2022 Survey Responses Part 2 - Overtimes : MO Soccer Blog

2022 Survey Responses Part 2 - Overtimes

by Admin on 03/15/22

We continue the findings from our coaches survey with a deeper dive into one of the most controversial topics that always seem to at the forefront of MSHSAA Advisory Board meetings each year.

The perennial question - what to do with deadlocked games at the end of regulation? This has been discussed (and cussed) for many years throughout MO and can almost always be counted on to be brought up with the coaches every year for “passionate” discussion. Historically, MO has tried many different approaches over the years before deciding on the current format of two sudden victory 10-minute OT’s and then Penalties in the late 90’s/early 2000s. Despite it being the rule for years, many still disagree with it and seek to have it changed - with no success - since.
    Many believe the soccer “tie”is just part of the game. Many coaches don’t want to play OT unless it’s a conference game because of the possibility of later nights, several games in the week/extra wear and tear, etc. Others argue that playing the OT’s (and potential PK’s) are good preparation for the post-season due to not being able to create those kind of experiences for players anywhere but in a game-like situation.
    Ultimately, the one factor that seems to resurface during every discussion that seems to have the most weight (even over the soccer “purists” who argue for draws) is the question of - What do the players most likely want? With little exception, the players want a result - win or lose - after playing a match. It’s obviously a significant culture difference from the rest of the world (even in the local club environments where draws are more likely to be an unacceptable result), but the argument from the player’s perspective is that high school teams/players DO want to have a result. The OT and PK endings are some of the most memorable in any season - for fans and players alike - and players have long been advocates for returning to school the next day to talk about a more-than-normal exciting ending with peers, faculty, etc. that are more in line with other sports that all have “a winner.” As mentioned above, many coaches also gain valuable insight into preparing for those situations in the postseason, which often replicate the intensity of a mid-season OT match, or at least the closest thing to it.
    The Advisory Boards over the years have stuck to that premise - for better or worse. Many years ago coaches were given the option to choose OT preferences prior to individual games, which frankly was a disaster. Even if agreeing to a certain format (5-min OT, 10-min OT’s, straight to PK’s, you name it), many coaches weren’t recording results accordingly and if coaches couldn’t agree, then the game was played under default OT rules. MSHSAA, understandably, ended that after a short period and this has led to the current rule.
    So, obviously, the question was posed to the membership - what do coaches really want with OT scenarios? The results (a reminder that 145 responded):
    For All Regular Season Games
58 (40%) like the current system
52 (36%) would rather see no OT/PK’s
18 (12.4%) OTs, but NO PK’s
8 (5.5%) NO OT, straight to PKs
    As expected, a heavy split, but one thing to gain from this…nearly 75% want some kind of result (methods on getting thereto that point vary) during the regular season. The current method, while not universally liked, does seem to win out here…and if players were polled, the guess is that most would likely align with the current MSHSAA format.
    For all Post Season Games
91 (63%) prefer the current method of 2x15 sudden victory OT’s and then PKs
33 (23%) want 2x10 OT and then PK’s (regular season method)
17 (12%) want to continue playing OT’s until a winner is determined. NO PK’s.
2% had other versions…
    While not a perfect way to conclude a postseason game (as evidenced by the different variations included), the current MSHSAA method does seem to have the most backing.
    While this topic is likely to resurface again (and again…and again…), for now, it would seem that a slight majority are on board with how things are currently done. The opposite kind of results (the mercy rule) has been tweaked over the past few years (from 10 goal differential to 8 after a half), so there is always the potential for changes in the OT procedures although based on the survey, most don’t want the change.

    Coming in the days ahead…more results from the survey, including classifications, season length, improvements to the game (and our association!) and much more!

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