third in the world, and I dare you to click through for her picture).
I guess it's a good think Natalie knows English. No word on how fluent Yani Tseng is!