Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Old Football Rules That Became Footnotes in History

Football, also known as association football, has captured the hearts of billions of fans worldwide. From the spectacle of the World Cup to the drama of the Champions League, the sport continues to enthrall audiences everywhere.

But like any other sport, football has seen its fair share of attempts to improve the game with new rules. Some of these changes have been successful, such as the introduction of goal line technology. However, there have also been rule changes that didn’t quite hit the mark and were eventually abandoned.

In this article, we’ll delve into a few of these forgotten rules. Some were limited to specific countries or leagues, while others were introduced in certain knock-out tournaments but failed to gain widespread adoption. It’s worth noting that what may seem like a good idea at one point in time may not always work out.

Two Points For A Home Win, Three For An Away Win

In the 1980s, football games were sometimes criticized for being boring. Away teams often played defensively, resulting in matches where the home team struggled to break them down. To address this issue, a rule change was implemented for the 1981-1982 season, awarding three points for a win instead of two. However, this change only had a limited impact.

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The Alliance Premier League, the top non-league division at the time, took matters into their own hands. They introduced a rule where the away team would receive three points for a win, while the home team would only get two. This innovation did lead to more attacking play from away teams, but it also resulted in home teams becoming more defensive.

Ultimately, the experiment wasn’t considered successful, as teams with fewer wins ended up higher in the table. After a few years, the rule was abandoned, and the standard three points for a win was reinstated.

The Silver Goal Rule?

In 1993, FIFA introduced the Golden Goal rule, which ended the match immediately if a team scored in extra time. The intention was to encourage more attacking play and avoid penalty shootouts. However, this rule didn’t sit well with everyone.

At UEFA, a modified version of the rule called the Silver Goal was introduced. Under this rule, if a team scored in the first half of extra time, the match would continue until the end of the half. If the leading team maintained their lead, they would be declared the winner. However, this rule didn’t gain popularity and was ultimately abandoned after the 2004 European Championships.

American Penalties

When football was introduced in America in the 1970s, the authorities wanted to find a way to avoid drawn matches. They decided to adopt extra time and penalties for every game, including standard league matches. However, this led to longer matches, and the penalty shootout format didn’t quite live up to expectations.

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A new method of deciding the winner was introduced in 1977. The attacking player would have five seconds to score from 35 yards out. This shoot-out format was inspired by the NHL penalty shootout. This system persisted with the introduction of Major League Soccer but failed to gain traction elsewhere and was eventually abandoned.


In 1994, FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggested that kick-ins could replace throw-ins to make the game faster. Lower leagues in Belgium, Hungary, and England experimented with this rule change. However, it didn’t receive a warm welcome from everyone.

Some managers refused to allow their players to take kick-ins and insisted on traditional throw-ins instead. When kick-ins were attempted, teams often resorted to long balls, resulting in set-pieces from the sidelines. In the end, the rule change was abandoned, but the desire for innovation remains.

Q: Did any of these rule changes have a lasting impact on the game?
A: While these rule changes didn’t have a lasting impact, they did provide valuable lessons for the evolution of the sport. Football is always open to exploring new ideas and adapting to improve the game.

Q: Are there any current rule changes being considered?
A: Football’s governing bodies are always reviewing the rules to ensure the game continues to evolve. However, any proposed changes go through extensive testing and consultation before being implemented.

Q: Will these abandoned rules ever make a comeback?
A: It’s difficult to say. Football is a cyclical sport, and ideas that were once abandoned may resurface in the future as the game continues to evolve and adapt to the needs and preferences of players and fans.

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Football has seen its fair share of rule changes over the years, from successful innovations to abandoned experiments. While not all rule changes stood the test of time, they serve as a testament to the sport’s ongoing quest for improvement and innovation. As football continues to captivate global audiences, we can expect more changes and adaptations to shape the beautiful game. For the latest news and updates on football, visit Movin993.