Sports Take: New NCAA overtime rule is a double-edged sword

NCAA makes a new rule that non-conference games will no longer go into overtime when there is a tie. Olivia Havre | Photographer

By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer

The NCAA established a new rule before the start of this season that eliminated overtime after 90 minutes of play in non-conference play. A change to this rule was needed; however it affects players and fans differently. For the athletes, this was the best-case scenario to prevent unneeded injuries. However for fans, the alteration leaves much to be desired.

In previous seasons, once the 90-minute period ended, the match would move into two 10-minute overtime periods. During this time, the team that scored automatically won: a golden goal format. If neither team scores, the game ended in a tie.

From a player perspective, the new rule eliminates the chance of possible injuries in overtime. There is a lot of wear and tear playing at full speed for 90 minutes. Oftentimes teams have two games per week. Not playing extra time allows athletes to avoid more stress on their bodies, especially if the game ends in a tie anyway.

Additionally, professional soccer in the regular season often ends in ties. FIFA eliminated the golden goal rule in 2003. There is no need for overtime, so why should there be overtime in collegiate soccer?

However as a fan, the fact that one goal can win it all is exciting and enticing. The audience wants those thrilling golden goals.

In past seasons, I have attended numerous Baylor soccer matches that have ended in ties, usually 0-0. As a fan, sitting through a 90 minute game, followed by 20 more minutes of scoreless action is brutal.

I prioritize a conclusion over a potential golden goal.

If overtime occurs, there should be a winner. The only option to ensure a winner is penalty kicks. PKs put the crowd on the edge of their seats and create a memorable game atmosphere.

In postseason and conference play, when winners are needed, teams will play two 10-minute overtime periods. NCAA has gotten rid of golden goal ruling completely. This gives teams a chance to respond after a goal rather than wrapping up the match immediately.

If there is a need for overtime following a knotted tally, there should be a definite winner. Otherwise say no to extra time and call it good.