Rule changes are needed to produce more goals in soccer

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 07, 2011, at 11:12 a.m.

Soccer season is in full swing.

It’s a wonderful sport but goal scoring can be an issue especially when there are evenly-matched teams.

Here are some rule changes, without completely altering the game, I would suggest to FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, to create more scoring chances and more goals.

— Number one: No offsides on free kicks. If you can’t be offside on a throw-in when the ball simply exited the sideline, why should you be off-side if you’ve won a free kick because someone fouled you or was ruled to be offsides?

— Number two: You shouldn’t have to stop the ball if you’ve been awarded a free kick. You should be able to just play the ball while it’s rolling.

— Number three: the defensive wall on a free kick should be pushed back to 12 yards away instead of 10.

— Number four: no offsides if the ball is passed to someone who is outside an imaginary line stretching from the edge of one penalty area to the other. In other words, if you are in the flank, no offsides.

— Number five: move the penalty spot back from 12 yards to 16 yards. Referees might be more inclined to call penalties.

— Finally: if the attacker is within two feet of the last defender, he is onsides. If they are even, they are supposed to be onsides but, 90 percent of the time, if it is close, the linesman will call them offsides because they don’t want to be embroiled in controversy if a goal is scored.

What are your thoughts? What rule changes would you recommend? Do you like any of these? I am looking forward to reading your comments. printed on July 25, 2016