Why football (soccer) doesn't work for me.

Penalty kicks to decide the outcome of a game, especially a game as important as a World Cup quarter final.

In baseball if the score is tied, they play more innings until one of the teams scores. They don’t have a “Home Run Derby” (contest) to decide the winner. Games have gone twenty innings and more before they were decided. The players, especially the pitchers, get tired,but that’s too bad.

In basketball 5 minute overtime periods are used to decide a winner. Three or four of these periods are sometimes necessary. They don’t have a Free Throw Shooting Contest to decide the winner. You don’t think the players get tired?

In American football, the same is true in championship games. If the game is tied after regulation, the “Sudden Death” rule comes into play where the first team to score wins. They don’t have a Field Goal Shoot Out to decide the winner.

This is how it should be in soccer, “Sudden Death”. What’s the matter? The players are too tired? Too bad. After an hour or so, some one will score.

The real reason soccer does not play until one team out scores the other (regardless of how long it takes) underscores the very reason why soccer doesn’t work as a game. ITS TOO HARD TO SCORE! The defense is favored too heavily. There is no balance. WIDEN THE NET! Double the distance between the goal posts. Let’s see some goals, not zero zero ties!

The fact that you think the beauty of the game is all about scoring is why football (soccer) doesn’t work for you.

This will happen on the same day the NBA makes it legal to play defense. Until that day, I’ll just be content to watch neither.

Can’t speak for the OP, but for me, it’s not all about scoring. It is some about scoring, though. Scoring is, at least in theory, a part of the game. Thus, when it fails to happen entirely – and it does, rather often really – I must admit I do find myself somewhat befuddled.

(Seriously, folks. A game that goes on for two hours where nobody wins because nobody scores, and a game where it’s not unusual for the teams to rack up 100 points each when the primary scoring increment is two. Come on now.)

We’re really not going to sell you on the Eton Wall Game then, are we? :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a common recommendation. On the one hand it seems kinda cheesy. On the other, it’s not at all rare for one team to control the action, but be unable to score. After 20 minutes of this, I’m telling myself “No way that a team that’s been on the ropes in their own half of the field like this should be able to get ahead in the match by one lucky bounce.”

Agreed. Widening the net (this was suggested for hockey, too) simply increases cheap goals, not good ones.

If you want to increase scoring in soccer, you need to do two things:

  1. Eliminate the offsides rule, which has no purpose at all except to prevent scoring.

  2. Make it illegal (loss of possession, free kick) to pass the ball back across the centre line.

I’ve always wondered about offsides. Seems like a pussy kind of rule to me.

What’s the origin of it? Whiny goalies who don’t think it’s fair?

Oh, the origins go way back, to the 1800s when there was no such rule and the standard tactic was to camp eight forwards as near the enemy goal as possible and just kick the ball forward to them. Seriously. Eight forwards, a halfback, a fullback and the 'keeper. Play was something less than creative, I imagine.

How about American football? At the moment you get one shot and if it doesn’t work out, you have to take another scrimmage. You could have a much more interesting game (higher scoring, at any rate) if you didn’t make your halfbacks and fullbacks line up behind the line of scrimmage. You could line 'em up in a relay forwards of the scrimmage and see if you could get a chain of passes into the end zone.

Or you could station someone sixty yards forward and just punt to him on every play. Why don’t they do it? Whiny defences who don’t think it’s fair? At least, Australian football allows unlimited forward punts, and they obviously don’t think their game’s broken, so why can’t gridiron?
There’s this to be said about penalty shootouts though: England always lose the fucking things. :smack:

Not that it would ever happen anyway. But rule changes have to be considered carefully. If they actually did that I bet it would decrease scoring.

Soccer seems to be like football in that coaches who make it to the top ranks emphasize defense over offence, with a couple exceptions here and there. If the goal was twice as wide any decent kicker is a threat anywhere in the offensive half. It seems to me it would force coaches to put extra goal mouth defenders, my prediction in that case. You would have the center goalie, then a right and left defender in the goal box(probably an basketball player type who could get their head near the crossbar.) That would kill any offsides strategy so they would probably put an extra six defenders around the defensive half in a zone defense to stop any penetration into their half at all. That leaves only two players who go into the offensive half at all, and the game would turn into a couple fast guys sprinting through a guantlet and cranking off 50-60 yard shots before they were overwhelmed, and just hoping for luck.

