Any Rule Changes in International Soccer You'd Make?

VORP Speed

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singaporesoxfan said:
Why wouldn't teams just tacitly agree to let each other score a goal each then? (Sort of like the way players kick the ball back to the opposing team if the opposing team kicked the ball out to stop play for an injury.)
 
1. This is less to address the "biscotti" games where each team needs a draw in one match to advance in a tournament and more to generally remove the reward for overly cynical, negative football. You want to park the bus from the first minute? That's fine, but you don't get the fallback of one point if you're not able to score on a counter. You do not get rewarded for a match in which you do not score. It used to be a win was 2 points and a draw was 1, then they changed it to the current 3 and 1 to give more of an incentive to take risks. This is in the same vein. It's an easier thing to tweak than altering rules that affect the run of play on the field.
2. Even in the "biscotti" matches, there's a big difference between a game starting even and staying even and one team having to trust that another team will reciprocate and allowing itself to fall behind. The latter requires far more explicit coordination.
 

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JayMags71 said:
Seriously. What's wrong with 45 - minute halves?
 
Nothing but thats not the point right now the real playing time is about 1.00 hour a game. So half an hour of playing time is wasted, thats how i got to about 35 minutes real playing time. Games which last 90 minutes will go into more than 2 hours real time.
 
 
cromulence said:
 
Yeah, and let's make the clock count down. And let's have power plays. And commercials!
 
Glad we are in agreement. Ask Portugal about that 1 hour powerplay of the germans. 
 
A lot in the game has changed, and changed for the better, i would like to see more technologie. A videoref isnt a bad idea. I feel like the refs are overmatched right now, only in slowmotion you can really see if its a foul or not.
 

AMcGhie

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Substitutions:
Either allow for unlimited rolling substitutions (like hockey, but where one player must leave the field of play before the other joins, and do not stop play for substitutions) or at the first stoppage of play due to a goal or ball-out-of-bounds after 15 and 30 minutes in.  That way the substitution cannot be used to waste time, but the full 23 (or maybe smaller) roster can be used.  There are players who are going to the world cup who will have absolutely no chance of seeing the field short of a catastrophic injury. 
 
PK's:
move the PK back to the top of the penalty box to at least give the goalie SOME chance of blocking it.  PK's are about as useless as PAT's right now.
 
Diving:
Reviewable diving including video challenges.  Replay official upstairs gets 15 seconds to look at the infraction and can reverse the penalty, (giving an indirect/direct free kick to the team that the foul was called against), up to a yellow card for diving. 
 
Time: 2 40 minute halves.  Clock starts upon the ball re-entering play.  Clock stops on goal and ball out of bounds. 
 
Teams: go from 11 on 11 to 9 on 9.  Open up the field slightly more and allow for more action and less clutter. 
 

Schnerres

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You are making many of your proposals based on professionals, the WC, EPL, LaLiga or smth alike.
 
The Fifa will consider some influence like goal-line technology, if it it helps. But some things you mention are just not manageable or make not sense and need more thought.
 
-Why would you change your substitions rule based on WC roster and some of the 23 making no WC appearances?
 
-A match takes 90 minutes. Don´t stop the time, this will end in endless matches taking 3 hours. This in itself wouldn´t be the biggest problem. But there are clubs who have multiple matches in scheduled orders. We (Germany) have matches arranged on Sundays, that take 90minutes and every 105minutes starts a new match. Warmups start on the sides or behind the field. Football is a game for everyone and not for the exclusive superstars.
 
-Extra-kicks in american football: no team in NFL below 97% (last season). I don´t know about amateurs. But penalties should be about the same in amateurs and professionals, it should be goals somewhere between 70 and 80% of the time. Which is a good number, if you consider that it stopped a goal-scoring chance or at least was a foul in the box, which somehow was a dangerous position.
 

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I'd be curious about where the optimal spot for PKs would be. My guess is that if they moved it to the top of the box you would see goals on maybe 25% of shots.  I bet you only need to drop it back 1 or 2 yards to bring the scoring percentage down to a more realistic level.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The Gray Eagle said:
Premier League penalties are converted at about an 85% rate. 
 
