Thursday, March 15, 2007

Penalty shoot-outs

Apologies for radio silence. I haven't been outraged by anything much recently.

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The Football league is reportedly "considering" the introduction of shoot-outs to decide drawn games.

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Naturally, everyone the article spoke to is dead-set against it. However, I personally don't think the idea is entirely without merit. The argument I can see in its favour is that England are generally awful at penalties - I suspect Scotland and others would also be awful at penalties if we weren't so awful at football that we never get to the stages where they happen. If the pressure of a shoot-out was routine - I think it's something like 30% of games are drawn - players would be better-equipped to cope with them in World Cups and the like.

That said, giving a team a bonus point for winning a shoot-out would devalue a win 'in regulation' (sorry, I live in the US and have seen much more ice hockey than footy this year). In hockey, a shoot-out win is worth 2 points, just like a normal one, and you get a point just for getting to overtime.

I'm a little averse to meddling with the points system again, but it might be interesting to award teams involved in a draw no points, unless they were to win the penalty shoot-out*. The idea would be to make it less attractive to play for a draw.

Ah, listen to me, I'm getting all Blattery and proposing nonsensical rule changes for the sake of it. What do you think?

* Because I'm a geek, I might have a look at how that would affect league standings.

3 comments:

Freear said...

This is my answer to the Football leagues problem that doesn't exist.

Want to bring the crowds in and improve football. Forget penalty shoot outs try this scheme.

Firstly and most importantly. Scrap one point for a draw. Football should be death or glory. 3 points for a win, no points for a defeat or a draw.

Secondly team gets a bonus point by winning by 3 goals or more.

A team gets a further bonus point for scoring 5 in a match.

A team gets another point if it manages to score 3 goals or more in 3 consecutive games.

In order to stop people diving their way to extra points penalties won't count towards the bonus. So if you won 4-1 but one goal was a penalty no extra point.

5 bonus points for a team reaching 50 goals in the season. 5 extra points for ewach subsequent 25 goals after that. The first team of the season to reach these markers should also receive extra points.

And finally for cup games scrap all replays and instead of penalties introduce the 35 yard one one one. That way if the games have to be decided by something it can at least be ball at feet skill rather than the play shot into bottom right corner skill.

If that doesn't sex up the sport and bring the crazy attacking football Arsene Wenger craves (outside of his own team in Europe) then i don't know what will.

kensson said...

Thanks for that, freear. One of my peeves with the penalty shoot-out is that football is (primarily) a team game where goals are rare. And a shoot-out or a one-on-one is entirely personal and goals are common. I'd rather see something like a corner or set-piece shoot-out. The details could be worked out - maybe a time limit, maybe a bonus for scoring from the other team's corner - but I feel like that would be a resolution using the entire team, not just a handful of players.

Of course, an alternative is to keep playing until someone scores - without a shoot-out to get you out of trouble. However, I recall reading a Scottish fanzine some years back discussing the idea which said something along the lines of "What if it's [my team] Dunfermline against St. Mirren? They'd most likely still be playing the following Saturday when their next opponents turn up."

Nessy said...

Who says football needs 'improving' anyway? The number of people watching the Premiership is higher than ever, despite the fact that it has been fairly clear who is going to win by Christmas for the last six seasons or so.
How about three points for a win and one for a draw?
No 'bonus' points, no shoot-outs.
If you really want to improve the game, come down harder on diving and give a trial to that goal-line technology.
Teams who habitually play for draws usually end up relegated or playing to empty stadiums anyway. Sometimes there's nothing wrong with putting ten men behind the ball for 90 minutes and stifling supposedly superior opposition. In fact, that can only encourage more creative play.