PSA: penalty kick tiebreakers are an abomination

But what should we replace the penalty kick phase in football (soccer) with, you may riposte? Glad you asked! I found this proposal by Jim Pagels (via Forbes). Below is an extended excerpt

At the conclusion of regulation, there will be the following extra time sessions, with golden goal (i.e. the game ends following a score) in effect:

  1. 10 minutes of 11-on-11 (Team A starts with ball)*
  2. 10 minutes of 10-on-10 (Team B starts with ball)
  3. 10 minutes of 9-on-9 (Team A starts with ball)
  4. 10 minutes of 8-on-8 (Team B starts with ball)
  5. 10 minutes of 7-on-7 (Team A starts with ball)
  6. 10 minutes of 6-on-6 (Team B starts with ball)
  7. 10 minutes of 5-on-5 (Team B starts with ball)
  8. 10 minutes of 4-on-4 (Team A starts with ball)
  9. 10 minutes of 3-on-3 (Team A starts with ball)
  10. 10 minutes of 2-on-2 (Team B starts with ball)

Fewer men on the field would result in more wide-open spaces, increasing the likelihood of a goal—a goal scored via passing and soccer-related team play against a team of defenders rather than via the artificial, foreign situation of a single player kicking a stationary ball from point-blank range on a single defender.

*If a team had been playing with 10 men during regulation, then that will only be enforced for the first extra time session, which would be 11-on-10. After that, only the team with 11 would remove a player, and it would be even strength for every session until a goal is scored. It’s simply too big a punishment to play a man down when you get to 8-on-7 situations, and having played all that time in regulation and the first period of extra time a man down seems like more than penalty enough.

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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