FAQ What are the
Advantages of ADG?

Claire Lavogez misses her penalty at FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
How does ADG reduce trauma, racism and death threats? Isn't a missed goal in ADG going to have the same repercussions as during the shootout?

An average of 2.69 goals were scored per match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Football is the ultimate low scoring game. However, the shootout turns the game upside down and creates the expectation that the kicker will always score.

The penalty shootout takes a positive natured sport and turns it into a competition where it’s not the goals, but the missed goals, that invariably determine the winner.

Players measure themselves against their team-mates. If four of your team-mates convert penalties and your solitary miss loses the match, you’re going to feel singularly responsible for the defeat. You’re going to feel guilty about letting your team-mates and supporters down.

ADG’s scoring rate is estimated at 20%, or three to four times lower than the shootout. So, the expectation from team-mates and fans is that you won’t score. They hope you do, but they don’t expect it.

Now there may be more expectation on the gifted genius, or the speedy superstar who’s great on the ball. If they score a scintillating goal, of course they’re going to be a hero.

But, if they don’t score, they won’t be saddled with feelings of guilt and responsibility, because it’s likely none of their team-mates scored either. And that’s how players measure themselves. They measure their own personal performance, against that of their team-mates.

A talented player who doesn’t score in ADG may feel disappointment, but they won’t experience the burden and trauma of knowing they lost the game. It’s like the difference between watching a player miss a penalty kick during normal play and during the shootout.

The player who misses during normal play is usually angry or disappointed with themselves. However, they don’t appear as that  inconsolable figure who knows that they’ve just cost their team the match or the title.

ADG's low scoring rate removes the advantage of kicking first
How does ADG remove the 20% advantage for the team kicking first?

The scoring rate for in the shootout for professional players since 1970 has been 73%.5 While the rate for the 35 yard shootout in the NASL and MLS was about 33%.13

Of course, competing against both a defender and a goalkeeper makes ADG more difficult. However, this is partially offset by increasing the time limit from five to twenty seconds. So, we can estimate that ADG’s scoring rate will be about 20%.

ADG’s low scoring rate removes the expectation the player will always score. When the associated psychological pressure is removed, there won’t be any advantage in attacking first in ADG. Which is in contrast to the massive advantage of winning the coin toss and electing to kick first during the penalty shootout.

Now some people assume that regardless of the actual scoring rate or the type of competition, going first in an ABAB sequence will always present some sort of advantage.

For instance, serving first in the deciding set of a tennis match is generally acknowledged as an advantage. However, the statistics reveal that just as many players win the match when serving second in the final set.14

The attacker goes one-on-one against the goalkeeper
How does ADG encourage fair play during regulation time?

Unlike the penalty shootout, ADG forms part of the official match, so warnings and cautions are carried forward into ADG. Additionally, teams that have received red cards during normal play are at a significant disadvantage during ADG. This is much fairer for teams who have played within the laws and the spirit of the game.

Let’s use the 2010 World Cup quarter-final between Uruguay and Ghana as an example. In the last minute of extra time a Uruguayan player deliberately handled the ball and denied Ghana a match winning goal. As we all now know, Ghana missed the penalty kick and went on to lose the shootout.

Once Ghana had missed the penalty kick, Uruguay were not subject to any further disadvantage for the remainder of the match. In fact, it doesn’t matter how many players a team has had sent off, if they can make it through to the penalty shootout, then they are at no further disadvantage to their opponents.

However, if ADG rather than the shootout had ensued, Uruguay would have been without a defender for one of the contests. This gives the Ghanaians a distinct advantage, which is something most rational football fans around the world believed they were entitled to.

Therefore, ADG is much more effective than the penalty shootout at punishing teams who are guilty of unsporting and illegal play.

Creative attacking players stay on the pitch
How does ADG encourage attacking play during the match?

Teams can’t play for penalties, which is especially common when a team has had a player sent off. A coach will instruct all his eleven players to stay behind the ball, in hope they can jag a win in the penalty shootout.

In ADG, a team with a red card is a defender down, so an attacker will go one-on-one against their goalkeeper. This obviously gives the attacking team a distinct advantage and is a reward for their fair play.

Now some people might suggest that teams could play for ADG, just like they do for penalties. However, if you were so confident in your team’s superior football ability during ADG, why not just apply those skills to normal play and try and win the match in 90 minutes?

ADG also encourages teams to keep creative attacking players on the field. In the 2006 World Cup final, the French replaced Ribéry and Henry after 100 and 107 minutes, respectively. Would these substitutions have occurred if ADG rather than penalties was imminent?

Both were sublimely talented attacking players, who despite their genuine fatigue, would have been invaluable for ADG. However, their presence on the field for the duration of normal play, also increases the likelihood of a French goal, and the match being decided in regulation time.

While Law 36 will minimise yellow and red cards, sanctionable offences are of course still more likely during ADG than the penalty shootout. As any additional sanctions will hinder teams as they progress through the elimination stages of tournaments, there’s additional incentive for teams to play attacking football and win the match before ADG.

NEXT: How do the
ADG Laws Work?

The reasoning behind the ADG Laws.