On Penalty Kicks

Congrats to the US women's soccer team with their rousing come-from-behind-victory via shootout in the World Cup over Brazil on Sunday.  Megan Rapinoe's long pass to Abby Wambach for the tying goal in the final moments of the match was thrilling.

I did have one complaint about World Cup soccer: the "shootout" AKA "penalty kicks."


Why use one offensive player at a time versus a goalie to determine a 90+ plus minute team game?

A penalty kick is certainly not representative of the complex game that is soccer.

Was the US the better team against Brazil or did a few players just excel in a skill competition known as the shootout?

I don't know.

We would never decide the outcome of a tie game in other sports with an individual challenge.

What if a tie basketball game was decided by a free-throw shooting contest?

What about a tie baseball/softball game by a home run derby or a tennis match by a fast-serve contest?

We would not even allow a quick-draw of an "X" be used to break a tie tick-tack-toe game.

So, I believe an important game in the knockout round of the World Cup should be won by the best team--that is the first team to score during full competition (the concept of the last women standing).

Any thoughts?


Thanks for humoring me with this post and I feel much better now.

Best wishes to the US team when they play France on Wednesday.


imbeingheldhostage said...

oh, we're quite used to the disappointment one wrong penalty kick can have... The thing is, after you go into extra time and there's still no clear winner, what else can you do? A good manager will plan for the possibility of getting down to penalties. It's nerve-wracking isn't it!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I hate when a game ends in a penalty shoot out.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

My sister is a soccer player. She actually knows Abby Wambach. I concur, the whole penalty kick thing, is something I've never understood!

Matthew MacNish said...

A couple of things:

First, the better team did win. The referee did everything in her power to give the game to the Brazilians, who played a game full of flopping, delaying, and generally uninspired play (they couldn't beat a team who was a player short for nearly half the match).

Second, I do sort of half to agree with you about the rules. It seems a little unfair that a sport in which it is SO HARD to come by points, suddenly switches to a format that makes it so easy. Hockey has shoot outs, too, BTW, but it's not quite as drastic because Hockey generally has average higher scores.

On the other hand, I don't think there is really a better solution out there. Especially not at the World Cup level. Silver goal? Not fair. Golden goal? Even less fair. More extra time? Impossible.

There really isn't any sport out there that has a perfect overtime solution. I guess MLB is pretty good, but the home team has such an advantage, and you can't allow that in a World Cup type format.

Sorry for ranting for so long, I'm passionate about crap like this.

ladyfi said...

Congrats! Sweden beat the USA for the first time ever, so perhaps they will meet later on?

Lisa said...

Never got into soccer. Entrepreneur watched the game and said Brazil played a questionable game and the officials looked to be very biased. So, I'm okay with the result of the PKs.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I liked the "shoot outs" when I played because I was a defender but one heck of a shot when it came to penalty kicks so it was the only time I ever got to attempt a goal but yeah, it does suck to lose after a tough 90 minutes battling it out.

Dawn said...

Well if this was hockey, (or triathlons:))..... I may be able to comment like I know what's going on. Soccer... is a bit tricky for me;) But seeing as I have no idea what the rules/penalties, etc. are...I'm WITH ya on this one:)))

Hope your week is going well:)

Miss Caitlin S. said...

I am so beyond bummed that I missed this game, It's all I have heard about! And the fact that it's women's sports getting all the rave review... well I just love it. I don't have insight into your questions though haha, I'm sorry- but I do wish I had watched this game! Proud of them.

Maxi said...

The first team to score during full competition is common sense … don't understand it any other way.

Audrey Allure said...

Well, I think the penalty kicks save some time. If both teams are really good & are at the same level, it might take many more hours until a team scores.

Brian Miller said...

that is an interesting way to look at it...and true...hmm....