Tired of high school soccer games ending in 0-0 or 1-1 ties?
The Great Basin Conference has been listening and has instituted a new rule that mandates the use of penalty-kick shootouts to settle ties during regular-season games.
Wood River High School athletic and activities director John Rade announced the changes Thursday, Sept. 5 after a meeting of 4th District 4A athletic directors that updated and in some cases changed league by-laws.
Rade said, “In an effort to reduce the number of ties within our varsity conference soccer matches, the 4th District 4A athletic directors made changes regarding tie breakers and seeding. These new rule changes will be in effect starting Monday, September 9, 2013.”
The first change approved by the conference athletic directors affects regular-season Great Basin Conference games for boys and girls.
Rade said, “If varsity teams are tied at the end of regulation play, teams will advance to one round of penalty kicks to determine the winner. Each team gets the opportunity to kick five penalty kicks using five different players. If a winner is not determined after one round of penalty kicks, both teams will remain tied.”
The rule only applies to conference varsity games between Dist. IV 4A schools, Rade added. There is no overtime period played between the end of regulation play and the onset of penalty kicks.
It differs from the way the governing body of Idaho high school sports—the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA)—settles its district and state tournament games that are tied after 80 minutes of regulation play.
The IHSAA mandates that, in the case of a tie game, two sudden-death 10-minute overtime periods are played. If the game is still tied, kicks are taken from the penalty mark with five members from each team alternating kicks—the team with the most goals winning.
If the game is still tied after the first round of kicks, the coaches choose five different players to take alternating kicks in a sudden-victory situation, in other words, if one team scores and the other team doesn’t, the game is ended without more kicks being taken.
Under the new Great Basin rule revision, Rade said that non-conference games played by GBC teams and junior varsity games will remain tied after regulation play.
Because of the increasing competitiveness of Great Basin Conference soccer in recent years, particularly for the boys, many games have ended in ties. Seven GBC boys’ games ended in ties last season, with No. 2-seeded Jerome finishing with four ties in 10 league games.
At its recent meeting the Great Basin Conference also changed its tournament seeding procedures based on regular-season records.
Rade said, “There is another change regarding seeding. In the past, a top down head-to-head common opponent analysis was used to determine seeding. Now, we will use a point system prior to using the head-to-head common opponent analysis to determine seeding.
“Wins will be worth 3 points. Ties will be worth 1 point. A loss will receive 0 points. If after using the point system teams remain tied for a seed, the top down head-to-head common opponent analysis will be used to determine seeding.”
The other high school soccer conference in the Wood River and Magic Valley is the High Desert Soccer Conference at the 3A level. It includes schools like the Community School of Sun Valley, Gooding and Wendell.
No changes regarding tie games are planned for the High Desert, Community School athletic director and boys’ varsity soccer coach Richard Whitelaw said upon learning of the Great Basin Conference decision.
Whitelaw said that a tie is a tie, and will remain that way in the High Desert for its conference soccer games.