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Bridget explains... Penalty shoot-outs!


Hi BridgeKids!

It’s been a snowy month so far here at Stamford Bridge!

With the BridgeKids vs Parents Penalty Competition happening on Saturday, I thought it would be a good time to talk about penalty shoot-outs!

You’ve probably watched loads of penalties before, but have you ever wondered where the idea came from? Or what your chances are of actually scoring one?

What are the rules of a penalty shoot-out?

Penalties might look easy, but there are a number of rules you have to follow!

After the ref has tossed a coin, the captain who wins decides which team starts in goal and which team starts from the spot. The ball must then be placed on the penalty spot, after the penalty taker has been clearly chosen. The ‘keeper is not allowed to come off his line until the ball is kicked. Each team has five attempts to score. The team that scores the most goals wins!

If either team gets 3-0 ahead, or 4-2 ahead, they win, as the other team doesn’t have enough chances left to catch up.

When were penalties invented?

The penalty kick has been around for over a hundred years! It was invented in 1890 by William McGann, a goalkeeper who played in Ireland. After McGann thought of the idea, the Irish Football Association made it official.

This was because defenders were finding it really easy to stop attackers when they were in the box, they would just knock them over! So, it was decided that a rule had to be put in place to put off defenders from being so tricky.

It wasn’t until 1968 when the penalty shoot-out was invented. Footballer Yosef Dagan was annoyed that his national team, Israel, were knocked out of the Olympics quarter final, even though the game ended in a draw. He decided that there needed to be a clear winner at the end of a big game.

What are you chances of scoring a penalty?

When you’re standing on the pitch facing the goalkeeper, ready to take a penalty, it’s always hard to know the best way to score. According to a professor at Brunel University, the best way to score is by kicking the ball really hard! Obviously, the player has to keep a cool head so that the shot is on target and not flying into the stands!

According to the stats, the most common place to stick the ball is in the bottom left of the goal. However, if you aim higher and go for the middle left, you’re far more likely to score!

Who’s the best at taking penalties?

There’ve been some brilliant penalty-takers in the Premier League over the years. Chelsea legend Frank Lampard scored loads! In the table for most goals scored in the Premier League, he’s number two, scoring 43 of the 50 penalties he took. Alan Shearer is number one in the chart, netting 56 goals in the 67 he took.

Hazard is currently Chelsea’s key man when it comes to penalties. He’s scored 39 in his whole football career and missed only 6!

What are some of the funniest ever penalties?

There’s been some hilarious penalties over the years! Once in the Turkish League, a goalkeeper saved a penalty. His teammate ran over and hugged him to celebrate, but knocked the ball out of the goalie’s hands and into the goal! The goalie was NOT happy!

Another funny one is when the Moroccan keeper Khalid Askri jumped to save the ball, then walked away to celebrate. The ball was still moving behind him and it rolled into the goal! Whoops!

Hopefully this won’t happen the next time you take a penalty!