Your Letters & Pictures
Delay of Game from Dick Hansen
You have hit the nail on the head. It's a low enough scoring game without making it even lower by interfering with a team's ability to put the ball in play.
Another point: There are too many instances in which it makes sense to foul -- the penalty is not severe enough. Many players have come to expect that the first time they commit a yellow card offense they will receive only a warning -- big deal -- can you imagine pro football or basketball using that approach? For instance, why not a yellow card the first time a player pulls a shirt? Maybe advancing the ball 10 yds when a wall forms less than 10 yds away might help. A yellow card awarded late in a match is of little benefit to the other team. That might mean the player will be ineligible for the next game -- and that could possibly be disadvantageous to the offended team if the ineligible player could have helped beat a team tied with the offended team at the top of the table.
Goal size: Soccer would be more popular in the US if the goal size were increased -- perhaps 12" in width and 6" in height. However (and as you have indicated), the probability of persuading FIFA to make such an earth shaking change is nil. It's interesting that the NFL tweaks rules almost every year to ensure the games do not become too low scoring. The NBA acted in a similar manner with the shot clock and limitations on zone defense.
Fouls in the penalty area: Many officials will be quite biased toward the defense in the penalty area -- lots of direct kick fouls called against the offense for the most trivial offenses, but ignoring more serious fouls by the defense to avoid penalty kicks. It's hard to blame them -- the PK is often the game decider -- penalties are rarely the game decider in US pro sports.
I don't have an answer -- maybe a smaller and/or different shaped penalty area would help -- another non-starter with FIFA.
Throw in: It has been a long time since I have seen a professional soccer match. Is it still true that a throw in that never enters the field results in another try? That's ridiculous and certainly to the advantage of a team that is ahead -- more time wasted.
I sometimes feel that soccer must be a sport that was invented to be played by gentlemen, but is now played by ruffians -- but the rules have not been adjusted accordingly.
(I'm the one who sent you a copy of the letter I wrote to the Earthquakes many years ago.)
Posted on 13 Jun 2007 by coachgianni