INTRODUCTION

Attacker Defender Goalkeeper (ADG) is an alternative to the penalty shootout. ADG features a series of ten contests where an attacker kicks off from the centre mark and has 30 seconds to score a goal against a defender and a goalkeeper. ADG combines the skill, speed, athleticism and dynamic beauty of modern football, with the climactic drama and tension of penalties.

Watch the video, download the executive summary, or the complete ADG document.

How does ADG work?

The referee tosses a coin and the team that wins the toss, decides whether to attack or defend in the first contest. The teams receive an additional substitution. The referee meets separately with the teams and records their five attackers.

The attacker receives the ball at the centre mark. Having seen the attacker, the opposition field their defender, who is positioned outside the centre circle. The goalkeeper is positioned inside the penalty area.

Half the field is in play. The attacker kicks off and has 30 seconds to try and score a goal. The contest will end if any of the following occur:

  •  A goal is scored
  •  The ball goes out of play
  •  The goalkeeper controls the ball with their hands inside the penalty area
  •  The 30 seconds elapses
  •  The attacker commits a foul
  • If the defender or goalkeeper commits a foul, the attacker is awarded a penalty kick and the 30 second time period is disregarded for the remainder of that contest.

    Teams take turns attacking and defending. Teams play a total of ten ADG contests. At the completion of the contests, the team with the most goals is the winner. If scores remain level, the same players from the first contest will compete in the first sudden death contest.

    What's Wrong with the Penalty Shootout?

    1. Team Kicking First has 20% Advantage
      The penalty shootout is an inherently unfair tie-breaker with the team kicking first having a greater than 60% chance of winning.1 The reason is because the team kicking second is usually playing catch-up and therefore experiences greater pressure with each kick.
    2. Exposes Players to Psychological Trauma, Racism and Death Threats
      The shootout also fosters long term pyschological trauma for players who miss critical kicks as Bossis, Six, Baggio, Conti and many others have detailed. Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham received racial abuse and death threats after missing a penalty in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup.2 Death threats were also made against Danish and Colombian players after they missed penalties at the 2018 World Cup.3 FIFA, IFAB, FIFPro and any group who is concerned about player welfare, need to act before there's a catastrophic real-life tragedy.
    3. Fails to Showcase the Game
      Everytime a match ends with a goalkeeper guessing wrong and a ball dribbling into a goal, or a player crumbling to the ground at the penalty spot, the sport is devalued. ADG provides a tie-breaker format where fans can see spectacular and exhilarating goals. Would you rather watch Ronaldo, Neymar or Mbappé walk up and convert a penalty to win a tournament, or watch them at full speed, swerve past a defender and bend the ball into the back of the net? However, ADG isn't just about the attacking players, it also gives defenders and goalkeepers equal opportunity to shine.

    ADG addresses these issues and indeed has seven fundamental advantages over the shootout.


    "Penalties are awful, unfair, but what else is there?"

    Laurent Blanc
    Former French Player