Why it matters: Shifts in technology and media are changing the way we play, watch and understand sports. Business models are adapting and social change is forcing those in charge of teams and leagues to reconsider decades-old practices.

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2 hours ago - Sports

The case for a pitch clock in the MLB

Data: Baseball Reference; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Baseball is special for many reasons, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who includes pace of play among those positive differentiators.

The state of play: Nine-inning games are lasting a record three hours, nine minutes this season, the third straight year the record will be been broken despite MLB's concerted effort to reverse the trend.

20 hours ago - Health

Team USA to mandate COVID vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls

The Emblem of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Shijingshan district in Beijing. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

American athletes looking to compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to updated guidelines posted on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) website.

Details: Employees, athletes and contractors must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 to use USOPC facilities or attend events hosted by the committee. On Dec. 1, the mandate extends "to all Team USA delegation members or hopefuls for future Games."

Gambling on U.S. sports betting growth

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Gambling has always been about the flypaper. Use glitz to get customers in the door, free drinks to get them in the seats and then loyalty perks to get them to tables with higher minimums.

Why it matters: A version of the flypaper effect is now happening with the gambling industry itself, which is experiencing a major consolidation wave.

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