London, May 11 : While cricket comes easier to people, one needs to be a graduate to understand the off-side rule in football, says a new research.
Cricket, claimed to be the gentleman's game and touted as belonging to the intellectual class, requires you to have GCSE exam level understanding for getting your cricketing fundas in order, according to the Learning and Skills Council.
However, while watching crucial promotion and relegation football fixtures last weekend, fans were required to make an average of 10 maths calculations on league positions and goal differences to understand the fate of their teams.
Carried out by the Government-backed LSC's Get On campaign, the research discovered that it was quite hard to master the off-side rule, and it required to have university-level reading skills to understand.
On the other hand, the leg before wicket (LBW) rule in cricket came a lot easier and only required GCSE-level reading skills to master, according to the analysis of the language involved.
For the study, the Government researchers weighed the official rule-books for the two sports against each other in order to examine how difficult they were to comprehend.
According to LSC, nearly 20 million adults would struggle with the off-side rule if they read it "cold", while 5.2 million would struggle with the LBW rule.
Sir Trevor Brooking, director of football development at the Football Association, considered it was a "sad revelation" that many adults would be stumped by the rules of cricket and football.
"I have supported adult learning for years and I'm extremely passionate about sports. To learn that millions of fans might struggle with their skills when watching football or cricket is a sad revelation," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying. Skills Minister David Lammy added: "We are a nation of sports fanatics, so what makes these findings significant is that many sports supporters could be missing out on enjoying their favourite sports due to a basic skills shortfall."
He pushed for adults to take advantage of free maths and English courses to brush up their skills.