set to appear at football tournaments
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[May 03, 2017]
ZURICH (Reuters) - A new penalty
shootout system similar to the tennis tiebreak will be tested at the
European under-17 championship, which began in Croatia on Wednesday,
Known as ABBA, the system is designed to prevent the team that goes
second from being put at the psychological disadvantage of always
having to play catch-up.
Currently penalty shootouts see team A and team B take five
penalties each in an alternating pattern with sudden death used
after that if the scores are level.
Soccer's rule making body IFAB, which approved trials of the new
system in March, says research proves the team taking the first
penalty have a 60 percent chance of winning, giving them an unfair
Instead, IFAB want to try a new sequence that replicates the switch
of serve between tennis players in a tie break.
It involves team A taking the first penalty, team B the second and
third, team A the fourth and fifth and so on until each team had
taken five. The sequence would continue if the shootout then goes to
"The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the
pair is under greater mental pressure," said UEFA.
"If the opposition's first penalty in the pair has been successful,
a miss by the second penalty-taker in the pair could mean the
immediate loss of a match for his team, especially from the fourth
pair of penalties onwards." UEFA said.
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A logo is pictured on a backdrop before a news conference after an
UEFA Executive Board meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, December 9, 2016.
UEFA said the system was also being tried at the women's European
under-17 championship, which began in the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
As with the existing system, the referee will toss a coin to decide
at which end of the pitch the shootout takes place.
The referee will then toss the coin for a second time and winners
can decide whether to take the first or second kick.
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Larry King)
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