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Alternative World Cup formats

 



rainjar
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Jun 26, 2010, 8:12 AM

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Alternative World Cup formats Can't Post or Reply Privately

Getting through as one of the top 2 from a group of 4, followed by single elimination rounds from the last 16 to a final, are often about not losing games within the 90 minutes, which makes for a lot of boring football.

It takes a very brave manager (or in the case of Maradona, a slightly mad one) to play expansive, attacking football at the World Cup.

I think a double knock-out tournament would produce more attacking football, and be workable.

I figured we could do with a thread on weird and wonderful alternatives to the current format.



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(This post was edited by rainjar on Jun 26, 2010, 8:13 AM)


rainjar
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Jun 26, 2010, 8:50 AM

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Re: [rainjar] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I'll kick it off with a double knock-out tournament. All games produce a winner and loser - if level after 90 minutes, extra-time, and if necessary, penalties, as is presently the case for the knock-out stage.
  • Round 1: 32 teams seeded and paired to play against each other (16 matches).
  • Round 2A: 16 winners from Round 1 paired to play against each other (8 matches).
  • Round 2B: 16 losers from Round 1 paired to play against each other (8 matches).
(8 losers from Round 2B eliminated, having lost 2 matches).
  • Round 3A: 8 winners from Round 2A paired to play against each other (4 matches).
  • Round 3B: 8 losers from Round 2A paired to play against each other (4 matches).
  • Round 3C: 8 winners from Round 2B paired to play against each other (4 matches).
(4 losers from Round 3B and 4 losers from Round 3C eliminated, having lost 2 matches).
  • Round 4A: 4 winners from Round 3A paired to play against each other (2 matches).
  • Round 4B: 4 losers from Round 3A paired to play against each other (2 matches).
  • Round 4C: 4 winners from Round 3B paired to play against each other (2 matches).
  • Round 4D: 4 winners from Round 3C paired to play against each other (2 matches).
(2 losers from Round 4B, 2 losers from Round 4C and 2 losers from Round 4D eliminated, having lost 2 matches).
  • Round 5A: 2 winners from Round 4A play against each other (1 match).
  • Round 5B: 2 losers from Round 4A play against each other (1 match).
  • Round 5C: 2 winners from Round 4B play against each other (1 match).
  • Round 5D: 2 winners from Round 4C play against each other (1 match).
  • Round 5E: 2 winners from Round 4D play against each other (1 match).
(Losers from Rounds 5B, 5C, 5D and 5E eliminated, having lost 2 matches).
We are left with 6 teams:
  • Team 1, winner in Round 5A, which has won all 5 games so far.
  • Team 2, loser in Round 5A, which has won 4 and lost 1 game.
  • Teams 3, 4, 5 and 6, winners in Rounds 5B, 5C, 5D and 5E, each of which has won 4 and lost 1 game.
This is where I'll be especially controversial. Smile
  • Play off: Team 3 v Team 6, Team 4 v Team 5 (2 matches). Losers are eliminated, having lost 2 matches.
  • Winners of the play-offs join Teams 1 and 2 in a 4-team group. The 4 teams play against each other (6 matches), with 3 points for a win and 0 points for a loss. No draws, as teams will continue with extra time and penalties if necessary. Team 1, having won all 5 games so far, start with 1 point. The rest start with 0 points.
Total of 65 games, comparable with the current 64 (including 3th/4th placing). The winners of the play offs play the most games - 9. The other teams that make it to the final group stage play 8 each. Currently, the most games any team plays is 7 - the two finalists. Minimum number of games is 2. Currently, it's 3.

A modified Swiss system tournament may be fairer and allow every team a minimum of 3 games, but it would be a more radical departure from the current system or systems previously used. I'll try that later.



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(This post was edited by rainjar on Jun 27, 2010, 5:49 AM)


leohoenig
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Jun 26, 2010, 10:14 AM

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Re: [rainjar] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

A group of games is not satsifactory, a singular final is still desired.

