ADG has seven core advantages over penalties

The Seven Advantages

ADG has seven critical and fundamental advantages over penalties.

  • It reduces psychological trauma, racism and death threats.
  • It showcases the skill, speed and athleticism of modern football.
  • It removes the unfair advantage for the team kicking first.
  • Tactics and manager’s strategic input are vital.
  • All players compete.
  • It encourages fair play.
  • It encourages attacking play.
ADG will reduce trauma, racism and death threats

Reduces Psychological Trauma, Racism and Death Threats

While missed penalty kicks are usually the contributing factor in deciding a shootout, it will be the goals that decide ADG. A negative competition is reframed into a positive one and the benefits of this transformation will be profound.

The penalty shootout creates a hostile environment where players are routinely exposed to racism, death threats and psychological trauma. Instead of villains and martyrs, ADG will create heroes.

In fact, there’s considerable first-hand evidence that a missed penalty in a critical match fosters serious long-term psychological trauma.

Roberto Baggio who was instrumental in getting Italy to the final of the 1994 World Cup, but missed the decisive kick in the shootout says, “It affected me for years. It is the worst moment of my career. I still dream about it. If I could erase a moment, it would be that one.” 7

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ADG showcases modern football

Showcases the Game

In stark contrast to the penalty shootout, ADG showcases the skill, speed, athleticism and dynamic beauty of modern football.

Every time a match ends with a goalkeeper guessing wrong and a ball dribbling into a goal, or a player crumbling to the ground at the penalty spot, the sport is devalued.

Would you rather watch a Kerr, a Neymar or an Mbappé walk up and convert a penalty to win a tournament, or watch them at full speed, swerve past a defender and bend the ball into the back of the net?

It’s due to the skill and grace of movement of the world’s great players that we call football the “beautiful game” and the reason why it’s the most popular sport on earth. ADG replaces the static and clinical shootout with a dynamic and exhilarating showdown. 

Conversely, if the match was a cagey scoreless draw, supporters still have the opportunity to see brilliant and exciting goals during ADG.

ADG removes advantage for the team kicking first

Removes Kicking First Advantage

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, a devoted football fan and a professor from The London School of Economics discovered that the team who takes the first kick in the penalty shootout wins 60% of the time.4 As the team who wins the coin toss can always elect to kick first, it’s an inherently unfair situation for the opposition.

The scoring rate for penalties by professional players in the shootout since 1970 has been 73%.5 So, the team kicking second is usually playing catch-up and experiences greater pressure with each kick.

ADG’s scoring rate is estimated at 20%. The dramatically lower scoring rate removes the expectation that the player will always score. Of course, when the associated psychological pressure is removed, there won’t be any advantage in attacking first in ADG. Teams can simply take turns attacking and defending.

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The manager strategizes with his players

Tactics are Crucial

At the start of ADG the manager will select his five attacking players and the order in which they will compete. He then instructs his remaining players which of the opposing team’s attackers they should anticipate defending against.

The manager can also strategize with his players about various opposition players and their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Modern football has brought the manager centre stage and this is a great opportunity for them to utilise their knowledge and tactical skills to influence the outcome of the match.

Contrast this with the penalty shootout lottery, where the extent of the manager’s involvement is usually limited to asking players if they are willing to take a penalty kick.

Players showcase their skills

All Players Compete

While only five kickers from each team compete in the shootout, ADG involves the entire team. In a sport that prides itself on fairness, surely it’s paramount to ensure all team members have the opportunity to contribute directly to the outcome of the match.

Players also get to showcase their specific skill disciplines. An attacker who’s great on the ball may try to go past both the defender and goalkeeper. An attacker with a powerful shot might try to edge closer to the box before dispatching a thunderbolt.

Likewise a defender might make a perfectly timed sliding tackle to deny a shot on goal. While a goalkeeper’s athleticism and goal-saving prowess will be on full display during ADG.

Ultimately, a sport becomes more equitable and enjoyable when every player is afforded their moment to shine.

Teams guilty of misconduct are at a disadvantage

Encourages Fair Play

Unlike the penalty shootout, ADG forms part of the official match, so warnings and cautions are carried forward into ADG. A team guilty of numerous tactical fouls, and has consequently received yellow cards, are at significant disadvantage in ADG. These cautioned players will have to be very mindful not to re-offend and risk being sent off.

Similarly, a team who has received a red card during normal play will be without a defender in ADG. The attacker goes one-on-one against their goalkeeper. It’s estimated that the scoring rate for this one-on-one scenario will be about 50%. So, more more double the normal ADG scoring rate.

In stark contrast to the penalty shootout, ADG rewards teams who have played within the laws and the spirit of the game and penalises teams guilty of illegal or unsportsmanlike conduct.

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Creative attacking players stay on the pitch

Encourages Attacking Play

ADG counteracts a scenario of a team playing totally defensively, in the belief that their best chance of winning the match is via the penalty shootout. This is especially common when a team has had a player sent off and is commonly referred to as “playing for penalties.”

Teams will be discouraged from substituting creative attacking players during the match, as their skills will be invaluable if ADG eventuates. By keeping these players on the field it increases the likelihood of a winning goal during normal play.

As mentioned above, warnings and cautions are carried forward into ADG. As any further sanctions during ADG will hinder teams as they progress through the elimination stages of tournaments, there’s additional motivation to attack and win the game during normal play.

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"My heart shrank to nothing and
I was psychologically destroyed."

Bruno Conti

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