The independent body is trialling a radical game format for its annual cup tournaments in a world first for the sport and has caught the attention of FIFA, the sport’s governing organisation.
The format is the brainchild of former Preston Lions goalkeeper Phil Traianedes and Irishman Robert Hallinan, both based in WA where Traianedes is a well-known referee.
They have contacted FIFA, FFA and the English FA with their plan to do away with matches being decided by penalty shootouts.
After 90 minutes if the game is a draw the teams proceed to Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM) and the winner of this shootout will be deemed the winner of the game only if scores are tied at the end of extra time.
In other words, extra time is played after penalties are taken and it is feasible that a team can lose the penalty shootout but go on to win the game as the result of the shootout is only used to break a scoreline deadlock.
The rationale behind the radical format is that teams will go into extra time with a purpose, either to defend or to attack, but one team cannot play for a draw thus creating a positive dynamic rather than both teams playing for a draw then having their fate decided from the penalty spot.
Traianedes and Bayside FA president Wayne Brown played junior football together and when Traianedes phoned his former teammate and told him about his idea Brown was immediately interested.
“We put the concept to our club delegates and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Brown.
“I can’t see any negatives in this in fact I think it’s a great way to change the dynamics of a game and to stop games grinding towards a penalty shootout.”
Traianedes and Hallinan cite a number of advantages of their format:
● It retains the drama of the penalty shootout and gives it relevance.
● It ensures a non-cautious approach to extra time therefore one team must attack while the other team may choose to defend the KFPM result or attack cautiously.
● Both teams are aware that a result will be achieved by playing open-play football.
● Players get a rest during KFPM.
● Players who miss in the shootout have a chance to redeem themselves in extra time.
● The game is finished by playing open-play football.
“Phil sent his idea to FIFA by certified mail then followed up by phoning them and they have confirmed that this playing format is on the table for discussion,” said Brown.
FIFA has been looking into the possibility of doing away with penalties deciding games for some time now and the Traianedes-Hallinan concept may be the solution the world body is seeking.
The new format will be used in this weekend’s quarter-final stages and for the remainder of this year’s Bayside cup tournaments and a report of the outcome will be sent to FIFA headquarters in Switzerland for further consideration.