When you get down to six teams

1v2, 3v4 and 5v6

If team 1 wins, they have a bye to the final, with team 2 having lost twice
in which case, the only semi -final is winner 3/4 v winner 5/6

The final is then team 1 v semi-final winner.
[I have seen a formula where if team 1 loses this, then it is replayed as both teams have only lost once, but I think this would be dispensed with]

If team loses at the six team stage, then we have four survivors with one defeat each and the semi finals are
1v winner 3/4, 2v winner 5/6

And in this case the final is between two teams who have both lost a game.



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Lars
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Jun 26, 2010, 7:48 PM

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Re: [rainjar] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Beach Volley(ball) often/always practice double knock-out. If I'm not wrong, curling sometimes/often practice it too.

Your suggestion have advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that it might feel a bit "too complicated" for some people. A simple knockout tournament may be easier to understand. Also, it might be preferable that every team participating can play at least three games, after having gone through the qualifications and then spending months to prepare (etc.).

I do however think the single knockout system can be cruel. And personally, I may prefer your suggestion. I don't remember all you wrote, but take it as obvious that every game should have a winner and a loser (no draws - if a draw after 90 mins then extra time and penalties).
Today a team can lose two games in the group stage, but still make the "round of 16". Or a team can win two games, but fail to reach it. Hm... Well, the more I think of it, I like your idea. Especially if the seeding process will feel fair.

Regarding penalties... Why not do the penalties before the extra time? If a draw after 90 mins, then do the penalties, followed by the extra time. Then the team losing the penalties must win during the 2x15 mins extra time. That would give us a situation where at least one of the teams should really go for it during extra time (instead of just awaiting penalties). The penalties would also give the players some extra time to rest before the extra time. Plus that the penalties won't be so "do or die". The guy who was the one to blame for the penalties loss, have a chance to get revenge during the extra time.
Well, think about it guys. Losing those penalty shootouts wouldn't be the end of it - you could still have won it!

1. 90 mins (either we have a winner and a looser, or we go to 2)
2. Penalties (will not decide a winner or loser. But winners of penalties may get 1/2 goal to take with them into the extra time)
3. Extra time 2x15 (one of the teams has lost in the penalties and must go for scoring in the extra time. Never will there be a "draw" situation - always one of the teams must go for the win)

Example:
England-Germany 1-1 after 90 mins
Germans win penalties
Terry scores for England. Now England are the ones ahead!
Klose scores for Germans in extra time. Now England are the ones forced to score
Rooney scores. Now Germany again must go for it!
End of extra time. England have won.


Chapeltom
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Jun 26, 2010, 10:55 PM

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Post #5 of 16 (1917 views)
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Re: [Lars] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or

I reckon having a penalty shoot-out before each knockout game would be funny. Play the shoot-out then have the match, if its a win for any team the shoot-out is ignored and the winner has the game, it is a draw the shoot-out winner takes it.

Wink


Tivvy_Al
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Jun 27, 2010, 12:17 AM

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Re: [Chapeltom] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or

Call me radical but I like the idea of 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time if required, and then kicks from the penalty spot.



The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


rainjar
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Jun 27, 2010, 6:12 AM

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Post #7 of 16 (1893 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
A group of games is not satsifactory, a singular final is still desired.

....


A final group stage may not be as exciting, but it would carry more weight in the winner being declared world champions.

As you've pointed out elsewhere, it has been used before.

Further, the possibility of having either one or two semi-finals might create a problem for scheduling, where the tournament is played over a fixed period in a host country.

If we went that way, it shouldn't be Team 1 v Team 2 in the sixth round, as they would have just played each other in Round 5A. I suppose it could continue as follows:
  • Round 6: A: Team 1 v Team 6, B: Team 2 v Team 5, C: Team 3 v Team 4 (3 matches).
  • Semi-finals: If Team 1 wins Game 6A, bye to final, Winner of 6B v Winner of 6C. If Team 1 loses, Winner of 6A v Winner of 6B, Loser of 6A v Winner of 6C (1 or 2 matches).
  • Final: Team 1 v Winner of other semi-final or between winners of two semi-finals (1 match).
There are now 61 or 62 matches in total (excluding any 3rd/4th placing match).



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rainjar
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Jun 27, 2010, 6:49 AM

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Post #8 of 16 (1889 views)
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Re: [Lars] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

There's always the more radical Swiss system.

