2020 has been a harrowing and painful year for sport as a global industry. Somewhere economic issues have become aggravated, somewhere a management crisis has been revealed, somewhere more or less everything is bad there are no ideal segments in sports. Remembering the problems on the tenth round and not wanting to be sad at all, so Sports.ru is launching a New Year series about the future we dream or try to predict the changes that will happen in our favorite sports. In the second series football refereeing.
Refereeing never left the agenda, but it seems that in 2020 this topic hurt football more: Spartak's threats, millimeter offside, punitive handball rules. VAR came for justice, but its sensitivity and ability to see violations that are subtle to the human eye confuse fans, coaches, players and even the judges themselves.
Obviously, without GAP, top football is already unthinkable, refereeing is going in the right direction, but something can definitely be done better. Below we will formulate three innovations that will save the game. This is not exactly fantasy some of this list is definitely waiting for us in the future, something will probably be thought about a little later.
The hand rule needs to be fixed. There is a suggestion as
This rule was significantly updated before the start of the 19/20 season, and the first discontent was perceived as a retrograde grumbling. A clear algorithm, Vitruvian man what could be fairer and simpler?
But something went wrong. In the 20/21 season, 10 penalties were awarded for handball by November in the Premier League, while for the entire last season 19 (and we remember that the season began a month later). In at least half of these decisions, fairness was questioned. A penalty when the ball found the defender's hand is too harsh a punishment.
"You can't defend without natural hand movement,"
Wolverhampton coach Nunu said.
"I think this rule is not to everyone who watches or plays football,"
confirmed Frank Lampard.
Even people in jackets could not stand it.
“Quite often the ball falls into our hands by accident. But according to the spirit of the law, these accidents should not lead to punishments and to the moments that determine the result of the match,”
wrote UEFA President Alexander Čeferin in an address to his colleague from FIFA Gianni Infantino.
IFAB (it is this organization that determines the rules of the game) is right now thinking about changing interpretations, and, probably, we will meet the new season with a new rule, but the main thing is not to be too smart. The Athletic journalist and former soccer player Stuart James proposed a simplified version of the rule. We take it as a basis and supplement it. The ban on goals or hand assists is still worth keeping, even if the ball accidentally hits an attacking player's hand. A goal is too valuable a thing, and the scope of its definition should be extremely rigid.
But when playing with a hand in defense, it is worth considering the nuances. The concept of "unnaturally increases the area of the body" should be canceled, because it is abstract and even sounds silly. If a defender throws up his arms when falling after a joint on the penalty line and accidentally touches the ball, then he increases his body area. But is this really a reason for a decisive penalty in the 90th minute? The only criterion is asked (it is somewhat similar to the previous version of the rules): did the player play with his hand? How to determine this? It is necessary to take into account two criteria: whether the hand moved towards the ball (in all planes, not just up or forward) and what distance was before the impact (was there time to react and remove the hand). Anatomy is worth expanding on: the hand in football starts where the deltoid ends.
If this rule had worked in the current Premier League season, then out of ten penalties for handball, only two would have been awarded.
For such violations.
Even relatives of Neil Mope or Jack Robinson would not dispute these penalties.
Yes, in some cases you will have to rely on algorithms, and it is quite possible that unintentional hand play will sometimes look like deliberate one. And for this there is the following proposal.
The penalty is probably worth partially canceling. This is how it might work
We often hear from the commentators the phrase “For such a foul with such a score in the 90th minute, no penalty is given”. This is both fair and absurd. And they give in the first minute? And on the 36th with the score 3: 0? Why, then, is it not spelled out in the rules at what minute a push in the back is a foul, and at which one is not? The answer is this: football lives not only by the rules, but also by common sense. But everyone has their own criteria for fairness and common sense. In football of the future, it's time to move away from this.
According to the current rules, the penalty for any foul in the penalty area is a goal with 80% probability. It is impossible to drag a penalty kick to the reaction, for the goalkeeper it is just an attraction, where little depends on him. The percentage is not taken from the ceiling: about 80% of penalties are realized.