How does ADG Compare
with other Alternatives
and Proposals?

Win the toss, win the shootout!
How is ADG different to other alternatives that have been tried?

Any successful alternative has to be about scoring goals. I was never a fan of ideas such as counting woodwork strikes, corners, cautions or any of the other things that have been suggested. Football is about scoring goals. We have to see the ball going into the net.

The Americans were on the right track with their NASL Shootout, which was later used in the MLS. The shootout started 35 yards from the goal and the player had five seconds to attempt a shot. Johan Cruyff said, “This is spectacular and not as brutal as penalties.” 6

In a documentary in 2006 he said, “I still think in Europe they should try it.” 11 Another legend of the game, Carlos Alberto, said in the same film that the NASL shootout “makes the game more emotional.” 11

The dynamic nature of the American shootout rendered the penalty shootout as a static and clinical contest. MLS discarded their shootout in 1999, not because it was unpopular, but because they wanted “to bring the MLS game into accordance with how the game is played throughout the world.” 12

Former USA goalkeeper, Winston DuBose says, “FIFA wanted to whip America into line with the rest of the world. The NASL shootout is unbelievably exciting. Can you imagine Lionel Messi against Tim Howard, or something like that? It would be unbelievable to see that, fantastic. FIFA’s extremely reluctant to change and it’s crazy.” 13

So, how does ADG compare? Well, the NASL shootout still only involves five attackers from each team. ADG of course involves every player, so it’s a fairer test of a team’s overall ability. ADG also showcases defensive skills. For example, you might see a defender make a perfectly timed sliding tackle to deny a shot on goal.

Another difference is that ADG provides a vital role for the coach, with strategy being a major factor. Furthermore, and similar to penalties, the NASL shootout doesn’t disadvantage teams who have received yellow or red cards. So, another major distinction is that only ADG promotes fair play.

Some also people argued that the NASL shootout became too predictable, with the keeper always dashing to the edge of the penalty area. Including a defender and extending the time by 15 seconds, ensures unpredictable contests will unfold. Furthermore, in ADG the attacker also has the option to shoot directly from kick-off.

If the IFAB was to reconsider the NASL shootout, it would be a very hard sell. You’re bringing back a product that hasn’t been on the shelf in over twenty years. So, the critics will say, “If it was so good in the first place, why was it discontinued?”

For the record, ADG was not inspired by the NASL shootout and it was only after developing ADG that the author became aware of it.

Feature ADG NASL

All players compete

Yes

No

Showcases defensive skills

Yes

No

Manager and strategy are vital

Yes

No

Promotes fair play

Yes

No

Unpredictable contests

Yes

No

Shoot from kick-off

Yes

No

New idea

Yes

No

Agostino di Bartolomei committed suicide on the 10th anniversary of Roma's European Cup loss
What about other proposals?

One idea that’s often discussed is having the penalty shootout take place before extra time. The team that wins the shootout takes a half goal advantage into extra time. The premise is that it forces the team that lost the shootout to attack in extra time. But it’s also going to encourage the team with the advantage to sit back and try for a goal on the break. With modern teams so adept at counter-attacking football, the odds of them actually scoring another goal and totally shutting the game down will be very high.

With alternatives such as endless extra time, or the intermittent removal of players, there’s always going to be the issue of excessively long matches and an increased likelihood of player injury. Not to mention the scheduling nightmare, because no one can guess how long these matches are going to last.

Compare this to ADG, which would be completed in about 10-15 minutes. It’s also highly likely that if the above alternatives were introduced, supporters might miss the dramatic climax of the penalty shootout. The beauty of ADG is it combines the skill, speed and athleticism of modern football, with the climactic drama and tension of the shootout.

NEXT: How does ADG Reconcile with Football Past, Present and Future?

Explore ADG in context to the history and evolution of football.