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Question Number: 31065

Kicks From The Penalty mark 11/29/2016

RE: Competitive High School

Francesca Diaz of Apopka, Fl United States of America asks...

Hello Referee,
I am Francesca I play keeper in my high school and I am writing a paper on penalty kick shootouts and why they should not be used to determine a winner in the case of a tie. Can you tell me a reason you think they should stay or a positive reason for them (pro) to be apart of the game and a reason you think that they are no fair and/or unjust (con)?
Francesca Diaz
p.s. can you leave your name so i can cite you in my paper

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Francesca,
hmm in my personal opinion I was against the 'Golden Goal rule more so than the PK shootout. You see Kicks from the penalty mark (KFTPM) to determine a winner are a necessary ingredient to bring about a conclusion to a match. Long extended matches create considerable potential for injury. The exhaustion level might be offset as a benefit of training but a hot climate or a bitterly cold day both affect the players safety levels as to their overall health. Even playing at higher elevations can benefit one team over another. They used to play until one team scored but then teams changed tactics into long protracted defensive struggles with both teams afraid to commit to attack for fear of losing . Paying people want a SPECTACLE to watch. Not a bunch of worn out cramping players falling down getting massages. They do play an additional 1/2 hour of 2x15 minute halves just ahead of the KFTPM if the match is tied after regulation but the scoring is cumulative not the 1st one wins. No matter the stomach acid build up no one can deny PK shootouts are not entertaining if heartbreaking for 50% of those watching. Funny we often feel bad for the keeper who loses but heap ridicule on the players who miss for failing to win .
PS remember we are a volunteer site offering our advise and experience we do not speak for or are in any way affiliated with the governing body of FIFA or the IFAB as to why or how they choose to arrive at their decisions .

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Francesca,

You may find it interesting to look into what hockey (field and ice) does - while they have penalty shootouts, the attacker actually gets to run with the ball. So it isn't a static shot and relies on some different skills.

There is a video around of this happening in a soccer tournament as well but I can't find it.

I don't like penalty shootouts, but I can't think of a better option. In the past we had 'Golden Goal' (where the first goal in extra time wins), but teams usually played defensively. It also puts too much focus on refereeing decisions around the penalty area, increasing controversy and possibly increasing the chance of a dive.

I have refereed a competition where extra time was golden goal but the team removed 2 players every couple of minutes. This was quite boring! The teams just pulled off their attackers and played defensively until the end of time.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Francesca
At one stage in the history of drawn games the outcome was decided on the toss of a coin. Clearly that was not a satisfactory way to decide a game. There has been other ways such as Golden goal, Silver goal and 35 yard run and shot with the ball.
What is good about the KFTPM is that is exciting for the viewer, it bring the game to a conclusion generally with 10 kicks, it can be a test of skill, nerve etc.
The downside is that it puts extreme pressure on players and in some case players have been vilified for missing penalties in crucial game. A penalty kicks loss lasts in the memory for a life time. I recall missing a penalty in KFTPM in a final some 35 years ago although we still won. I still recall it vividly so I'm sure significant losses such as in the WC, Euros, CL must weigh heavily at the time and for some time afterwards by the players.
I always feel sorry for very young players that are in tears due to PK miss in KFTPM.

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