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Penalties First

Start the game with the penalty kick shoot out
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Soccer is best appreciated when one realizes that it is a game of capture-the-flag. You capture the flag by scoring first. Then you defend the flag. It goes back to neutral if the other team equalizes. Or you defend it by scoring a second goal.

That's the premise.

In cup tournaments, e.g., the World Cup, draws unfortunately must be eliminated. Usually, c.f., the world cup final, this is done by having a penalty kick shoot out at the end of the game.

I propose moving the shoot out to the beginning of the game and awarding 1/2 a goal to the winner.

This would better preserve the nature of the game. A team with good penalty kicking and defense, e.g., the Italians, could win the shoot out, obtain 1/2 a goal, and then demonstrate their provess at defense and win, justly, on demonstrating that they can defend a lead for 90 minutes.

On the otherhand, if a good attacking team is better at attacking than the defenders are at defending, they really should be able to penetrate the defense over the course of 90 minutes.

On the third hand, if the attackers with the shoot out and the defensive team finds themselves 1/2 a goal down, well... a true champion should be able to show that they can change the course of things and score a goal. Come to think of it, the Italians were down a point against France and scored a magnificent goal.

In cup games, start with the shoot out and award 1/2 a goal to the shoot out winner.

Goesta Berling, Jul 16 2006

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       This is the same as saying that there cannot be a draw in the immediately following game. Interesting...but I cannot decide if it would make the game more safe, or more exciting.
Ling, Jul 17 2006

       How about having periodic penalty kicks throughout the game?   

       The scores from the penalty kicks will apply at the end ONLY if the REAL score ends up a tie. But, meanwhile, both teams will already know the results of a tie beforehand, and must play so as to ensure or prevent it.
phundug, Jul 17 2006

       Bone because I hate penalty shoot-outs. Having said that, I hate draws and the concept of slipping in a half goal somewhere so that a draw is impossible is quite intriguing. Of course tampering with the rules of the beautiful game is best left to the 'bakery - you wouldn't want to actually do it.
wagster, Jul 17 2006

       Ideally, penalty shots would be the same as the home run contest in US baseball - a novelty one-off game.
DrCurry, Jul 17 2006

       Why not just start with the penalty shoot-outs, and then the game is played as normal, the team which lost the shoot-out knowing that if the score is level after 90 minutes, they lose. Thus more goals are likely to be scored because the shoot-out loser is desperate to win, and the winner can defend for 90 mins and score on the counterattack.
Mr Phase, Jul 17 2006

       [Mr. Phase] that is exactly my idea. Perhaps you stated it more clearly.
Goesta Berling, Jul 18 2006

       football is not a game of capture the flag. some matches were won by as many as SIX points.
FireElf, Jul 18 2006

       In six a side tournaments the winner, in the event of a draw, is the team which won the most corners. Not as dramatic as penalties but a good indication of which side has been doing the most attacking.
DrBob, Jul 18 2006

       That's a fairly good rule too. Discourages overly defensive tactics.
wagster, Jul 18 2006

       [FireElf] did you and I watch the same world cup? Even in games between teams where everyone knows there is a huge skill level difference, the scores were very close. Argentina - SerbiaMontenegro was an exception, not the rule. Anyway, how you interpret the game is a personal matter. I have found that by thinking of it as "capture-the-flag", it is easier to explain its beauty to those (notably many Americans) who think it is a problem to have low scores. You example of defending it by pointing out that there can be high scoring games, is counter productive. It merely underscores that if that premise is that a high scoring game is a good game, then most soccer games are not good. However, that is not the case. The premise is invalid. A 0-0 game could be the best match ever. Or even a 1-0 game, where the goal is the icing on the cake. A 1-0 game where a weaker team is the winner is a joy. Because it is just that possibility that makes football the Beutiful Game.
Goesta Berling, Jul 18 2006

       [phungdog] I thought of a variation that I dismissed that is similar to your suggestion. That variation is that penalty shootoouts would occur every time the score is tied and the winner be given the .5 goal (the previous shoot out result being totally erased). In my opinion it has a lot of merit and would make things a bit more fair. However, I generally, like [wagster] hate penalty shoot outs - penalty kicks for that matter. So for that reason, I dismissed the idea.
Goesta Berling, Jul 18 2006

       Not the idea I was reading [Goesta]. You state "award 1/2 a goal to the shootout winner". In my version, after the shootout the game begins at 0-0. Although thinking about it, there really is no difference, so I accept your point.
Mr Phase, Jul 18 2006


       I thought you were going to have the penalty shoot-outs first, and then each team would have a foul in the bank, so to speak, that they could use during the course of the game.
normzone, Jul 18 2006


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