That makes the reward for diving about 85% of a goal, which is huge. Moving the penalty spot back so that a PK is more like a 50% chance of a goal would greatly reduce the benefit of diving, especially if there was also a retroactive banning if you get caught doing it on tape. 
 
While I get that people hate diving, a lot of the rule suggestions to try and discourage it don't take into consideration how it would affect non-dive situations.  I don't want to make it less of a penalty on the defense to blatantly tackle a guy in the box just because you think turning a penalty kick into a coin flip will discourage diving.
 

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I dislike playing thread police, but I think for some of these suggestions, folks should take an extra moment to consider the potential downsides and post them as well.
 
From my experience, the number of bad PK decisions by refs are far outnumbered by the number of good decisions. 
 

The Gray Eagle

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SoxFanInCali said:
 
While I get that people hate diving, a lot of the rule suggestions to try and discourage it don't take into consideration how it would affect non-dive situations.  I don't want to make it less of a penalty on the defense to blatantly tackle a guy in the box just because you think turning a penalty kick into a coin flip will discourage diving.
 
If a player blatantly tackles a guy (assuming you mean american football tackling here) it would still be a 50% chance of a goal, and the defender can still be given a red or a yellow. There might be some more scoring chances turning into PKs, but a 50% chance of scoring is still a great chance, and the defender will be sent off if he's the last defender or does anything too blatant. The equation for a defender doesn't change that much, he's still risking a PK goal and a card if he deliberately fouls someone in the area. If he deliberately tackles someone to try to stop them from scoring he should be sent off and his team will still have to save a penalty. It'd be 50-50 that they give up a goal anyway and lose a man for the rest of the game and have the red card suspension too. It'd be dumb to suddenly hack attackers down all the time because the odds of scoring a PK dropped 35%. It might happen a bit more often, but not that much I don't think.
 
It would change how penalties are called a bit, but I think for the better. Now defenders feel free to grab shirts and wrestle on corners, and it's almost never called, because calling a penalty there is like awarding a goal to the attackers for doing nothing. If it's awarding a half a goal, then you make that call more often at least and cut down on that. 
 
It also makes the referee's decisions less crucial. Now if there is a borderline call, the ref's decision is almost to award a goal or deny a team a goal. That is game-changing almost every time. With this change, if your team is jobbed by a bad call, or let's say a borderline call goes against you, at least you're either only losing a 50% chance of a goal, or your goalie still has more of a chance to save the day. 
 
I would like to have less diving, less grabbing, more exciting PKs, and referee's decisions that aren't quite as game-changing. 
 

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Gunfighter 09 said:
Head to head, rather than goal differential, should always be the first tie breaker in both league tables and tournament group stages.

I know LaLiga does it this way, but I think Goal differential is the standard everywhere else. I don't see how running up the differential on a beaten opponent helps the sport, and giving tie breaker advantage to wins devalues draws, which is always good.
 
I agree with all of this.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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The Gray Eagle said:
Premier League penalties are converted at about an 85% rate. 
 
That makes the reward for diving about 85% of a goal, which is huge. Moving the penalty spot back so that a PK is more like a 50% chance of a goal would greatly reduce the benefit of diving, especially if there was also a retroactive banning if you get caught doing it on tape. 
 
It's also ludicrous that the ref keeps the amount of time left in the game secret from the fans and players. How much time is left? Oh maybe a minute, maybe 20 seconds, who cares? Maybe we'll let your team finish its last attack, even though the time is actually up. Or maybe we won't. Who knows? Let the whims of the referee decide when the game is actually over, referee whims are so awesome. 
 
The downside of this is that it increases the incentive for a defender to just flatten a guy in the box.  If his 85% probability of scoring on a penalty goes down to ~50%, it becomes a much more attractive proposition to take the guy out, notwithstanding the yellow/red that might follow.
 
edit: I see this was already covered above.
 

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Maybe one PK spot for fouls when the guy has the ball at his feet, and a spot further away for fouls when the guy doesn't have the ball?
 
