Football (Soccer) Rule Changes Needed to Improve the World Game
Ways to Improve the game for Teams, Players, Fans
Now that the final games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup are to be played it is time to review how the world game could be improved through a number of rule changes. Soccer is indeed a world game with 300,000 soccer clubs worldwide, comprised of 240 million players, 30 million of which are women. Let's make it better for players, teams and fans!
What are the Main Problems with Soccer and the Solutions
- A penalty goal should be awarded for a deliberate hand-ball on the line that stops a goal. It is ridiculous that a player can deliberately block a goal and that a penalty is awarded. When it is clear that the goal would have been scored, the offending player should be sent off and a goal awarded immediately. The referee already has to decide whether the hand-ball was deliberate - this should be extended to whether a goal would have been scored using the video review as outlined below.
- Video reviews by a third referee should be introduced. This applies for most other international sports. It could be limited to 3 per team per half, but it is needed because of the obvious refereeing errors that occurred in the world cup. This could be extended to offside decisions immediately before a goal was scored which is easy to review on a video, but very hard for the assistant referee to decide under the current rule.
Other Suggestions to Improve Football
Soccer - A Great Game
Increase the width of the goals by one meter (3.28 feet)
This would increase the number of goal scored and increase the number of long range shots which is what the fans want and would provide for fairer outcomes.
The counter arguments are:
► The goal is already a good size and most goal keepers can't stop a good high powered shot.
► Further, having a bigger goal would mean a goalkeeper could have no chance of saving penalty shots, and so wider goals would fundamentally change how the game is played.
However one extra meter is only a 12% increase.
Something has to be done to increase the number of goals scored for the fans and to provide fairer results where the best team wins.
This would also reduce the number of draws, especially 0-0 draws which are boring after 90 minutes and 20 minutes extra time.
Many current games are boring, with defensive tactics to the fore. The outcome can be a lottery, depending on a single 'lucky' goal.
The outcomes need to be fairer. Wider goals and higher scores would make this happen.
Players given a 'yellow-card' should leave the field for 10 minutes, with the existing penalties still applied.
This would reduce the number of blatant fouls that are marring the game. Players can deliberately block a player shooting for goal or deliberately aim to injure a key player without an immediate penalty if they are not sent off.
The penalty shoot-out is grossly unfair and while 'entertaining' many fans are left angry and frustrated by it.
There are several better options for resolving draws:
- Count of corner kicks - but this would dramatically change the game as teams would go for corners rather than goals.
- Golden goal during the 10 minutes of extra time each way - but this could make teams focus on defence.
- 2 Players leave the field to 'open up the game during extra time. After the first two periods of 10 minutes of extra time - with no golden goal rule, a series of 10 minutes are allowed with the gold goal rule applied, and with 2 players from each side asked to leave the field at the start of each period. This would mean that the outcome was determined by skill and the better team would win. It would be exciting for the fans and much fairer.
- Players should be encouraged to wear body-hugging shirts to stop the obvious shirt-tugging that ruins the game and is difficult to police. Referees should be tougher on players grabbing and blocking players during free kicks and corners.
Glad to hear of any other suggestions or comments you may have.
Note: I played the game for 15 years and have been a fan for 50 years.
© 2010 Dr. John Anderson
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