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Watching the World Cup

Original post made by Giraffe on Jul 6, 2006

I've enjoyed the World Cup games, even though I am not a soccer fan and don't understand the rules or the intricacies of play. The players can do amazing things, and the games are so important to so many people. Its kind of fun to watch the players run around even when they aren't doing amazing things.

That being said, I think soccer would be even more fun to watch if there was more scoring. In the six quarter- and semi- final games, 9 regular goals were scored (not counting the junk goal by Italy against Germany). This is about one goal every 66 mins.

I think this idea is supported by the actions of the fans. Most of the time, the fans just sit there and watch. Every so often they break into a song - maybe to try to urge their team on, or maybe just because they are bored. When a goal is scored, the fans go crazy. If more goals were scored, the fans would go crazy more often and would have more fun. QED.

One way to increase scoring would be to get rid of the goalees. In the six quarter- and semi- final games there were a total of 64 shots on goal which is 10.6 per game. If there were no goalee at all, most of those would become goals (sure, a few wouldn't because some defender might temporarily act as a goalee and block a few. This would be offset by guys not having to kick for the edges of the goal and missing.) If all of these became goals, there would be a goal every 10 mins or so. So, the fans would have about 66 / 10 = 6 times as much fun. Hooliganism would probably drop too because the hooligans would be so exhausted after watching a game that they wouldn't have the energe to create mayhem.

Another way to increase scoring would be to change the offside rule to something like the NHL rule. Draw a line on the field like the NHL blue line and say Thou Shalt Not Cross This Line Before the Ball.
I don't know how to compute how many more goals this would cause, but it seems like it would sure liven things up.

Comments (1)

Posted by Mike, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 7, 2006 at 4:35 pm

I think the goalie should remain because he can make spectacular saves which are also fun to watch. I agree that FIFA should relax the offside rule. If the ref sees the offside as 50/50, don't call it. Only call off side when it's obvious.

The WC can use some of the American ingenuity, using instant relay is one. Any penalty kick rewarded by the ref. should be under review.

Time keeping is another area the WC can improve by setting at 90 min and counting down. Stop the clock when someone is injured or faking injury.


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