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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Sports and Fitness

Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old June 28 2010, 06:34 AM   #1
The Borgified Corpse
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How to make soccer more exciting?

Why doesn't soccer have any traction in the United States as a spectator sport? Frankly, it's because we think it's BORING. The games can last for 3 friggin' hours without anyone scoring anything! Granted, baseball can be pretty low scoring sometimes too. But still, when a baseball team scores 8 runs in one game, it's a pretty regular occurence, whereas a soccer game with 8 goals is one for the record books!

How do we make soccer a more aggressive, high scoring affair without fundamentally changing the spirit of the game?

Personally, the 1st thing I'd change is get rid of some of the offsides rules. Recently, I was watching a PBS documentary about one of the FIFA club championships games. Liverpool seemed to score a couple of goals but were suddenly declared offsides. It seems like these kinds of rules prevent teams from being more aggressive in attacking the goal. Eliminate these rules and you'll start seeing the soccer equivalent of basketball's "fastbreak." I mean, each team already has a goalie. That doesn't make it hard enough?

What else could soccer do to amp up the adrenaline?
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Old June 28 2010, 09:10 AM   #2
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

No, if you get rid of the offside rule, you'll see strikers standing as far up the pitch as possible waiting for the goalkeeper to lump up a long ball for them to chest down or head on with minimal input from the rest of the team.

As a big football fan I can assure you NOTHING is more boring than that.
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Old June 28 2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
How do we make soccer a more aggressive, high scoring affair without fundamentally changing the spirit of the game?
You can't.
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Old June 28 2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

I don't understand why football has to generate more goals. Goals are not the only reason watching a sport is entertaining. As HDR said, eliminating offside would be dreadful.

Clearly the sport has an appeal to most nations. I don't feel it needs to change dramatically to satisfy a reasonably uninterested audience.
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Old June 28 2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
The games can last for 3 friggin' hours without anyone scoring anything
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Old June 28 2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

You can't eliminate the offside rule wholesale, but I think it needs to be changed. I'm not a soccer devotee, but I've done a little research recently in light of the WC and there seems to be a sizable contingent that thinks that offsides can't be judged accurately by man nor machine a lot of the time; in essence, it's a judgment call.

That's a problem. In my estimation, if you have a rule that you can't judge with either humans, video or a combination of both, the flaw lies in the damn rule.

Hockey has an offside rule and it works awesome. Either you're over the line before the puck or you're not. There isn't any business of the referee judging "whether you're creating an advantage" or not. It's black and white. There's some grey area in other areas of hockey but I can't remember the last time someone bitched about an offside call.

Soccer works on a lot of the same basic mechanics hockey does. With due consideration to the nuances of the game, I don't see why hockey's offside rule couldn't be adapted to soccer to make it more exciting. The problem with the game isn't that nobody scores. It's that nobody ever looks like they're about to score. I think this would go some ways to fixing it.
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Old June 28 2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

HappyDayRiot wrote: View Post
No, if you get rid of the offside rule, you'll see strikers standing as far up the pitch as possible waiting for the goalkeeper to lump up a long ball for them to chest down or head on with minimal input from the rest of the team.

As a big football fan I can assure you NOTHING is more boring than that.
Yes, it would be the return of kick&rush and man-to-man marking and the end of modern football tactics. No more short passing game, no more tiki taka; forget Barcelona, the new champs are Hull City or whatever.

Believe it or not, The Borgified Corpse, but most of the rules in football actually do make fucking sense.
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Old June 28 2010, 10:09 AM   #8
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

DeafPoet wrote: View Post
You can't eliminate the offside rule wholesale, but I think it needs to be changed. I'm not a soccer devotee, but I've done a little research recently in light of the WC and there seems to be a sizable contingent that thinks that offsides can't be judged accurately by man nor machine a lot of the time; in essence, it's a judgment call.
It's not so much that it can't be objectively determined if someone is offside or not, but that's also not just a simple matter of where is the player and where is the ball; it also depends on things like where is the ball coming from?, which player was the ball being passed at? and does a specific player join in the action or was he just standing around?

I'm beginning to become more and more a supporter of video replays in football though. I'm against ad hoc legislation, but on the other hand I don't think refereeing mistakes have to just be accepted as "part of the game". It would also be a protection for the referees if they are supported by some kind of video systems.
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Old June 28 2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

Football at its best is exciting enough as it is, and I don't understand this need for goals for it to be exciting anyway? Some of the best games I've ever seen have been 0-0, one of the worst games a 5-1 (to my team even!).