There would have to be a discussion as to what constitutes possession, but if that could be delineated, it could be a solution
 

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Merkle's Boner said:
I know the "ref keeps the clock" thing is a major thing in soccer, but I would love to see that change.  At least after it goes to injury time, make it exact, so that if there is five minutes of injury time, the game ends exactly when that five minutes is up. 
I absolutely agree with this.  No reason a clock management system similar to that used in lacrosse couldn't be used in futbol, with signals from the on-field officials to start and stop the clock.
 
Separately I've often thought, as well as for hockey, just what would happen to the game if offside was eliminated.  To be sure, there are differences between how offside is determined between the two sports, with hockey imposing a physically-fixed boundary, while soccer sets the boundary as a moving line of demarcation based on defender's position.
 
Unlike hockey, offside in soccer can be used tactically in defense, with offside traps and the like.
 
Certainly eliminating it would open up the game.  But it could also lead to hold-back cherry picking.  At a minimum, it would influence the manner in which defenders position themselves.
 

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I've heard anecdotal stories about soccer games without offsides. The short story is, it was a pretty clear detriment to the style of play, as both teams camped out near goal and midfield was bypassed completely.
 

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Mr. Wednesday said:
I've heard anecdotal stories about soccer games without offsides. The short story is, it was a pretty clear detriment to the style of play, as both teams camped out near goal and midfield was bypassed completely.
Perhaps some restrictions on the number of players that could be "offside"?  Like 1.  I dunno.
 

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I imagine there being soccer boards in countries like Germany and Brazil mocking this thread in their versions of P&G the way some people mock Chapel Hills's favorite misogynist.
 

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ivanvamp said:
To bowiac's point:  
 
You'd also see tactical substitutions as well.  You have a big corner kick, you bring in your tall offensive guys.  You need to change the pace of play, you bring in your fast guys.
 
More substitutions would mean more breaks in the action, so I guess that's the downside.  But really, it would still make for a more exciting and interesting game, IMO.  
 
 
when are these subs entering the game? breaks in action are the exact opposite of exciting.
 
best thing about soccer = no commercials. anything that seems like it could lead to commercials is a no go for me
 
sub packages for corner kicks? c'mon man
 

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I imagine there being soccer boards in countries like Germany and Brazil mocking this thread in their versions of P&G the way some people mock Chapel Hills's favorite misogynist.
 
 
big soccer mexico forum has "the gringo wall of shame" 
 
i could see some of these posts ending up there
 

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luckiestman said:
 
 
big soccer mexico forum has "the gringo wall of shame" 
 
i could see some of these posts ending up there
Just some? This thread has been very scary.

The vast majority of this stuff is trying to fix what isn't broken. Substitutions work well in this sport. The clock is one of the best aspects. The hidden extra time gives the ref discretion to let an attack late in the match complete as opposed to a rigid timer. Most suggestions here are breaking way more than they are solving.
 

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Agreed - I've been whince-reading. I don't really get why we're trying to change the sport, personally. Imagine reading a thread on a Dutch forum (trying to think of a country that's not good but is sort of up and coming) proposing that baseball allow unlimited substitutions and play three eighteen out innings instead of nine six out innings. You're drastically changing a sport that is already rooted in tradition - it's never gonna happen. Tweaks like the vanishing spray, replay, etc are worth discussing, but most of this stuff is pretty out there.
 

DJnVa

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With some of these suggestions, I wonder if some of you really like soccer. Because if not, stop messing with it and make up your own game.
 

mgoblue2

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The time of soccer does not need to be messed with. None of this clock stopping and starting or 40 minute halves BS. I like the current rules, only thing re: flopping, because it has been such a problem, is retroactive bans by some panel. Also, refs should be taught to use judgment if a guy falls over like he's been stabbed below the knee only to get up and sprint in the next 15 seconds. Perhaps a talking to and then bookings if needed.

Also: more free kicks inside the box like for backpass handballs by the keeper. Those things are cool.
 

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DrewDawg said:
With some of these suggestions, I wonder if some of you really like soccer. Because if not, stop messing with it and make up your own game.
This thread is a big tourney tradition around here.  I'm all for people wanting to follow the World Cup even if they don't watch the game regularly, but it always amuses me when another round of people pop in, complain about diving, and offer their solutions on how to "fix" the game.
 