The Swiss system is used a lot for board games, but I don't see why it can't be used for team sports.
"The principle of a Swiss tournament is that each player will be pitted against another player who has done as well (or poorly) as him or herself. For the first round, players are paired either according to some pattern or randomly (according to common practice in that type of game or sport). For subsequent rounds, players are sorted according to their cumulative scores and players are assigned opponents that have the same or similar score to that point. One proviso is that the same players never oppose each other twice. ....

....

The first round is either drawn at random or seeded according to some prior order, .... Players who win receive a point, those who draw receive half a point and players that lose receive no points. Win, lose, or draw, all players proceed to the next round where winners are pitted against winners, losers are pitted against losers, and so on. In subsequent rounds, players face opponents with the same (or almost the same) score. No player is paired up against the same opponent twice however. ....
The basic rule is that players with the same score are ranked according to rating. Then the top half is paired with the bottom half. For instance, if there are eight players in a score group, number 1 is paired with number 5, number 2 is paired with number 6 and so on. Modifications are then made to balance colors and prevent players from meeting each other twice.
The detailed rules of how to do the pairing are usually quite complicated and often the tournament organizer has access to a computer to do the pairing. If the rules are strictly adhered to, the organizer has no discretion in pairing the round. ....
....

Determining a clear winner (and, incidentally, a clear loser) usually requires the same number of rounds as a knockout tournament .... Therefore three rounds can handle eight players, four rounds can handle sixteen players and so on. If fewer than this minimum number of rounds are played, it can happen that two or more players finish the tournament with a perfect score, having won all their games but never faced each other.
Compared to a knockout tournament the Swiss system has the inherent advantage of not eliminating anyone. That means that a player can enter such a tournament knowing that he will be able to play in all rounds, regardless of how well he does. ....
Another advantage compared to knockout tournaments is that the final ranking gives some indication of relative strength for all contestants, not just for the winner of the tournament. As an example, the losing finalist in a knockout tournament may not be the second best contestant; that might have been any of the contestants eliminated by the eventual tournament winner in earlier rounds."
I'd modify it as follows:
  • 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw as is currently the case in football.
  • Teams with the same number of points are ordered by the result between the two teams, goal difference, goals scored, then their seeding.
  • I'd also have a cut after 3 or 4 games, where the bottom half are eliminated (like the cut in golf tournaments).
  • I'd have a final between the top 2 teams.
For 28 teams:
  • First stage: 28 teams play against each other over 3 rounds (42 matches). The pairing in the first round is by seeding, in subsequent rounds, against teams on the same or similar points which have not yet played against each other.
  • Second stage: Bottom 14 teams are eliminated, and the remaining 14 continue with another 3 or 4 rounds (21 or 28 matches). I haven't worked out whether the points and goal difference from the first stage should be retained, halved or re-set to zero. The advantage of retaining at least half the points is that it makes it easier to get by with just 3 further rounds.
  • Top two teams play each other in a final.
If it's just 3 rounds in the second stage, we have a total of 64 matches - the same as under the current format. I've used 28 teams for that reason.



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Dr Love
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Jun 27, 2010, 9:56 AM

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Re: [rainjar] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Though the Swiss sytem does mean that for a majority of games it's impossible in advance to know where your team are going to be playing. Fine for neutrals, but awkward for anyone who wants to follow their own side.

Even with the later knockout stages it's only going to be one of two venues where a side could play.


leohoenig
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Jun 27, 2010, 11:29 AM

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Re: [Dr Love] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The criticism about not knowing in advance where your matches will be is true of any tournament format where the result of matches decides who plays whom in the next round. The examples shown are most often used for tournaments at single venues.
This could be alleviated by splitting the early stages into defined and geographic grounds - however, I suspect that the modern practise of spreading the matches around the host country is preferable to fans to staying in one city. I think that nowadays, the travelling fan does more siteseeing on the free days, and therefore would prefer this format to one where you stay in a single city for three matches. When I go to tournaments, I groundhop - that is I see as many different grounds in different cities, but generally the English fans (or fans of other countries travelling) rarely sees games not involving their own country. Ticket sales procedures favour this as well.
The current format allows the fan to plan for the first two weeks, and to have an idea of what his/her itineries may be if staying longer.

