Should FIFA change or remove the offside rule?

Soccer, known outside of the USA as football, is the number one played sport in the world. However, within the United States, I hear and read articles stating that the beautiful game is just too boring. One underlying reason as to why is its lack of scoring. So what can we do about it? I think we should start with the offside rule.

What if we changed the offside rule in soccer to mirror the offside rule in hockey? In the game of hockey, an offside play is when a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone (crosses the blue line) before the puck itself enters the attacking zone.

So what we’d need is to designate the “attacking zone” on the soccer field, much like the blue line in hockey. How about between midfield and the penalty box? We could paint a dotted line across the field, marking the attacking zone.

If a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the ball itself enters the attacking zone, the player will be considered offside.

This might actually help linesmen accurately call an offside! Right now, they have to keep an eye on where the attacking player is in relation to the last defender at the time the ball is kicked. As we have all seen, there’s a lot of room for error!

With the use of the dotted line marking the attacking zone, linesmen will only need to concentrate on an attacking player being in the zone before the ball. There’s no longer a need to watch the last defender. To be honest, linesmen could actually be on the field now, instead of running the sidelines. With three referees on the field monitoring play, this could increase the accuracy of fouls being called, leading to more free kicks and more goal scoring opportunities.

Once play has successfully entered the attacking zone, no player is considered offside. This is where the potential for increased goal scoring is inevitable. Even with corner kicks, because you’re still considered within the attacking zone, you cannot be called offside. Again, the potential for increased goal scoring is there.

The other option is if the offside rule was completely removed from the Laws of the Game, much like in indoor soccer. That may be a bit more drastic, but definitely opens the game up to increased scoring chances.

Do you think changing or removing the offside rule would make the game of soccer less boring and increase its popularity in the United States? Please leave your comments below!

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