The “ABBA” format for penalty shootouts will be used in all English Football League competitions in 2017/2018
The new format of penalties will be implemented in all ties of the Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and EFL play-offs.
What is the ABBA format?
The current format of a penalty shootout sees each team take turns taking a penalty one after the other. For example, team A goes first, then team B, then team A, again until a winner can be decided.
The new system sees team A followed by team B – before team B goes again. Team A would then get two successive penalties, a little like the tie-break in tennis, and so on until there is a winner.
In a statement, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “We welcome innovation at the EFL and I am pleased to see that the EFL is able to play its part in an important development for football. IFAB have identified a theory that the current arrangements for penalty kicks potentially provide an unfair advantage to the team taking the first kick so we are keen to see if the new system has an impact on one of the most discussed issues in football. We all want football matches to be decided in a fair and consistent manner and I am sure the new system will add an interesting dynamic to the conclusion of matches in our competitions if required.”
Why is a change needed?
The idea is to stop the team going second having to always, potentially, play catch-up. The sport’s rule-making body, Ifab, approved the trial after looking at the research that says the team taking the first penalty have an unfair advantage as they win 60% of shootouts
“The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure,” said Uefa. ”
What do you think, is the new format going to make much difference at all or is the penalty shootout just a battle of psychology and a player’s mental strength?