Image Credits: I.DAILYMAIL.CO.UK The Union of European Football Associations, also known as UEFA, is all set to introduce a new system for penalty shootouts that would be similar to tennis tiebreaks. The governing body of the European sports wants to change the way penalty shootouts are staged to even out the advantage of teams going either first or second. UEFA has announced to trial the brand new penalty shootout format next month at the men’s and women’s UEFA European Under-17 Championships. The new system is known as ABBA format, which the European governing body will use. This format is demonstrated in tennis after the serve between opponents in tiebreakers. It is believed that this system evens out the potential advantage which a player has by serving first. Therefore, the officials expect that it will cancel out the advantage that the teams have by taking the first penalty as well in a shootout. Image Credits: HINDUSTANTIMES.COM When the match has to be decided by penalty shootouts, the official referee has two coin tosses which determine the side at which the shootout will take place and the team which will take or save the first penalty. UEFA explained that if the new ABBA system proves to be successful in the trial run, it will be implemented on all European club and country competitions in the coming times. UEFA said in a statement, “The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure, because 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 — i.e. the seventh and eighth spot kicks.” Image Credits: I.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK Penalty shootouts have decided six of the last 16 finals of the prestigious UEFA Champions League competition. To understand the changes being implemented, here is a comparison of the current and new format:
Current penalty shootout format
In the current penalty shootout format, both teams have five penalty kicks to score where the Team A has the first attempt followed by the first attempt of Team B. Both teams alternatively take five penalties each. This sequence is repeated in sudden death until a winner emerges eventually.
New penalty shootout format
In the new proposed ABBA system, both teams have five penalty kicks to score where the Team A has the first attempt followed by the first and second attempt of Team B. Then, Team A will have its second and third attempt followed by the third and fourth attempt of Team B. Team A will then take its final two penalty kicks after which Team B will shoot its final penalty.This sequence is repeated in sudden death until a winner emerges eventually. Image Credits: BRILA.NET