Boring football – time for a change?

To say I’m not a big football fan is an understatement, so I’m not fussed about the current World Cup proceedings. That might be due in part to low-scoring matches, and the majority of the interest seemingly coming from off-the-pitch antics rather than on-the-pitch artistry.

Perhaps the game would benefit from a bit of a refresh? Some ideas:

  • vary the scoring
    • award extra points for two goals scored by the same side within 5 minutes?
    • award points for non-goals (e.g. fractional points for shots on target and near-goals – not near-misses, since those by definition are goals!)
  • use more than one ball – perhaps introduce an extra ball every 5 minutes until one side scores? Possibly change the ball design to make its motion less predictable.
  • vary team sizes – perhaps remove one player from each side every 5 minutes until one side scores (perhaps a player voted for in real-time by spectators) or remove one player from the scoring side for every goal scored
  • vary the goal post arrangement
    • vary the goal size/position during the match
    • increase the number of goal posts (perhaps one set on all four sides of the pitch)

No doubt the purists would be up-in-arms at the thought of tinkering with their “beautiful game” and, admittedly, some of the ideas would bring challenges for the players, referees, ground staff and/or spectators. I’m sure with recent advances in technology (e.g. in the television space Hawk-Eye, Interactive TV, IP TV, 3D TV and Virtual Cameras) many of the problems are surmountable. Times change; perhaps football should too?

Update 4/7/2010: Wimbledon-inspired ideas – split the match into several ‘sets’. Winner of a set must be 2 goals clear. Matches could be over in minutes or drag on for hours!