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American Rules Soccer

Anything to make it less boring
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
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Despite being far and away the most popular sport throughout the world, soccer has never really caught on in the U.S as a spectator sport. But looking at the sports that ARE popular here, it's not hard to see why: Americans like fast-paced, high-scoring games. The idea of an hour and a half long match that ends 0-0, only to be decided in a shootout simply doesn't send the heart of most Yanks racing. Accordingly, here are some suggestions to bring the game more in line with American tastes:

1) Reduce the size of the pitch drastically. No more than 150'x100'. That's about a quarter of the size of a standard pitch.

2) Accordingly, reduce the number of players to, say, 6 on 6.

3) Do away with goalkeepers entirely.

4) Adjust the scoring so that each goal is worth 6 points, plus an additional 3 points if kicked from outside the penalty area.

5) Play begins with a drop ball instead of a kick-off, to make things more exciting from the get-go.

6) Eliminate free kicks. The restart following any foul is a drop ball at the penalty mark in the half of the field of the player who committed the foul.

7) Eliminate penalty kicks as well. A foul by a defending team within their own penalty area results in 4 points being awarded to the attackers, in addition to the drop ball restart specified in (6).

8) Tie games (which would be a much rarer occurrence) are decided by two regular overtime periods, followed by as many “sudden death” overtime periods as necessary.

9) Eliminate the offside rule. Nobody really understands it anyway.

These changes are designed to increase the pace and scoring of the game, without fundamentally changing the way soccer is played.

ytk, Nov 21 2012

Brian Phillips (an American) writes about the boredom of football http://www.grantlan...lips-soccer-boredom
I have almost definitely linked to this elsewhere on the halfbakery [calum, Nov 21 2012]

That Bergkamp goal http://www.youtube....watch?v=XsZkCFoqSBs
ooh baby [calum, Nov 21 2012]

Real soccer fan http://www.youtube....watch?v=Zeu4BrOkZF0
100% real. I swear. Warning: offensive lenguaje [piluso, Nov 21 2012]

Fives http://en.wikipedia...ive-a-side_football
[calum, Nov 22 2012]

Futsal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futsal
one of the great things about the simplicity of soccer is that it makes this sort of variation and adaptation possible [calum, Nov 22 2012]


       Ooooh, ooooh, do golf next!
calum, Nov 21 2012

       //Ooooh, ooooh, do golf next!//   

       Dammit, Jim, I'm a Halfbaker, not a miracle worker!   
ytk, Nov 21 2012

       10) Lifetime ban for fans who refer to a sports team they don't actually play for using the first person plural.
hippo, Nov 21 2012

       I think that's strictly a European thing. It doesn't actually happen all that often, if ever, in the States. I think people would just look at you funny if you did that here. The only possible exception would be for students and alumni of colleges when referring to their school's team, but that's at least semi-legitimate.
ytk, Nov 21 2012

       Golf has already been done, look up "crazy golf". For some reason, however, the international tournaments are somewhat under-reported in the mainstream media.
pocmloc, Nov 21 2012

       // yellow 4 points, red - 6 points// That would make the game very interesting, getting 4 points for a Yellow card and -6 points for a Red card. Players would be incentivised to behave badly, but not too badly.
hippo, Nov 21 2012

       This is missing (a) a windmill, (b) explosions and (c) sufficient ambition in the points mechanism.   

       On (c) we need at least
• 10,000 for a goal,
• 100 points being awarded for each completed pass provided said pass is (i) forward and (ii) made within 3 seconds of receiving the ball,
• 1,000 points for hitting the crossbar or post,
• 1,000 for forcing the goalie into a save (with the defending team getting 1,000 for the save),
• yes yes by all means penalise foul play but there should also be points awarded for successful completion of morally suspect play/actions (cf John Terry) that are not picked up by the referee and his/her assistants
• 5,000 for comical chants by supporters
• 50,000 points per game where the pies are good
• 100,000 for the Anfield Rap.
calum, Nov 21 2012

       ...and after every 100 kicks, the ball should explode and be replaced by a new ball.
hippo, Nov 21 2012

       //Americans like fast-paced, high-scoring games//

Hmm! Let's talk baseball, shall we?
DrBob, Nov 21 2012

       The offside rule is to stop boring goal-hanging. Without it, the team with the ball just punt it as hard as they can to the striker who's on his own with the keeper. Offside rule stays, because there's a reason for it.
theleopard, Nov 21 2012

       // Let's talk baseball, shall we? //   

       <The Voice>   

       "If you modify it, they will come … "   

       </The Voice>
8th of 7, Nov 21 2012

       // after every 100 kicks, the ball should explode//
Yes, but not maimingly, more like the classic Terry's Chocolate Orange segmentisation, with a small puff of coloured smoke and snake-shaped bell-ended streamers firing out, nearby mariachi band hopped up on goofballs going bananas with the mexican hat dance/Advance Australia Fair/Nothing Compares 2 U u.s.w. each time this happens.

