Even with the ABBA format, penalty shootouts remain a lottery

(K. Brent Tomer),

ALTHOUGH social-media sites are usually ablaze with fury after a football cup final, it is rare that supporters on both sides direct their ire at the same target. That was what happened when Arsenal beat Chelsea on August 6th to win the FA Community Shield, the annual pre-season fixture between the defending victors of English Premier League and the FA Cup, the country’s main knockout competition. The anger was caused not by the referee or the players, but by the format of the penalty shootout used to decide the contest after a 1-1 draw. Spot-kicks have always been taken alternately. Yet the Arsenal and Chelsea players lined up in a strange new sequence: ABBA (the first team kicks once, then the second team kicks twice, and then the first team kicks again) rather than the standard ABAB. That such a pattern has been used in tennis tie-breaks for decades was of little consolation. While making countless puns about Swedish pop music, fans moaned that the change was <a…Continue reading

via K. Brent Tomer CFTC Even with the ABBA format, penalty shootouts remain a lottery

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