Talking about adding refs or penalizing divers after the fact is one thing. Completely changing offside, timing, and substitution rules is fundamentally changing the game, and often for no better reason than the sport isn't "American" enough.
 

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There should be seven points for a goal and one point for a corner kick.  Put a laughing clown's head on top of the goal, and if you kick it into the clown's mouth, you get 15 points plus Wayne Rooney's threesome minus Wayne Rooney.
 

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I switch off as soon as someone talks about 'diving'.
 
Some people really want to watch football casually. How they choose to enjoy or not enjoy the sport is fine. But part of wanting to get into the sport is trying to actually understand it.
 
Many here would be aware most of the world thinks the NFL is a shit sport where people only play half the game and it stops all the time. That is what people who see it casually say about it outside North America, usually every time they watch the Superbowl. They criticise the sport because of something they see casually without bothering to learn anything about the sport. It's a very annoying thing that rolls around here and sounds exactly like the casual World Cup experts who complain about so-call 'diving'. OIr people here who love cricket and think baseball is repetetive and boring, or the other way around.
 
'Diving' may drive people who don't really care about the sport - and that's fine - away from football in the same way most of the world find the structure of the NFL is frustrating. But to actually start 'fixing' things?
 
Football is fine. It's great. It doesn't need help.
 

SydneySox

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SoxJox said:
Perhaps some restrictions on the number of players that could be "offside"?  Like 1.  I dunno.
 
This. For instance. Removing offsides?
 
The football offside rule is beautiful. It's a classic rule that is so simple and yet so tactical. What's better than the lazy defender who fucks his team's offside trap (ask RvP, he'll say 'not much').
 
Where ... I mean, why even watch this sport? Should baseball remove strikes? That sounds like a cool idea too, that way - more dingers?
 

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SydneySox said:
I switch off as soon as someone talks about 'diving'.
 
Some people really want to watch football casually. How they choose to enjoy or not enjoy the sport is fine. But part of wanting to get into the sport is trying to actually understand it.
 
Many here would be aware most of the world thinks the NFL is a shit sport where people only play half the game and it stops all the time. That is what people who see it casually say about it outside North America, usually every time they watch the Superbowl. They criticise the sport because of something they see casually without bothering to learn anything about the sport. It's a very annoying thing that rolls around here and sounds exactly like the casual World Cup experts who complain about so-call 'diving'. OIr people here who love cricket and think baseball is repetetive and boring, or the other way around.
 
'Diving' may drive people who don't really care about the sport - and that's fine - away from football in the same way most of the world find the structure of the NFL is frustrating. But to actually start 'fixing' things?
 
Football is fine. It's great. It doesn't need help.
The thing that drives me nuts about the "I can't watch soccer because of the diving" argument is this:
The NBA's most potent offensive move is to run into a bunch of guys throw your hands up wildly and whine.
NFL WRs spend half of their time gesturing wildly for a flag.
Our most popular sports have almost as much of the same behavior, it doesn't stop anyone from watching them. There are maybe 2 actual dives at most in the course of an average soccer match, mostly it is selling contact as worse than it was, just like basketball or football.
 

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I am a relative neophyte in my futbol fandom... but I agree with those that say the game is fine as is.

I do think adding a second referee is a good idea and may reduce some of the "diving"... or more importantly, some of the improper calls due to "diving"
 

SoxJox

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SydneySox said:
 
This. For instance. Removing offsides?
 
The football offside rule is beautiful. It's a classic rule that is so simple and yet so tactical. What's better than the lazy defender who fucks his team's offside trap (ask RvP, he'll say 'not much').
 
Where ... I mean, why even watch this sport? Should baseball remove strikes? That sounds like a cool idea too, that way - more dingers?
I hope that you realize I was simply throwing an idea out there to stimulate discussion - especially for those who would like to open the game up to more scoring.  Sure, the dynamics of the game would change dramatically.  For the better.  Who knows?
 
For the record, I have followed the game for years and understand it quite well.  And like it pretty much the way it is.  There is drama throughout many if not most games...corner shots and headers, crossings from the wing, one-on-one finesse and drives, field-long rushes eluding defenders, the artistry of short, quick passes in close quarters.  And the enthusiasm of the fans is contagious.
 

seageral

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SydneySox said:
I switch off as soon as someone talks about 'diving'.
 
