UEFA is trying to make penalty shootouts fairer by doing an experiment on the order of taking the penalties in the shootouts.
The European body will try to switch from the traditional ABAB order to the experimental ABBA order in the European U-17 Championship in Croatia. The experiment is also being done in the women’s U-17 championship in the Czech Republic.
Studies showed that teams that shot first in the penalties won 60% of the time because the second team faced “greater mental pressure” of trying to catch up.
“The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure,” said UEFA in a statement.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Under the current rules, a coin toss decides who takes the first spot kick, then the teams take penalties alternately.
But with the change, Team A will take the first penalty and will be followed by two takers from Team B, then two takers from Team A, then so on until there is a winner.
OLD RULE – ABABABABAB
NEW RULE – ABBAABBAAB
Naysayers claim that the rule change might not have an impact at all since one team will still shoot after one team and will always try to catchup.
Some state that UEFA should try to bring back the golden goal rule, or that in the event of a tied game after extra time, they just give the win to the team who had the more corner kicks, then the team with the more free kicks, and the team with the lesser cards received.