What Rules Could Football Adopt From Other Sports as Five Subs Stays?

Five Subs are here to stay

Teams will be able to continue to use five substitutions for the 2020/21 season after FIFA chose to extend the rule for another year. It is now up to individual leagues to decide whether they want to continue to do so, as it is not an official rule change, but one that is expected to be used around Europe to help cope with the high demand of action.

The rule initially came as a result of player fitness being at an all-time low following the suspension of football and training. Now, it looks like five subs is here to stay after it was seemingly successful in England, despite the few calls it helps the wealthier clubs with more squad depth and destroys those lower down.

Here, we take a light-hearted look at some other rules from various sports that we would be interested to see in football.

Roll on roll off subs

Surprisingly, this isn't the first time roll on roll off substitutions has been discussed in the world of football. In fact, it has actually been a topic of debate amongst fans and journalists for a number of years, with the success of such a rule occurring in some non-professional football leagues.

The idea is, you can sub off and sub on players at any time, and bring that player back on or off again if you please. This rule is used in most American sports such as basketball and American football and is one that has never been disputed and is highly regarded as a fair rule.

If you ever watch the NBA or the NFL, coaches will often change their team for different shapes and tactics, whether it be defensive or attacking and much of the focus around the tactical approach comes through the fact they can change their team at any time.

In football, it would be interesting to see a lower level team go 1-0 up against a Manchester City of the world and sub on as many defensive players as they feel, only to then bring on as many attackers as they can to try and nick the game.

Why stop at five subs? May as well use them all.

No Offsides

Now this would be carnage, but we like that.

For a casual fan, the offside rule can seem forced and it is hard to justify the importance of it for someone who may not understand the sport. But, for regular viewers, it is easy to see why the offside rule is there.

Having such a regulation in place gives the game structure, tactical intuition and all in all, it stops players punting the ball as far as they can in hope that a striker taps the ball home.

However, take out the offside rule and you see a completely different and potentially high-scoring sport with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane running riot behind enemy lines.

As much as it would transform the game, and perhaps not for the better, it would make it an awful lot more interesting, and things like goalless draws would surely be eradicated. At the end of the day, with no offside, anybody has a chance and it could even make the game more of a level playing field.

Old School MLS penalties

Now this is where we spice things up and if you don't know what we're talking about, do yourself a favour and check out the best MLS penalty shootouts, before they changed the rule to the normal one in 1999.

As per with the MLS and the American way of doing things, it has to be different to whatever goes on in Europe. And, whilst other rules and ideas have been completely nonsensical, this one is absolutely magnificent and it's a shame we'll never see it in Europe, so kudos to the Americans for this one.

Essentially, what happens is the player begins their shootout between the halfway line and the goal and they are free to score in whatever legal manner they please. If this means shooting from 40 yards, go for it. If the player wants to beat the keeper and tap home, have at it. It is still a one v one situation, but it is a very different and more interesting approach to it all, rather than attempting what is basically a lottery from 12 yards.

These penalties only applied for penalty shootouts, but it would be fabulous to see this included as the norm in Europe for any type of penalty. To be honest, not just is this more interesting, it's overall just a better way of concluding a game as it takes more skill, potentially adds more pressure and overall, makes it incredibly more entertaining.

5-a-side walls

Perhaps we're clutching at straws here, but here us out.

What if we had no throw-ins and players could use the walls as a barrier, for clearances and to make magical passes with? Wouldn't that be more interesting than a throw-in occurring every few minutes?

In 5-a-side, the action is non-stop and the play is only halted for a foul, goal or the irritating head height rule. In football, whilst throw-ins can be a help defensively through a clearance, they can stop attacks and are, at the end of the day, a waste of time.

Just think of the counter-attacks we could see and the breathtaking passes that could take place if we had 5-a-side walls around the pitches. At the very least, can't we change throw-ins to kick-ins? Doesn't that make more sense?

As we said, perhaps we're clutching at straws with this one, but for the sake of entertainment, it makes complete sense.

Lose a player every few minutes in extra time.

Let's map this one out so we don't get lost: instead of penalties, teams keep going until everyone is off the pitch as they must forfeit a player every few minutes.

For example, it's a Manchester derby cup final and instead of the idea they could go to extra time, for this one, both managers must sacrifice one of their 11 players until they get to just the keepers, and once they are gone, the game is over, and if it's still a draw, we keep playing.

Not just does this throw a spanner in the works, it also ramps everything up a gear and gets both managers working on their tactical output more than ever. Does Guardiola take off Fernandinho and sacrifice some defensive stability? Or bring off Sergio Aguero, in hope somebody else pops up with a goal to keep things solid at the back?

Again, another silly idea, but it's all a bit of fun. What other rules could we see in football? Let us know by tweeting us @FootyAccums.


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