Some people really want to watch football casually. How they choose to enjoy or not enjoy the sport is fine. But part of wanting to get into the sport is trying to actually understand it.
 
Many here would be aware most of the world thinks the NFL is a shit sport where people only play half the game and it stops all the time. That is what people who see it casually say about it outside North America, usually every time they watch the Superbowl. They criticise the sport because of something they see casually without bothering to learn anything about the sport. It's a very annoying thing that rolls around here and sounds exactly like the casual World Cup experts who complain about so-call 'diving'. OIr people here who love cricket and think baseball is repetetive and boring, or the other way around.
 
'Diving' may drive people who don't really care about the sport - and that's fine - away from football in the same way most of the world find the structure of the NFL is frustrating. But to actually start 'fixing' things?
 
Football is fine. It's great. It doesn't need help.
It's a wonderful sport, and it would be better without wrong calls, just like any sport.  The reason I don't like 'diving' is because it leads to referees being fooled into changing the game.
 
Like with any sport I don't come to watch the referees (or umpires) incorrectly influence the game.  
 
Why do you turn off when someone talks about 'diving'?  I'd like to fix wrong calls in baseball, football and especially basketball as well.  Doesn't mean I don't understand or don't love sports.
 

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I turn off because it's such a minor part of the sport. It's like someone saying they don't like baseball because umpires allow the neighborhood play.
 

seageral

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To be clear I don't have a problem with people going down with some contact where if they REALLY tried they could probably stay up.  That to me is not diving.  Running around for 90 minutes and trying to stay on your feet with people kicking at them is really hard.
 
Diving is what Fred did against Croatia, or what Grosso did against Australia in 2006.
 
Those two dives decided the respective games, so to me I don't find them minor.  They are universes different than the neighborhood play in baseball. 
 

lexrageorge

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For the most part, I prefer the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach.  The low scoring is part of the appeal of futbol at the highest competition levels, and making changes that simply allow for more scoring could easily destroy the flow of the game.  
 
I think most folks that object to the current offsides rule either don't understand it, or don't understand why it's necessary in the first place.  Turning the game into a "long passing" contest from end to end is unlikely to make it more watchable.  Similarly, the constant running clock is part of the game's appeal; there's no need to make soccer a 3 hour slog a-la American football or an NBA-style timeout fest at the end.  
 
Diving is annoying, and the acting is often over the top.  I wish it wouldn't happen.  But other than a post match review (or yellow cards to the most blatant offenses), there's not a whole lot that can be done about diving per se.  
 
As to changes:  I think the PK point could be moved back; at this skill level, it's nearing an automatic goal.  However, that needs to be weighed against the possibility of defenders being more likely to illegally tackle players inside the box, which would not really add to the game.  
 
I don't see the downside to adding a 2nd official for at least the World Cup matches.  
 
Finally, the referee could decide to do a replay review of a controversial goal/no-goal call; the impact of a wrong call here is simply too great given the low scoring nature of the game.  The technology exists to reduce wrong calls and it should be used for at least the highest profile events.  I would leave the review decision solely to the on-field official's judgment, and use the "indisputable video evidence" rule the NFL uses that everyone seems to hate for reasons unknown. 
 

seageral

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lexrageorge said:
For the most part, I prefer the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach.  The low scoring is part of the appeal of futbol at the highest competition levels, and making changes that simply allow for more scoring could easily destroy the flow of the game.  
 
I think most folks that object to the current offsides rule either don't understand it, or don't understand why it's necessary in the first place.  Turning the game into a "long passing" contest from end to end is unlikely to make it more watchable.  Similarly, the constant running clock is part of the game's appeal; there's no need to make soccer a 3 hour slog a-la American football or an NBA-style timeout fest at the end.  
 
Diving is annoying, and the acting is often over the top.  I wish it wouldn't happen.  But other than a post match review (or yellow cards to the most blatant offenses), there's not a whole lot that can be done about diving per se.  
 
