How to improve the game of football

There seems to be a bit of excitement in the air at the moment surrounding a tournament involving the game of football (or soccer to any Overpuddlian readers). With that in mind, I decided it would be a good idea to resurrect something I wrote about two years ago – this tournament thingummy makes it actually topical! I originally posted this as a Facebook ‘note’ – but here it is in all its glory:

Inflatable England Player by Smabs Sputzer
Inflatable England Player by Smabs Sputzer

I don’t like football. I find it dull and uninteresting in a way that makes the concept of watching paint dry really appealing. However, I’ve given the matter some thought, and I’ve come up with a solution: A way to make the game better and more interesting.

Essentially, the game needs a 12th player on each team, actually “on the field” – or more accurately, in towers positioned in two opposing corners, behind the stands/crowds. The 12th player should have a sniper rifle, and five rounds of ammunition. His role, simply, is to take out players from the opposing team.

Now, if he could just take pot shots and remove five players at random, so to speak, that would be no fun. That aspect of the game would be over far too soon. There have to be some rules.

The sniper can only fire at the player on the opposing team who actively has the ball in play, and only when he is on the move – and in the opposing team’s half of the pitch. This actually makes the sniper’s task harder, because he’s aiming for a moving target, some distance away – so he must take care not to waste that ammunition. This also means he can’t shoot someone who is about to take a penalty, or throw the ball in, or take a corner.

Another rule is that if his shot is a good, clean kill, then the team loses a player from the field: there can be no substitute. However, if his shot is not effective, and the player is only wounded, then he can be taken to hospital, and a substitute brought on in his place.

Of course, if the sniper hits a player who isn’t in control of the ball, then he should be red carded. Fair’s fair, and all that.

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