What if there were no draws?
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
Rather than worry about the possibility that both teams will not provide a conclusive ending, game attendees and viewers can get their money’s worth.
Up until this point we have talked about soccer a lot. We have discussed why soccer is the most popular sport in the world and why I personally do not resonate with soccer. To somewhat conclude this macro discussion on the sport, I will present what I think is the most entertaining way for the game of soccer to be played: Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). This league isn’t as widely known as the major European leagues, but I was amazed when I first discovered it a couple of weeks ago.
First and foremost, there are no draws. According to the 2018-2019 MALS rules manual, “If the score is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, an overtime period for the purpose of determining a winner according to the following procedure will be conducted.” This is such a crucial differentiator, and particularly for resonating with more North Americans. When someone invests their time and money to see a game, this can give them some closure to the game they’re watching. Rather than worry about the possibility that both teams will not provide a conclusive ending, game attendees and viewers can get their money’s worth.
Conventional soccer supporters will probably rebut with how not allowing a game to simply end after about 90 minutes would simply delay it by a lot because playing in a large field would make the players very tired. This leads me to my next point.
Instead of having to play in a borderless large field of 115 by 74 yards (in the case of the Bundesliga) where it can take a relatively long period of time to get much action going, where minor delays like a ball going out of bounds take up time, or when players are offside—all issues are apparent throughout the game, and the “fields” are much more efficient in MASL.
The dimensions of an average field in MASL are about 63 by 27 yards and there are essentially no outs because the game is played within walls (unless a player kicks the ball over the wall). This, in addition to the fact there are no offsides and only five players on the field, allows the game of soccer to flow and have a lot more action.
How much action? As of Saturday morning, so far this season, the average MASL team has scored just over five goals a game. Compare this to even the seven highest scoring teams in the English Premier league, for example, and they only score roughly 1.78 goals per game.
This is particularly impressive when one considers how the MASL games are a lot shorter than conventional soccer matchups. They are played in four 15-minute quarters, and this is compared to conventional soccer’s two 45-minute halves.
As for if or when this league will ever break out into the mainstream is yet to be determined. However, considering the efficiencies of the league and how many aspects can be tailored towards a North American sports audience, it could be just a matter of time.