As to changes:  I think the PK point could be moved back; at this skill level, it's nearing an automatic goal.  However, that needs to be weighed against the possibility of defenders being more likely to illegally tackle players inside the box, which would not really add to the game.  
 
I don't see the downside to adding a 2nd official for at least the World Cup matches.  
 
Finally, the referee could decide to do a replay review of a controversial goal/no-goal call; the impact of a wrong call here is simply too great given the low scoring nature of the game.  The technology exists to reduce wrong calls and it should be used for at least the highest profile events.  I would leave the review decision solely to the on-field official's judgment, and use the "indisputable video evidence" rule the NFL uses that everyone seems to hate for reasons unknown. 
 
Right.  Seems like an easy fix to get some of the most egregious diving calls right.  
 

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The other thing that switches me off when someone mentions diving first is that it's so much more common in the international game, where refs, don't know the players, that it's obvious the person is an every-four-yearser at most. It's like a person who walks into the Super Bowl party proclaiming, "I'm here mostly for the commercials!" complaining that there was a holding call. You'd roll your eyes and ignore them.
 

ivanvamp

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luckiestman said:
 
 
when are these subs entering the game? breaks in action are the exact opposite of exciting.
 
best thing about soccer = no commercials. anything that seems like it could lead to commercials is a no go for me
 
sub packages for corner kicks? c'mon man
 
Well right now you *could* bring in a sub right before a corner is taken.  You just couldn't do it all the time.  
 
But I like the idea floated above - rolling substitutions, like hockey.  No stops in time.  The player coming off has to leave the pitch before the new guy comes on, but you don't stop play for it.  If you want to sub during a corner to get a taller defender or two in there, the offensive team can kick it while your guys are transitioning out and back in, leaving you short a couple of guys.  
 
I just hate that you only get three subs, period, and that a guy who comes out can't come back in.  I like it for baseball but not for soccer.  
 
I agree with your point that there should be no commercials.
 

CreightonGubanich

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Some of you guys should watch indoor soccer. Fast pace, unlimited rolling substitutions, exact clock, no offsides...it's like Americans took soccer and hockey-fied it. 
 
I agree that most of the solutions posed in this thread create more problems than they solve. In particular, I take issue with the penalty kick idea. I think the way penalties are actually called in practice makes up for many of the concerns posed here. Refs don't call what could be considered minor fouls in the box on set pieces. They don't call borderline fouls that they might call on other parts of the pitch. And if a foul occurs around the 18, most of the time the kick will come from just outside the box. In other words, for the most part, when penalties are called it's because a real scoring chance has been denied. 85% (which is far from automatic) seems about right to me. Exceptions exist, of course, but I don't see this as a real problem.
 
Things like offside, stopping the clock, etc. would change the game so much as to basically make it a different sport. I can see limited replay for goal line situations, but not for offside, the same way you can't review a judgment call by the ref in football. Retroactive punishment of diving may not be a bad idea, but I don't think it significantly impacts the game, either. Part of why soccer is so great is that it's unlike the American sports. The quirks might seem strange at first, but give it time, and most people will end up appreciating them.
 

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Jul 15, 2005
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If you want rolling substitutions, like in hockey, then you don't want football and you don't want to understand some/many/all of it's nuances. 
 
Let me get this straight...at freekicks around the penalty area, get rid of all the wee guys and bring the tall guys on and have them guard/tend the goal/net. Then sub them after the set play? If you need a goal in the last two minutes bring on seven attackers and take off three defenders and four midfielders...and just fickin go for it...that kind of thing? That's gonna make the best game in the world better? Unlimited substitutions?
 
What about the physical aspect of the game. Exploiting the fact that you've been giving the other team the run around and they're gassed cos you played the better game and you force tehm to bring on fresh legs? What about exploiting the weaknesses of the other team? Their lack of height, pace, physical strength through the means of 'tactics' - that kind of goes out the window with unlimited substitutions. Football is about cat and mouse, bluff and double bluff, playing to your strenghths or exploiting their weakness, it's a flowing game full of action and reaction to constant changes in a teams' tactical approach. The more you watch the game the more you see it is a contant state of flux.
 
Unlimited, rolling substitutions destroys much of what make the game great.
 

gaelgirl

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Feb 25, 2004
4,759
Sonoma, California
I'm a casual soccer fan, I admit it. There are things I think could be tweaked about the game.
 
