June 19, 2017

Soccer Rules Body Considers Timed 30-Minute Halves: Several huge rules changes are being debated by the International Football Association Board, a rules maker for world soccer. Some ideas: Switch to timed, 30-minute halves; only blow the whistle to end a half- or full-time when the ball goes out of play; and use ABBA order on penalty kicks instead of ABAB.

posted by rcade to soccer at 12:23 PM - 10 comments

I hate the idea of a timed clock in soccer. Add that and it's only a matter of time before there are commercial breaks.

The other two ideas I summarized seem good, particularly ABBA. There shouldn't be an advantage for one team based on PK order.

posted by rcade at 12:44 PM on June 19

I sense the only item that might go through is the ABBA format (hereafter called the ABBA "The Winner Takes It All" format). While I understand the reasoning, the ideas seem too radical for traditionalists.

Timed halves: the most radical - fans have been used to 45 minutes, plus stoppage time, controlled by the referee, for 140-plus years. My gripes involve the referee - excessive time on free kicks, questionable amount of stoppage time relative to goals, cards and injuries. Late time-wasting actually is a minor part of the 90 minutes. There also is no mention as to how much time would be allotted for extra time: presumably two timed 10's?

Ending period when ball leaves touch/goal line: accepting this means time would be tacked onto the 30 minutes. Currently extra stoppage time ends when a club (usually seeking a tying or winning goal) passes the ball away from an attacking position. It would seem a club could retreat 30-35 yards out, reset, and attack multiple times before a defense could take the ball and put it out of play. This would need to be addressed.

Self-pass on free kicks: the excessive time often comes from defenders who stand over the ball until forced to retreat by the referee. The rule has been clear: 10 yards; start enforcing the rule. Inform defenders to move away immediately; if they stay, show a yellow card.

posted by jjzucal at 02:21 PM on June 19

I've ranted about this at length in the past. I don't like the running clock but I could live with it IF there is some sort of better administration of the timekeeping.

I don't want the whole thing to come down to the ref looking at his watch as he's running along and trying to keep the cute little spray bottle of line marking foam on his Batman utility belt from crawling up his ass as he runs and then blowing the whistle at his discretion which often doesn't coincide with the announcer's time accounting, or the display on the TV screen.

I can hear Ian Darke now: "well, that should be almost it, any second now, just waiting for the final whistle and this stunning result will send shock waves...the full 5 minutes of stoppage time has elapsed, neither side making a concerted effort to mount an attack now...surely there must can't be much more time left at this point...the referee letting play continue a bit longer...and... there it is, the final whistle, and this one is over, the people in the stadium in disbelief at this unexpected outcome..."

EVERYBODY in the goddamned stadium and EVERYBODY watching on television should ALL know EXACTLY how much time has elapsed and how much precisely remains, not possibly remains, and this should be accounted for with a scoreboard clock display that everyone can see. Not a couple of dudes in Adidas warmup suits on the sidelines holding up light up lap boards with the stoppage time allotment. This is not a frigging Bingo game at the Elks lodge.

We should know how much stoppage time is going to be allowed before it is awarded because there should be a diligent accounting of it during the running course of play. Not "well that guy flopped and cried for his mama for maybe two minutes and that other guy had his leg amputated and then magically reattached with aerosols and that took maybe three minutes, so OK guys, put up 5 minutes, that's probably good enough".

Americans are too accustomed to sweating out each precious well accounted for second of football, basketball, and hockey games to accept the idiotic, daisy picking way in which time is kept in international football.

So if they're going to stay with a running clock, all I ask is that they be baseline fucking competent and professional about how they administer it. I've seen too many refs allow one last corner kick to be set up when everyone knows damn well that the allotted stoppage time has already elapsed. And once the kick is in the air, the whistle won't blow until the ball is either out of bounds, in the net, or in the possession of the defending side.

If precisely measured time expires before the corner kick is struck, zeroes appear on the stadium clock, the horn sounds, the game is over. Sorry guys, you didn't get the kick off in time. You want to fix that problem, go watch the final play of the UNC-Villanova national championship basketball game.

posted by beaverboard at 04:21 PM on June 19

I like it when your team needs a goal, extra time is well past the alloted number and your player passes it back instead of making a cross, causing the ref to blow the whistle.

I've accepted the imprecision of soccer timekeeping, mostly. But time wasters in the final 20 minutes always kill more time than the ref gives the other team back. Some international teams are shameless about this.

posted by rcade at 07:01 PM on June 19

Agree with the complaints on lax timekeeping but I lover @beaverboard's rant!.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:18 PM on June 19

I like it when your team needs a goal, extra time is well past the alloted number and your player passes it back instead of making a cross, causing the ref to blow the whistle.

And said team goes apoplectic when the whistle is blown. My point is that this proposed rule change would mean an offense could get into trouble, send the ball back, and try again to score. It would make Fergie Time seem laughable. A mushroom cloud would come from Ian Darke's head.

posted by jjzucal at 10:14 PM on June 19

Giving a team that last corner and not blowing the whistle until the "attack" has failed is akin to a kickoff in football with 1 second left and playing the play out until it's dead.

I much prefer the excitement of the unknown time in soccer as opposed to the asinine way the clock is used in football and basketball. The longest 5 minutes is the last 20 seconds of an American sport.

posted by Ricardo at 09:20 AM on June 20

My thoughts follow @jjzucal thoughts.

I am fine with ABBA but think it will have little impact on the game.

Not a fan of timed halves as you introduce error of when the timekeeper starts and stops the clock. US college soccer has a 45 minute clock that stops on goals, injuries where treatment is necessary, some cards (time wasting), and CR discretion.

Stopping halves when ball going out of bounds, I like even less. In some leagues in US substitutes come on when ball goes out of bounds. I can remember players standing waiting to go in for 5+ minutes. Plus also this a benefit for a defending team to put ball out near corner, which now would not necessarily end the half.

Self-pass adds more complexity than it solves, especially as the problem it is trying to solve could be fixed by just enforcing the existing rules. :)

posted by prof at 10:36 AM on June 20

I like the CFL's untimed play after the clock hits 0. All of football should adopt it. No more controversies like the time Colt McCoy's pass out of bounds was ruled to have 1 second left in the Big 12 championship.

posted by rcade at 02:55 PM on June 20

There's already a yellow card for time wasting. The refs just need to get serious.

And don't get me started on shirt pulling and holding on corners. If I ever reffed in the Premier League, players like Skrtel and Huth wouldn't have lasted ten minutes.

posted by owlhouse at 03:50 PM on June 20

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