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Question Number: 30578

Other 7/6/2016

RE: Former USSF Referee Adult

John Wolosz of Nutley, New Jersey USA asks...

Just some suggestions after watching the UEFA Euro 2016 matches all also being a fan of soccer since I was in grade school.
I am now 63. The Laws Of Game is hereby suggested to be changed as follows--

1.) Eliminate throw-in's and have them converted to indirect free kicks.

2.) Bring back the 'Golden Goal' rule again in extra time. Whoever scores first wins. Only go to kicks from the penalty mark if no goals are scored in the two 15 minute extra time sessions.

3.) Allow all the bench substitutes to be used in the first 90 minutes. If extra time is needed, all the substitutes are eligible again.

4.) When taking a penalty kick in regulation or extra time and in Taking Of Kicks From The Penalty Mark...the player taking the kick is subject to the following rule.
When the player taking the kick starts their approach to the ball they may only maintain the same speed pace or increase it, they may not stop or decrease their speed at anytime. The penalty for an infraction of this rule, is that it will be considered a missed shot and the ball turned over for a goal kick, or in Kicks From The Penalty Mark, it will be considered a missed shot and the team issued a zero (0) in the shooting frame.

Your comments ladies and gentlemen.

John W

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Thanks for your suggestions.
At the outset I will say that a IFAB the soccer laws body is very conservative and change is slow and reluctant. The history of the game has a great influence in change and it is reluctantly made. .
1. An experiment was tried in 1993 at a FIFA Youth World Cup . It was deemed to be unsuccessful and not pursued Every kick in became a corner kick type restart which did not encourage passing etc just getting it into the penalty area at every restart. Also in one game, Japan had 23 kick-ins, and it was estimated the time-wasting to be around five minutes. Japan wanted the same kicker to take every kick no matter where he was on the field. There have been other recent suggestions including reducing player numbers every 10 minutes during extra time.
2 I remember being in Italy in 2002 when Korea beat them with a golden goal. Somewhat surreal as the game just suddenly ended. No hope of recovery.
So the golden goal was at the time widely perceived as a failed experiment and disliked by teams It had not brought about more attacking play as intended. The golden goal in the Euro 96 final was controversial, as the Czechs who were on the losing side argued that the Germans' winning goal was offside, and the immediate celebrations after the golden goal was scored made it nigh impossible for the referee to disallow the goal and continue the match. Furthermore, one team could benefit unfairly from the conditions, such as if a strong wind aided one side.
3 Substitutions is being looked at by FIFA. One currently proposal is to allow a 4th substitute in extra time.. One of the problems at the moment in the game is the blatant time wasting with substitutions. Allowing 3/4 more subs in extra time would encourage further time related substitutions rather than genuine ones done for the correct reason.
4 Many elements of what you suggest is currently there. The player may not stop although there is nothing wrong with slowing down / speeding up. Most goalkeepers are pretty adept at interpreting kicker movements and unless it is an illegal stop they have little concerns about kicker movement legality.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


I personally was a fan of golden goal and absolutely hate penalties. A team game is reduced to essentially a 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper with no real team elements. If I had my way, I would eliminate penalties and just keep playing until someone scores.

As to the throw-ins, we have enough trouble policing quick free kicks now; can you imagine trying to make sure the ball was stationary, watch for offside (since you would now have to enforce it) and dealing with the scrums in the box? I think this is better left as is, a mechanic to just get the ball back into play.

I am ok with the addition of the 4th substitute in additional time, but being able to use 18 players in a game is quite ridiculous. Further it would make a mockery at the end of a tight game when the winning team subs in at 5 straight restarts.

Finally, with penalties, what you propose is just way too subjective. The goal of the IFAB has usually been to make the decisions less so, I can hardly see them making a change like this.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

One criticism of the Golden Goal rule was that teams didn't play to win, they played to not lose. It was not exciting attacking soccer, but rather a defensive snooze. Now if you had to play until someone scored no matter how long it took, as Ref Sowa suggests, that might make for more attacking-style play.

As for adding more substitutes, soccer was always seen as a game of endurance. In fact, it was played for a century without having any substitutions at all, even for an injury. I can agree with having an additional sub for overtime periods, but I still like to see the strategy of having to carefully decide on your subs.

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