If it’s not about scoring, then what is it about, exactly? :confused:

Just about everyone that replied to my post has commented on my complaint about the lack of scoring.

Any of you pro-soccer people care to justify penalty kicks as a way to determine the winner of a tie game?

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

One genuine way to increase scoring would be to remove the overprotection of goalkeepers. back inthe day, it was quite legal, for example for the burly centre-forward to shoulder the goalkeeper, ball and all, into the net for a goal - I believe the 1958 FA cup final was decided in just such a fashion. I’m not advocating such extreme measures, but it seems these days that the shadow of an opposing player merely has to cross the goalie for the ref to blow foul. If goalkeepers had to compete for the ball fairly and be allowed to be challeneged fairly, there’d be a lot more scope for goals to be scored, especially from crosses.

Penalties as a decider work best because the alternative doesn’t. Golden Goal was envisgaed as an all out rush of attacking play after extra time, but it turned out to be the opposite - teams became so terrified making amistake and giving up a goal that they just shut the game down completely. Penalty shoot outs are high drama and the perfect ending to the match (as a spectale). Unless you’re English or Dutch. Then it’s probably time to go wash the car, or something :slight_smile:

My brother-in-law, who played professionally in Europe for three years, says the PK’s are used to finish the game b/c officials worry about contests in sudden death never dying and the time involved. My feeling is that the team w the superior physical conditioning and coaching would ultimately win out in a stream of sudden death periods, and he agrees. Unfortunately, neither of us have much influence w FIFA :slight_smile:

Did you listen to whatshisface on the Third Shift when he talked about this? Could be coincidence…

Anyway, soccer is a different animal from other sports. You can’t just keep playing endlessly, because by its nature it’s low-scoring enough that you’d probably end up playing so long you just wear out the players and then they’d get crushed in the next game. Either that or both teams just frantically pound the ball upfield and take potshots from all angles hoping to catch a lucky bounce–which (1) can’t be entertaining except in a Keystone Kops fashion and (2) would be much worse than PKs because the victory wouldn’t have been earned.

BTW, many minor-league hockey…leagues, use shootouts after a certain amount of penalty time, and it’s been that way forever.

And, college football indeed does use a “shootout”; there is no sudden death, rather, each team gets a chance starting from (I believe) their opponents’ 20-yard-line to score in four downs, and it goes back and forth until they’ve played a complete set with the tie broken. So your contention that the sports you like are somehow superior because they don’t have a shootout is based on faulty logic–one of the sports you like does use a shootout.

It’s a common sentiment among those who wouldn’t necessarily know better, that penalty kicks are a lottery. That’s close, but not quite true. One penalty kick can be a lottery–we’ll get to the intricacies of that later if you like–but a series of five is most definitely not, not at the high level of play featured in the World Cup. There have been two games in the last two days decided with penalty kick shootouts. Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching the Germany-Argentina game, a game where you could cut the tension with a knife the whole time, with a German-born friend. In that game, the penalty kick round established Germany as a clear winner–not by being “lucky” enough to score and have the other team not score, but by a combination of four well-placed kicks and their goaltender making three amazing saves. Those saves were not by luck. He didn’t just guess which side and jump that way (although some goalies do at times)–he read the shooter’s eyes and the rotation of the shooter’s hips and legs so that he could figure out, in the blink of an eye, where the ball was going to go. In fact, he stuck a card with notes about each Argentina shooter’s tendencies–a mini scouting-report–into his sock before he took the field, and he went over his notes before each shot. I’m sure he either watched lots of tape from Argentina’s qualifiers and other World Cup games, or he had a scout do it for him–just like Tony Gwynn compiling information on the opposing pitcher’s habits so that he would know what pitch he would face in each different count.

