Some suggestions for improving the game of soccer

Culled from my own thoughts and discussions with various others over the years.

  • Add more refs. There should be a minimum of two on-field refs, and ideally three.
  • Put a fourth ref in the booth to decide via video replay. Purists complain that replay slows down the game. But how many times have you seen a game decided by a bogus PK, because the refs just didn’t have the right angle? I’d rather have a slightly slower game than an illegit one.
  • Retroactively punish diving. The number of dives per game can be drastically reduced by drastically increasing the cost of diving. A committee should evaluate game footage afterwards and issue cards for obvious dives that the refs have missed.
  • Have an intermediate penalty between yellow and red cards. Make teams play a man down for a specific amount of time, as in hockey. It sucks when the balance of a game is horribly skewed after a marginal foul because the ref had no option but to issue a red.
  • Modify overtime to avoid penalty kicks. PKs are incredibly exciting, no doubt, but if you’re an actual fan of one of the teams playing, they’re a horrible way to decide the game. (Imagine if tied NBA games were decided by free throws instead of overtimes.) Instead, when overtime starts, and every five minutes thereafter, each team should remove a player. The fewer players there are on the pitch, the more open the game will be, and the more likely someone is to score. At least this way, the outcome is decided by a soccer-like mechanism.
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3 Responses to Some suggestions for improving the game of soccer

  1. ccho says:

    Yeah they should definitely add more on-field refs, but that might increase the chance that their position interferes with the play.

    The penalty for diving should include a replay on a jumbotron a few times to show the player’s bad acting job.

  2. Anonymous says:


    Couldn’t agree more! I’ve tried long and hard to convince friends in England of the merits of modifications of this sort, but it’s very hard to make any impression on football people… One further idea for video replays, which might partially address the possibility of too many “time-outs” and at the same time introduce a fun new element into the game, would be to let each coach have a fixed number (say three) chances to demand a video review of a particular event. – Sach.

  3. Anonymous says:


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    No offense mate but go find someone to criticize that is a shi* writer, and she isn’t so get over it id like to see you write a book, well can all have a laugh then.