       What I would also like is:
• if each time the ball is kicked or hits the post a large metallic clanging bell noise rings out,
• long periods of ballflight are soundtracked by doodlebug noises,
• MIDI of classic American circus music and/or Looney Tunes theme blarinng out of stadium speakers upon team A getting the b. in the o.b.
(all so that Bergkamp's 1998 goal against Argentina* runs clang nyeeeeooowwww clang clang clang doodle oodle oodle ning-ning-ning-nong da da da da da daaaa).

       In short, what I think the American market needs is a game that looks and sounds like GIANT MEAT PINBALL.   

       *a thing of wonder which justifies as many clogging 0-0 draws away to Stoke as you could imagine.
calum, Nov 21 2012

       The American Soccer will be massive if they understand the basics of soccer: - It's a good excuse for stay away your wife some hours - It's a license to insult people loudly: rival players, rival fans, your team players, coach and more ! - Extreme fans can initiate serious rampages, without legal consecuences - You can forget for a while you live in a civilization. - Also applies if you watch the matchs on tv (except your wife away) ! see [link]
piluso, Nov 21 2012

       There must be something wrong with a sport that even France can be good at.   

       I think I know the answer. What Americans want in their sports are suspense and drama. To do this, you need to add dramatic pauses in some fashion or other. The problem with soccer is that the drama to the game is not self-evident. American Football has an achievable but difficult goal every 10 yard drive. Soccer needs something similar.   

       Noises? Sure. We have marching bands that add their own soundtracks sometimes for that. Just keep that wretched vuvuzela away.   

       Penalty kicks: please do away with these. When the game is over, the game is over. Simply doing this will add a modicum of drama by reintroducing the time element. Penalty kick-driven games are simply like watching men wander around a field for 90 minutes and then determining the winner by adding a round of batting practice.   

       When so many games end in 0-0, it seems the rules need some adjustment.
RayfordSteele, Nov 21 2012

       American sports need natural breaks in action to allow commercials to be broadcast. I propose that American Rules Soccer is played to a musical sountrack which is periodically stopped, at which time all players must 'freeze' (like in the children's party game). While this happens, commercials are aired. After this, the music starts again and play can resume.
hippo, Nov 21 2012

       //breaks in action//   

       These require action first, which is missing from soccer.
RayfordSteele, Nov 21 2012

       //American sports need natural breaks in action//

Cycling should be popular then. Professional cyclists quite often take natural breaks in the midst of the action.
DrBob, Nov 21 2012

       //The offside rule is to stop boring goal-hanging. Without it, the team with the ball just punt it as hard as they can to the striker who's on his own with the keeper. Offside rule stays, because there's a reason for it.//   

       That's the point. What Europeans consider boring—namely, mindless, rapid fire scoring—Americans consider exciting. Eliminating the offside rule would increase the number of goals scored, especially since there wouldn't be any keeper. Anyway, on a smaller field with fewer players and no keepers, I don't think it's as necessary. The action is likely to move so rapidly that having a man just waiting for an opening to receive a pass is likely a poor strategy, especially when it means losing a sixth of your team where he action is happening. Maybe even make it 5 on 5, to make goal hanging an even worse strategy.   

       //Hmm! Let's talk baseball, shall we?//   

       Yeah, I can't really explain that one, except to suggest that baseball isn't really a sport as much as a way for closeted statistics nerds to identify each other in public.
ytk, Nov 21 2012

       tbh, if you want fast, physical football, getchyerself to a five-a-sides place and get stuck in.
calum, Nov 21 2012

       //tbh, if you want fast, physical football, getchyerself to a five-a-sides place and get stuck in.//
For "get stuck in" read "start looking like a cardiac victime after 150 seconds"
gnomethang, Nov 22 2012

       Everyone here who dislikes soccer yet doesn't understand one or all of the following:   

       -offsides rules
-the appeal of low-scoring, 1 point per goal games
-the danger of overcomplicating the rules
-penalty shots and shoot-outs
-how a scoreless period, half, or game can be edge-of- your-seat exciting

       Needs to watch ice hockey. Just one game, from the stands (it's not the same on TV). Try to sit next somebody knowledgeable or, failing that, somebody wearing fewer than three items of team paraphernalia.
Alterother, Nov 22 2012

       //offsides rules//   

       Offside. Just one.   

       (Sorry. That's practically an in-joke among soccer referees.)
ytk, Nov 22 2012

       No need to apologize. Watch out for the puck.
Alterother, Nov 22 2012

       The difference between American and English is that the English take a photograph and then enlarge it while the Americans shoot a picture and then blow it up.
pashute, Nov 25 2012

       This supports my suspicion that hockey originated from soccer by bored Canadians waiting for the ball to thaw.
RayfordSteele, Nov 26 2012


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