It’s like when you see a quarterback seemingly throw an interception right at the DB–the picture on your TV screen makes it look like the DB was lucky that the QB threw a pass that happened to meander over to him, but in fact what often happens is that the DB has learned how to read that quarterback’s eyes and body movements to the point where he knows exactly where the ball is going to go, then he runs over there and picks it. Same deal. Same deal in Portugal’s win over England today–the Portuguese goalie learned how to read each shooter and he made masterful saves to basically carry the entire nation on his back.

That’s 20 minutes, tops. A basketball court is like a postage stamp compared to a soccer field. I played basketball in high school and I can tell you that playing four five-minute basketball overtime periods is not even close to being like four thirty-minute soccer overtimes.

No they don’t. They get pulled out for other pitchers every few innings, and then they usually get several games’ worth of rest because there are a handful of other good pitchers in the bullpen. You can’t just pick people out willy-nilly in soccer as they get tired.

Do you watch hockey? I do. I love it. Some goals are scored through amazing ingenuity, or a beautiful wrist-shot from just the right angle, or a one-timer pass perfectly timed to throw the defense off and catch the goalie looking the wrong way. But a lot of goals are scored through three guys crashing the net, poking and slapping at the puck as it bounces off of the goalie, and finally after he turns away four shots one happens to glance in. That’s exciting, but the score itself is about half a second of action. You mean to tell me that you get more enjoyment out of half a second of the tenth shot in a row catching the right bounce, than an hourlong strategic battle between the two teams?

When you watch football, do you sit around bored until the three seconds taken up by a touchdown-scoring play, or are you excited by the proverbial chess match? Do you love watching an offense and a defense being subtly tweaked over 80 yards, with a quarterback using strategic placement to deliver yardage, and a linebacker reading the running back and positioning himself to grab him as he goes by? Or do you fall asleep in between touchdowns?

When you watch baseball, do you experience intense boredom between home runs? Do you snooze and snore until someone hits a ball out of the park, or do you marvel in the battle going on between the pitcher and the batter?

Maybe you don’t really appreciate sports at all, you just watch them for the mere seconds of scoring excitement. That’s your prerogative, but stay away from my beautiful game.

IMO, a real problem with soccer is that in a high-level game between two evenly matched teams, both sides usually play not to lose rather than to win. The only way that this is broken is through one team having a player sent off or one team scoring. Too often when the game is a draw, though, neither team will take many chances. I can’t tell you how many games at this World Cup that I’ve watched where the announcer has lamented, “This game could really use a goal!” The Brazil-France game today was a perfect example of the problem, IMO.

And now for the part of the post where the Europeans excoriate me: what if they went back to the Golden Goal format, but had an unlimited number of extra time periods? To allieviate the problem where players are exhausted, allow unlimited substitutions at the start of each extra time period beyond the second (but no extra substitutions during the course of each extra time period). Teams can’t play for the draw and the penalty shootout, so they’ll have to go for it on offense.

NHL hockey suffered from the same problems with its overtime format during the regular season, because after the end of the 5 minute overtime period, the game ended in a draw. Playoff overtime was usually immensely entertaining, though, because teams had no choice but to go for it(this was tempered by the fact that referees refused to call any penalties whatsoever in overtime. Just imagine what soccer would be like if the ref stopped calling fouls and the players knew that he wouldn’t call anything. It was the same for NHLplayoff hockey).

What you’d end up with here would be a match decided by two teams which bear little relationship to those which have done the hard work for 90 minutes. I’d rather keep the shootout than have this artificiality imposed on the game purely to finish ‘with a goal’.

Aaah, yes, I can. Every player who could possibly have some influence in determining the outcome of said lawless extra time would be stretchered off with a broken leg. Granted, it’s a great spectacle, but not really in the best long term interests of the sport.


Absolutely correct.

How else can one explain how England has lost five out of six penalty shootouts in major championships since the 1990 World Cup, while Germany has successfully converted its last twenty-one individual penalties in these deciders?

The Germans are doing something right, and we need to find out what it is and copy it.

Yes, but penalty shootouts have nothing to do with the game of football (soccer).

The game of football consists of a GROUP of players trying to score a goal against another group of players on a large open field.

A penalty shootout consists of one player against one other player. There’s no movement of the ball. Its placed in a certain spot and the player tries to kick it by the other player. Its a whole different game. Its exciting to watch, but its not football.