INTRODUCTION

Attacker Defender Goalkeeper (ADG) is an alternative to the penalty shootout. ADG features a series of 10 contests where an attacker kicks off from 32 yards and has 20 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.

What's Wrong with the Penalty Shootout?

  1. Exposes Players to Psychological Trauma, Racism and Death Threats
    The shootout fosters long term pyschological trauma for players who miss critical kicks as Bossis, Six, Baggio, Conti and many others have detailed. Death threats were made against Danish and Colombian players after they missed penalties at the 2018 World Cup.1 Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham received racial abuse and death threats after missing a penalty in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup.2 Three English players received racial abuse after missing penalties in the 2020 Euro final.3 FIFA, IFAB, FIFPRO and any group who is concerned about player welfare, need to act before there's a catastrophic real-life tragedy. Read more.
  2. 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 Mbappé walk up and convert a penalty to win a tournament, or at full speed, swerving past a defender and bending 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.
  3. 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.4 The reason is because the team kicking second is usually playing catch-up and therefore experiences greater pressure with each kick. More.

ADG addresses these three issues and in fact has seven core advantages over the shootout.

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 ADG mark, which is 32 yards from the goal line. Having seen the attacker, the opposition field their defender. The defender and goalkeeper must be at least 10 yards from the ball until it is in play. See the diagram.

Half the field is in play. The attacker kicks off and has 20 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 20 seconds elapses
  •  The attacker commits a foul
  • If the defender or goalkeeper commits a foul, the attacker is awarded a penalty kick and the 20 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.

    While ADG could of course follow extra time, the author believes that 90 minutes of normal play followed directly by ADG will be the optimal format.



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

    Laurent Blanc
    Former French Player