From a purist competitive point of view, I think some of the suggestions on this site are very interesting, but practicalities need to intervene.

Meanwhile, this question of early penalties - one I have raised before. While the team known to be behind must attack, the team that has one the shoot out may well try to defend with every man behind the ball. At a time (which I think is now) when defences dominate games, I think this may be a formula for very dull extra time periods.



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



villahopper
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Jun 27, 2010, 12:35 PM

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Re: [leohoenig] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

These alternatives are just way to complicated and they dont address the underlying problem. Namely too many teams are paralysed by the fear of losing. It doesnt matter what system you use one team still has to win the game, which means fear of losing is always present. And for some teams they will just play defensive football


Lars
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Jun 27, 2010, 2:08 PM

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Post #12 of 16 (1813 views)
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Re: [Chapeltom] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
I reckon having a penalty shoot-out before each knockout game would be funny. Play the shoot-out then have the match, if its a win for any team the shoot-out is ignored and the winner has the game, it is a draw the shoot-out winner takes it.

Wink



OK. But my suggestion was to do the penalties between 90 mins and the extra time. 1. 90 mins. 2-3. Penalties always followed by extra time.

I think it's usually the receiver of the idea that complicates it, because in itself it is very simple.
Of course the result after 90 mins is the most important one. If the game is decided after 90 mins, we have a winner and a loser. Finished.
Usually the receiever of the idea starts imagining there is something strange with the idea, while it's actually totally easy, natural and logical.

Effects will be:
* No scapegoat(?) after the penalties. Focus goes away from the guy(s) who missed his (their) penalty.
* Penalty shootouts, often referred to as "lottery" will not become as deciding as today, as losing team have 30 mins of extra time to try to alter things.
* ALWAYS, in EVERY single second of the extra time, one team is forced to attack. NOT as today, when teams often await the penalties. (Why must one team attack? Well, it's because after the penalties there will never be a draw situation. One team will always be ahead, either by having scoring more extra time goals, or - if still a draw - by having won the penalty shootout.

I just googled "penalties before extra time" and found some links, including some abstracts on the subject. Conclusions are usually positive. Basically all the things people usually asks for (attacking football, etc) have a better chance of becoming true.
http://www-rcf.usc.edu/...Fpapers/wp-penal.pdf
http://www.mtk.ut.ee/...d+Stehlik+(2010).pdf
http://ijsf.wordpress.com/...s-before-extra-time/

Here's a recent article:
http://www.sbs.com.au/...blog/The-Interchange
"The proportion of goalless extra-times would therefore approximately fall by half: from almost 50 per cent to below 25 per cent."
"The university is suggesting that FIFA should consider trialling the proposed rule change in lower-tier competitions and if the rule proves to be a success, then it should be implemented in the top-tier leagues."

I'm pretty sure that once this will be tested, it will within a few years become the standard.


rainjar
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Jun 27, 2010, 2:46 PM

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Post #13 of 16 (1803 views)
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Re: [Dr Love] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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Though the Swiss sytem does mean that for a majority of games it's impossible in advance to know where your team are going to be playing. Fine for neutrals, but awkward for anyone who wants to follow their own side.

Even with the later knockout stages it's only going to be one of two venues where a side could play.


True, for a tournament played over a fixed period at different venues in a host country, which is why it was my second suggestion after a double elimination tournament, even though it can guarantee a minimum of 3 games per team, and the final ranking is a truer reflection of the strengths of the teams. Cool

The other disadvantage is that for 32 teams, you'd need a lot more matches, even if you had a cut after 3 or 4 rounds.

I actually first thought of the Swiss system as an alternative to FIFA rankings, and as part of an international calendar:
  • At the start of each year,the teams are broken down into groups of 32 based on the previous year's rankings - the first 32 in Group A, the second 32 in Group B and so on.
  • The teams in each Group play matches over the course of the year based on the Swiss system. For a Group of 32, a minimum of 5 games per team would be required. It might make sense to play an extra round to make 6 games per team, an even number.
  • The teams are ranked according to the Swiss system. That's the ranking for the year. The team at the top could rightly be called World Champions for that year.
  • You could have promotion and relegation between groups.
  • Effectively, you have a World Championship every year.
Each team would play as many games at home as away, in the same way that "In chess it is also attempted to ensure that each player plays an equal number of games with white and black, alternate colors in each round being the most preferable, and a concerted effort is made not to assign the same color three times in a row".

