New football rule tested during MVV Maastricht youth football tournament

On Thursday 1 and Friday 2 June, football club MVV Maastricht organised the Maastricht United Gamin Cup, a youth tournament for the U19 category (A-youth) that applies the so-called ‘Catch-Up Rule’. This rule switches the order in which the penalties are taken, thus reducing the element of chance.  That makes penalty shootouts fairer. This youth tournament enables the researchers behind the Catch-Up Rule as well as the football world to test the proposed new rule. A positive result might lead to a wide introduction of the Catch-Up Rule in international football. Researchers Mehmet Ismail of Maastricht University and Prof. Dr. Steven Brams of New York University are very pleased with MVV Maastricht’s offer to test the new rule in practice.

According to Mehmet, ‘in Making the Rules of Sports Fairer, Steven Brams and I analysed both the Catch-Up Rule and the ABBA rule, which is currently being trialled by UEFA. Our conclusion was that either rule seems justified and easy to implement. The tournament at MVV Maastricht provided a great opportunity to start to trial the Catch-Up Rule. However, we would need more data points in order to distinguish the effects between both rules in practice. More clubs and tournaments would be welcome to test the rules.’

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