Ways To Avoid The PK Shootout
Nothing in all of sports is more dramatic & heart-arresting than a PK shootout but everyone wants to see the match won in regulation or extra time. Most people believe that the PK shootout is "a lottery" that doesn't determine the better team. Even though, no one "practices" picking numbers for the lottery. Professional soccer players do practice PKs, although probably not as much as they should (See Carlos Tevez in 2004 Recopa Sudamericana vs. Peru's Cienciano).
With that in mind, here are 3 changes that can be implemented to avoid the controversial finality of the PK Shootout.
#1 - ALLOW 3 EXTRA SUBSTITUTIONS IN EXTRA TIME
The main reason that most games head into the PK shootout is fatigue. Playing for 90 minutes is exhausting and then add on 30 more minutes and no wonder a team will try to "survive" & play for PKs. Giving a team an extra 3 more subs and allowing that team to carryover however many subs left from regulation would invigorate a team & the game.
It is possible that a coach could bring on as many as 6 fresh players in extra time, if no subs were used in the previous 90 minutes of regulation. That would certainly make for more attacking soccer and also combat the fatigue factor.
#2 - AMEND THE OFF-SIDES RULE IN EXTRA TIME
The offsides rule is the most frustrating and infuriating rule in all of soccer. The suggestion here is that in extra time, offsides can only be called if the attacker's whole body is clear of the defender when the ball is played to that person. Much like the whole ball has to cross the line for it to be a goal or out of bounds. That's the way it should be for the entire match but that's for a different debate.
This amendment would encourage more attacking, leading to more goals, and more excitement. As a fan, who likes to see a lot of goals it is frustrating to see the great goalscorers in the world denied a chance to score because his elbow or shoulder is leaning past the last defender.
#3 - BRING BACK "THE GOLDEN GOAL"
Okay, "The Golden Goal" was despised by the majority of the soccer world and the biggest argument was that it wasn't "fair." That argument never made sense because a team had 90+ minutes to score & had plenty of time to score and win a game. The first goal to win scenario along with the 3 extra subs and change in off-sides rule would encourage more attacking football in extra time.
More attacking, more goals, no PK shootout, winner not decided by "lottery", everyone happy. Well not if you are on the losing side. Hey FIFA, read up, here's a great idea.