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Soccer improved fairness

Soccer with improvements to make the game more fair
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The beautiful game. Part of the beauty comes from the unpredictability and low scoring. An underdog team can score a goal and maintain that score. It increses the value of goals and makes each goal scoring opportunity an edge-of-the-seat moment.

However, there are problems.

Penalty Kicks. There is too much of a discrepancy between the value of a goal and the probability of success at scoring. Consider Italy's last minute win over Australia. A marginal infraction, if any, and almost a certain goal and win for Italy. Unfair. Solution: allow refs to call free kicks for infractions that occur in the penalty box. There could be a few designated free-kick spots located outside of the penalty area for such free-kicks.

Red Cards. Soccer can be brutal and the threat of a red card is for sure a way to keep excessive infractions at a minimum. However, it is too harsh some times. How about, limiting the duration of a penalty to 20 minutes or the next goal, like in hockey (except for time). One version would be to not permit reentry of the guilty player, but to allow his replacement after the penalty period.

Delay of game. Soccer is very much a game of capture the flag. The first scorer has the flag, it is put in neutral territory with an equalizing goal, protected further with a 2-0 score, etc. If you view soccer that way, the low score is not a problem. However, it is too easy to delay the game towards the end of the game. Introduce a shot-clock as in basketball. You must take a shot every 30 seconds, or there is a turn over.

Goesta Berling, Jun 27 2006

officail FIFA rules http://www.fifa.com...on/0,1584,3,00.html
download the PDF version of the rules. [xaviergisz, Jun 27 2006]


       Italy deserved to win - they were playing with 10 men for half the game.
po, Jun 27 2006

       Ho hum.
Jinbish, Jun 27 2006

       who's for tennis?
po, Jun 27 2006

       It's already fair - all of those rules were applied to both countries, both countries were aware of the rules beforehand, and both countries had equal opportunity to benefit or suffer from the imposition of those rules.   

       Every game has a story, and in this case, it was the story of a last moment penalty. Have you heard the one about the Argentinian hand of god? Or the mysterious case of whether the ball was over the line or not (as in '66)?   

       There's been plenty of questionable (or at the very least, controversial) decisions, they may even be, on occasion, incorrect - but, in the general scheme of things, until such time as the referees become corrupted, their decisions remain, and always will be 'fair'.
zen_tom, Jun 27 2006

       //until such time as the referees become corrupted//

Hmmm! May I assume that you're excluding Italian and German football from this comment?

Rubbish idea, by-the-way. Here's why...

//allow refs to call free kicks for infractions that occur in the penalty box.//

Referees are no more likely to get those decisions right than any other.

//limiting the duration of a penalty to 20 minutes or the next goal//

This makes 'professional' fouls far more likely. If players will risk it now then how much more likely are they to do it when the penalty is lessened?

//Introduce a shot-clock as in basketball.//

What you'll end up with is teams packed full of lanky forwards crowding the penalty area whilst their team-mates hoof the ball unceremoniously into the opposition penalty area. There's more than enough of that sort of thing going on as it is.

To end on a positive note though, Graham Taylor will probably give you a job if you send him a letter with this idea. I hope you like root vegetables!
DrBob, Jun 27 2006

       How about robot referees? But make sure the 'power off' button is located in an accessible place - just in case they develop a taste for power! Just imagine - a world ran by super-intelligent robot football referees! - Erm, on second thought, don't.
7ennyn, Jun 27 2006

       A shot every 30 seconds. That's a minimum of 180 shots - on a 100-130 yard pitch.
Jinbish, Jun 27 2006

       Instead of the penalty box, make the penalized run a lap around the outside of the stadium. He would be jeered and cheered, flashed and mooned, loved and hated. If he did not complete the lap in a certain time he would have to run it again! Hah! Then directly back into the game, exhausted, elated, spiritually spent, drenched from flung baggies of urine. But it might be less than 10 minutes!
bungston, Jun 27 2006

       //allow refs to call free kicks for infractions that occur in the penalty box. There could be a few designated free-kick spots located outside of the penalty area for such free-kicks//   

       My understanding of the rules is that this *can* happen (although I have never seen a ref call this). I reffed once and made this call - and got a lot of flack for it.   

       from page 42 of the FIFA rules PDF:   

       Free Kick Inside the Penalty Area
Direct or indirect free kick to the defending team:
• all opponents are at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball
• all opponents remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
• the ball is in play when it is kicked directly beyond the penalty area
• a free kick awarded in the goal area is taken from any point inside that area

       Indirect free kick to the attacking team:
• all opponents are at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball until it is in play, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts
• the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
• an indirect free kick awarded inside the goal area is taken from that part of the goal area line which runs parallel to the goal line, at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred

       Free Kick Outside the Penalty Area
• all opponents are at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball until it is in play
• the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
• the free kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred
xaviergisz, Jun 28 2006

       Surely if no decimal places are required for 10 yards, then the same should apply to 9.15m.   

       I'm reminded of a packet of seeds that instructed me to "sprinkle seeds approx. 6 inches (15.24cm) apart".   

       And anyway it's 9.14m.
Texticle, Jun 28 2006

       The extra 0.01m is a royalty you must pay to Mr Blatter for allowing you to play football.
methinksnot, Jun 28 2006

       Free kicks inside the penalty area tend to be given when the keeper picks up a back pass. I remember Shearer scoring a good one for England.
As I've said before, you should learn the real name of the sport before you start looking to improve it.
MikeOliver, Jun 29 2006

       It's called 'Association Football'.
DrBob, Jun 29 2006

       why dribble when you can drivel?
xenzag, Jun 29 2006

       Ah. Football. Yawn.
kuupuuluu, Jun 29 2006

       //Just curious why FIFA can't get their shit together on video referees. Most other sports seem to be able to use them.//

In my usual contrary manner, this comment prompted me to think that perhaps the real answer is to do away with slow motion replays altogether. Human skill (or lack thereof) is the engine that makes sport interesting. Introducing ever more technology into sport doesn't really add anything to the spectacle. Just watch the game, form your own opinion and argue about it in the pub afterwards.

To answer your question more directly UB, because it would slow the game down to a crawl. I'd be against it in any case. One of the great blessings of TV coverage of sports like football and rugby is that there are no appreciable breaks in play. That means that I don't get bombarded with 30 second adverts everytime the game stops.
DrBob, Jun 29 2006

       could not agree more, in all respects, DrBob!
po, Jun 29 2006

       But, [DrBob], the rugby referees use a 4th official to adjudicate on tries... The main concern for football, in my view, is that it'd end up migrating to be used on other infringements/incidents (every 3 minutes).
Jinbish, Jun 29 2006

       Could be that too. I wouldn't put anything past the diabolical Blatter. Having said that, if you think I'm going to defend that show-pony Graham Poll then you're in for a disappointment ;o)
DrBob, Jun 30 2006

       //What! You mean it would be slower than it is already? Stuff that for a joke. Now I see why they haven't done it.//   

       You ever seen a cricket match ? :-)
monojohnny, Jun 30 2006


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