The rankings could be used to determine qualification for each confederation's continental championship, which could be held every two years (years ending in odd numbers).

The teams that get through to the later stages of the continental championships qualify for the following year's World Cup, also held every two years (years ending in even numbers).

Do away with the current methods of qualification for each continent's championship and the World Cup.

But I've moved away from the original topic. Smile



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rainjar
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Jun 27, 2010, 2:51 PM

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Re: [villahopper] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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These alternatives are just way to complicated and they dont address the underlying problem. Namely too many teams are paralysed by the fear of losing. It doesnt matter what system you use one team still has to win the game, which means fear of losing is always present. And for some teams they will just play defensive football


In the double elimination system, teams that haven't lost a match yet might actually go for a win, so as to avoid the losers groups, and even if they did lose a game, they're not eliminated yet.



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villahopper
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Jun 27, 2010, 3:42 PM

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Post #15 of 16 (1790 views)
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Re: [rainjar] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To
These alternatives are just way to complicated and they dont address the underlying problem. Namely too many teams are paralysed by the fear of losing. It doesnt matter what system you use one team still has to win the game, which means fear of losing is always present. And for some teams they will just play defensive football


In the double elimination system, teams that haven't lost a match yet might actually go for a win, so as to avoid the losers groups, and even if they did lose a game, they're not eliminated yet.


The operative word there is might. You would think teams would always play to win but they don't


Chapeltom
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Jun 27, 2010, 6:45 PM

Posts: 4058
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Post #16 of 16 (1766 views)
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Re: [Lars] Alternative World Cup formats [In reply to] Can't Post or


In Reply To

In Reply To
I reckon having a penalty shoot-out before each knockout game would be funny. Play the shoot-out then have the match, if its a win for any team the shoot-out is ignored and the winner has the game, it is a draw the shoot-out winner takes it.

Wink



OK. But my suggestion was to do the penalties between 90 mins and the extra time. 1. 90 mins. 2-3. Penalties always followed by extra time.

I think it's usually the receiver of the idea that complicates it, because in itself it is very simple.
Of course the result after 90 mins is the most important one. If the game is decided after 90 mins, we have a winner and a loser. Finished.
Usually the receiever of the idea starts imagining there is something strange with the idea, while it's actually totally easy, natural and logical.

Effects will be:
* No scapegoat(?) after the penalties. Focus goes away from the guy(s) who missed his (their) penalty.
* Penalty shootouts, often referred to as "lottery" will not become as deciding as today, as losing team have 30 mins of extra time to try to alter things.
* ALWAYS, in EVERY single second of the extra time, one team is forced to attack. NOT as today, when teams often await the penalties. (Why must one team attack? Well, it's because after the penalties there will never be a draw situation. One team will always be ahead, either by having scoring more extra time goals, or - if still a draw - by having won the penalty shootout.

I just googled "penalties before extra time" and found some links, including some abstracts on the subject. Conclusions are usually positive. Basically all the things people usually asks for (attacking football, etc) have a better chance of becoming true.
http://www-rcf.usc.edu/...Fpapers/wp-penal.pdf
http://www.mtk.ut.ee/...d+Stehlik+(2010).pdf
http://ijsf.wordpress.com/...s-before-extra-time/

Here's a recent article:
http://www.sbs.com.au/...blog/The-Interchange
"The proportion of goalless extra-times would therefore approximately fall by half: from almost 50 per cent to below 25 per cent."
"The university is suggesting that FIFA should consider trialling the proposed rule change in lower-tier competitions and if the rule proves to be a success, then it should be implemented in the top-tier leagues."

I'm pretty sure that once this will be tested, it will within a few years become the standard.


My response wasn't a response to yours. My post was just my own idea Crazy

 
 


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