UEFA is trying to make penalty kick shootouts more confusing with new rules

UEFA is hoping to make slight changes to the current penalty kick shootout format in the near future. Soccer's European governing body will test the new system at the men's and women's European U-17 Championships next month. 

The "ABBA" format UEFA will use is modeled after the serve between opponents in tennis tiebreakers. It is intended to reduce the potential advantage that a player or team may currently have by taking the first penalty in a shootout. Once a match goes into penalty kicks, the official will have two coint tosses -- one to determine which side of the field a penalty shootout will take place and the second toss will determine which team kicks first or second. If the system proves to be "successful" under the eyes of UEFA officials, it could be implemented in professional UEFA competitions in the future. 

In order to truly understand the changes, let's put the current and new format side by side for comparison.

Current penalty kick shootout format:

Team A (first attempt)
Team B (first attempt)
Team A (second attempt)
Team B (second attempt)
Team A (third attempt)
Team B (third attempt)
Team A (fourth attempt)
Team B (fourth attempt)
Team A (fifth attempt)
Team B (fifth attempt)
Sequence is repeated in "sudden death" until, subsequently, a winner emerges 

Proposed penalty kick shootout format:

Team A (first attempt)
Team B (first attempt)
Team B (second attempt)
Team A (second attempt)
Team A (third attempt)
Team B (third attempt)
Team B (fourth attempt)
Team A (fourth attempt)
Team A (fifth attempt)
Team B (fifth attempt)
Sequence is repeated in "sudden death" until, subsequently, a winner emerges 

Here's a statement from UEFA explaining the new implemented system:

"The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure, because if the opposition's first penalty in the pair has been successful, a miss by the second penalty-taker in the pair could mean the immediate loss of a match for his team, especially from the fourth pair of penalties onwards -- i.e. the seventh and eighth spot kicks."  

Last season's Champions League final in San Siro between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid was decided in a penalty shootout. In fact, six of the last 16 Champions League finals were decided by spot kicks at the end of 130 minutes of play. 

You know that old saying about things that ain't broke? This applies here.

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