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Unlimited substitutions from Dick Hansen

Re unlimited substitutions -- right on -- last time I checked, our high schools, colleges, and most of our youth programs have unlimited substitutions -- maybe FIFA will come around in another 50 yrs.

Time wasting (which you alluded to) is another problem. When I was coaching boys U19 select and we were losing I would sometimes station a parent well behind each goal to quickly retrieve errant shots. Winning teams know how to take throw ins that don't enter the field. Youth tournaments often have schedules so tight that the add on time is limited to 5 minutes. These and other examples support your point that we have far less than 90 minutes of action.

Maybe someday (but not likely with FIFA) we'll have clocks visible to all that are controlled by a timing official at least at the highest levels of play. Time could be stopped whenever the ball leaves the field and not resumed until the goal kick has been kicked and a throw in has been touched by another player within the pitch (like basketball after a made free throw). Whenever time has been stopped, unlimited substitutions could be made. Having to wait for a player coming out to reach touch before a sub can come in is painful.

I'm surprised and pleased that your suggestions are from someone who knew nothing but FIFA rules during his playing days. With slightly larger goals and elimination of the bias against strikers (as called by most officials -- especially in the penalty area) and incorporation of suggestions such as yours, professional soccer might someday be as popular with the American sports fan as football, baseball, and basketball.

I often say that soccer is a game that was invented to be played by gentlemen, but is now often played by win at any cost hooligans (if you can't get the ball, get the player -- because the penalty is typically a meaningless free kick).

Dick Hansen
Posted on 08 Oct 2007 by coachgianni
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