Timing, however, is not one of them. What the fuck is wrong with the timing? There's no real argument against keeping the timing as-is except that some of you don't seem to understand it or like it for no real reason other than you want to see fixed numbers. The players and teams and coaches, they all know what the fuck is going on and can generally guess how much time will be added. It's not like they're shocked--SHOCKED--by seeing extra minutes added to the end of the half and thus they are scrambling to cope. Changing the timing is, to me, akin to suggesting baseball games end at exactly two hours and eighteen minutes, just because it's nice to know the exact time the game will end. 
 
I can see adding another sub, but I also don't think it's something that is particularly wrong. Maybe there could be a reserve sub in cases of catastrophic injuries, but that could be gamed by someone going down with a "torn hamstring" that miraculously heals just after the match is over. Few subs means each team has to be match-fit or they will wilt. It's interesting. Anything that makes soccer more like NBA basketball is very, very, very, very, very much the wrong direction in my book. 
 
I don't particularly like "diving," but I think it's more selling than diving. I'd like to see players stay on their feet or play on rather than take the foul. Like the dude in the Swiss-Ecuador game the other day. The Swiss had maybe 45 seconds to do something, their guy was taken out in a hard tackle, rolled over a couple times, popped up and ran HARD to keep the play going. The Ecuadorian defenders paused ever so slightly, expecting a whistle that never came, and the Swiss took advantage and scored the winning goal. It was brilliant. But that was managed by the ref, who didn't blow the whistle. Similarly, in the Mexico-Brazil game, the ref let them destroy each other for a while before he started calling fouls. I thought it was interesting and I definitely thought the players weren't expecting to get the foul called every time so they began to play on more often. But from what I could see, there were definitely fouls occurring that weren't being called. Not sure that's optimal for run of play, either. 
 
I definitely think FIFA are on track in making one side wear light shorts and the other side wear dark shorts. (Oh wait, that's really stupid.) 
 

URI

stands for life, liberty and the uturian way of li
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Aug 18, 2001
10,329
AMcGhie said:
Substitutions:
Either allow for unlimited rolling substitutions (like hockey, but where one player must leave the field of play before the other joins, and do not stop play for substitutions) or at the first stoppage of play due to a goal or ball-out-of-bounds after 15 and 30 minutes in.  That way the substitution cannot be used to waste time, but the full 23 (or maybe smaller) roster can be used.  There are players who are going to the world cup who will have absolutely no chance of seeing the field short of a catastrophic injury. 
 
PK's:
move the PK back to the top of the penalty box to at least give the goalie SOME chance of blocking it.  PK's are about as useless as PAT's right now.
 
Diving:
Reviewable diving including video challenges.  Replay official upstairs gets 15 seconds to look at the infraction and can reverse the penalty, (giving an indirect/direct free kick to the team that the foul was called against), up to a yellow card for diving. 
 
Time: 2 40 minute halves.  Clock starts upon the ball re-entering play.  Clock stops on goal and ball out of bounds. 
 
Teams: go from 11 on 11 to 9 on 9.  Open up the field slightly more and allow for more action and less clutter. 
 
This is an extremely good way to destroy the most popular sport in the world.
 
Rolling substitutions?  Holy shit.
 

Gunfighter 09

wants to be caribou ken
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Jul 31, 2005
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I like the way timing is done in soccer, I just wish it was more transparent. Would anyone be opposed to a transmitter linking the ref's watch to displays in the stadium / on TV?
 
 
I also liked the idea above of having a review on offsides allowed / disallowed goals. 
 

URI

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Aug 18, 2001
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Tweeks I would make:
 
1.  Installing a series of transparent checks and balances on the FIFA executive council and the constituent federations, so things like Qatar '22, and Platini awarding France the Euro '16 and bragging about how he steered the process.  Taking the corruption out of the game from the top down will eventually trickle down on to the field.
 
2.  Adding a second on-field referee and working the officiating mechanics to do a better job of boxing in the play with the officials.
 