I guess it's just a cultural thing, I find American football deathly dull, the game just seems so stop/start. I know I'm probably missing the intracacies of it but I just don't get it. Football is fast paced and exciting enough for me, and the offside rule, for the most part, works well, and when it doesn't...well gives the crowd something to jeer about

I guess football was probably less attacking in the old 1 point for a draw 2 for a win rather than 3. You could up the points for a win, even up it for a score draw but what would be the point? It isn't going to encourage a team playing away from home against superior opposition not to pack their defence and midfield? No.

Football works perfectly well as it is for the majority of the world and long may this continue (with the possible introduction of goal line technology of course )
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Old June 28 2010, 10:22 AM   #10
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

Starkers wrote: View Post
Football at its best is exciting enough as it is, and I don't understand this need for goals for it to be exciting anyway? Some of the best games I've ever seen have been 0-0, one of the worst games a 5-1 (to my team even!).

I guess it's just a cultural thing, I find American football deathly dull, the game just seems so stop/start. I know I'm probably missing the intracacies of it but I just don't get it.
I was writing on my phone earlier - these were the other things I was going to mention. Football is about so much more than goals - goalkeeping, tackles, tactics, skill, chances, missed chances, flukes, underdogs... I agree, I've seen plenty of brilliant draws, it's not all about winning. It must be a cultural thing, as you say. The OP says football can go on for three hours without seeing a goal scored (hyperbole of course, it'd have gone to penalties by then!), yet I just think 'well, at least they play for those 3 hours'. American football, to me, seems to go on for days just to play for an hour.

Not to forget of course, football has something most sports don't - a player whose specific role is to prevent a goal being scored and can use any part of his body to do so.

So there's your answer to get more goals - abolish the position of goalkeeper! Though given how exciting goalkeeper heroics and villany are, you'd lose a big part of what makes the game exciting.

To quote Terry Pratchett, 'the important thing about football, is that it's not just about football.'
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Old June 28 2010, 07:16 PM   #11
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

Compare and contrast with gridiron which could have points scored by the dozen yet still strikes many people as boring as hell!

There's no changing football, for better or for worse.
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Old June 28 2010, 08:10 PM   #12
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

I thought about the consequences of removing off sides and decided that it wouldn't make a better game. I'd definitely consider modifying it a bit, though. It's stupid when an entire team is inside the goalie's box that a goal can be disallowed because someone's offside. You're not talking about yards of room here, we're talking about being two feet from the goal. I'd certainly change the offsides rule so, if the ball is inside the box, no one is offsides. That prevents cherry picking, but prevents solid plays from being disallowed. That being said, it doesn't do much (maybe a handful of goals a tournament).

Honestly, though, nothing could have been more exciting than the US-Algeria game and that was 1-0. The one thing I thought about was a bit unorthodox of a suggestion. The game was interesting because both teams needed to win, not tie, so they played for the win. That led to wide open soccer. I wonder what the World Cup would look like if they removed the point for ties. Basically, the only difference between a tie and a loss is that, if you tie, you prevent another team in the group from getting a point. There's still a strategic advantage to not losing, but there's more of an incentive to push ahead and take risks for the win. Overall, it might not help, but it could spice things up a bit.
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Old June 28 2010, 09:59 PM   #13
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

1) Make the field smaller. There is just way too much open space and way too much running around without anything of consequence happening.

2) Eliminate ties. Somebody has to win! Even if it's the most exciting game in the world, if nobody wins at the end, who gives a shit?
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Old June 28 2010, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

1) Unless you make the field a lot smaller, reducing the number of players is probably a more effective way at producing more action and goals.
Small-field football/Futsal and variants like that has a long history too, but it's really a different game and imo it's not that exciting.

2) That's really a criticism I don't understand. Someone does win in the end. A tie is often a much better result for one team than the other. The point is to be on top after 38 games (or however many your league has in a season) - what does it matter to win any individual game if you reach that goal in the end?
I have literally never even thought about it that way until someone mentioned that here on TrekBBS.
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Old June 28 2010, 10:55 PM   #15
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Re: How to make soccer more exciting?

I like soccer fine the way it is, but changes could improve it if done right.

One thing I dislike in modern soccer is that many teams play a completely defensive formation and pack the penalty area with players. A simple rule that neither team is allowed more than say 3 or 4 players in the penalty area at once would be easy to implement and ref.

No offsides when in the penalty area would work well too.

If we just want to inspire more long shots at the goal, we could make the goalkeeper just another player, and disallow him from using his hands. I'm not sure if I like that one or not though.
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