03 May, 2009

An open letter to the powers that be in soccer


So soccer is a great game if you ask me, trying the players' endurance, and requiring patience, skill, and most of all teamwork. It's great to watch kids who barely know each other at the beginning of the year learn to work together.

So of course when the weather's bad, tournament officials decide to cancel games and resolve them how? With a penalty kick shootout?

Bah. A PK shootout requires no endurance, no patience, more luck than skill, and most of all no teamwork. If you doubt me, study this webpage:

Wikipedia's completely unbiased entry on penalty shootouts

About the only good thing one can say about a penalty shootout is that it's better than drawing lots.* I'd rather have players collapsing on the field from heart attacks during a 10th overtime than resolving ties or even bad-weather games with a PK shootout!!! Even if it's my son, it's one less mouth to feed!!!

The whole affair is completely antithetical to the principles of soccer, if anyone were to ask me. I know that no one asked me, but that's beside the point!

john perry

PS: And in case you were wondering, why yes, this is sour grapes. Families drove through severe thunderstorms (some of which spawned tornadoes) so that the Mississippi state tournament could end with a miserable shootout?!? The game was decided without most kids even touching the ball! AAAAAAARGHHHH...

*Drawing lots was, apparently, actually used to decide the winner of a tied soccer games once upon a time. Read the Wikipedia entry for other methods.

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