3.  Liberalize the interpretation of the off-sides rule...basically not changing the rule, but giving the benefit of the doubt to the offensive player, and on corners, waving off all offsides until the ball is cleared out of the box.
 
4.  Allowing a 4th sub from minutes 90-120.
 
5.  DLew's idea from a couple days ago, allowing the referee to card the captain for not controlling his team.
 
6.  Allowing the home team to place 5 landmines on the field anywhere they want, marked with a circle.  If a player steps on it, they explode, and cannot be replaced.  This will make the game more exciting tor Americans, and increase scoring if there is an 11-vs-6 situation.  If a player dives near a landmine, they are executed by a sniper stationed on the top of the stadium.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
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Jul 18, 2005
26,008
Alexandria, VA
Unlimited overtimes rather than going to PKs is the only on-field sporting rule I'd change.  Some of the enforcement ideas (second ref) might make sense, too.  I wouldn't want an additional sub for overtime, fatigue is a big part of the game.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Dec 9, 2003
5,780
Auburn, MA
SumnerH said:
Unlimited overtimes rather than going to PKs is the only on-field sporting rule I'd change.
If you watch how teams looked at the end of the Europa final, & still feel this way, just give up & follow hockey.
 

BoredViewer

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Jul 15, 2005
3,092
SydneySox said:
I switch off as soon as someone talks about 'diving'.
 
Some people really want to watch football casually. How they choose to enjoy or not enjoy the sport is fine. But part of wanting to get into the sport is trying to actually understand it.
 
Many here would be aware most of the world thinks the NFL is a shit sport where people only play half the game and it stops all the time. That is what people who see it casually say about it outside North America, usually every time they watch the Superbowl. They criticise the sport because of something they see casually without bothering to learn anything about the sport. It's a very annoying thing that rolls around here and sounds exactly like the casual World Cup experts who complain about so-call 'diving'. OIr people here who love cricket and think baseball is repetetive and boring, or the other way around.
 
'Diving' may drive people who don't really care about the sport - and that's fine - away from football in the same way most of the world find the structure of the NFL is frustrating. But to actually start 'fixing' things?
 
Football is fine. It's great. It doesn't need help.
 
See... I really care about the sport and diving, especially as it can lead to a PK in a sport with a scarcity of scoring, drives me crazy.
 
Obviously, this has been seen as an issue by the community at large(FIFA), as the ref now can hand out cards to divers... I still think there is work to be done.  I suspect the best solution is some kind of 'in game' replay review of PK calls.  PKs stop the game, anyway... it's not too hard to imagine replay review starting immediately on the call and the PK only happening after confirmation of the call.  
 
Traditionalists will resist, but ultimately the game will be better for it. 
 

singaporesoxfan

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Jul 21, 2004
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Not only are rolling substitutions or unlimited substitutions bad ideas in and of themselves by changing the game so drastically, they actually worsen the other thing Americans claim not to like about football/soccer, which is the low scoring. Football is low scoring because it's hard to score goals; essentially the defence has an advantage. That's why the more recent major rule changes such as no back passes have been to boost scoring. If you make changes to the rules to allow more fresh legs in because you don't think conditioning should be such a big part of the game, you're essentially making the game more similar to the first 10 minutes of the game - statistically one of the lowest scoring parts of the game - than the last 10 minutes - statistically the highest scoring part of the game in large part because that's where defences get tired.
 
Edit: clarity.
 

URI

stands for life, liberty and the uturian way of li
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Aug 18, 2001
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BoredViewer said:
Traditionalists will resist, but ultimately the game will be better for it.
I think we should have more game stoppages and commercials and standing around in soccer, for little tangible benefit.
 

mabrowndog

Ask me about total zone...or paint
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Dec 23, 2003
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Here's one for all of soccer, not just the international play:
 
When an attacking team kicks the ball, and the back of a defender's hand just happens to inadvertently be in the ball's path while the defender's back is turned, how about awarding the attacking team something besides an uncontested shot on net from point blank range? Like what just happened in the Australia-Netherlands match?
 
If there's intent to disrupt the ball's path with the hands or arms, that's a different matter. But in this instance and many others, it's horseshit.
 
This is one of the many things that infuriate me about the sport, much as I attempt to embrace it.