25 votes

Do they ever pull the goalkeeper in football?

It would certainly be allowed, but it would likely be a failed strategy in soccer. In professional soccer, you only get 3 substitutes per game. If you burn one on pulling out your keeper, then if ...
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  • 9,096
16 votes

Can a football team force its defeat, e.g. via own goals?

Sports governing bodies come down very, very heavily on teams deliberately losing - a very similar example to the England/Belgium World Cup situation is from badminton at the 2012 Olympics, when the ...
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  • 22.1k
13 votes
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Can a football team force its defeat, e.g. via own goals?

I doubt something like AS Adema 149–0 SO l'Emyrne will happen here. FIFA has some fair play regulations giving them the possibility to act accordingly and they're warned. It will be possible to ...
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  • 4,832
12 votes
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Why did the Netherlands put in their backup keeper for the PKs?

We cannot say for sure what the exact reason was, unless Van Gaal goes out and specifies why he's put in Krul instead of the starting GK Cillessen. Here are some relevant facts tho: Cillessen is 1.88 ...
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  • 7,245
12 votes

Do they ever pull the goalkeeper in football?

As has been noted, keepers do sometimes come up to act as an attacker during the game, though they are never really subbed out for another attacking player. A couple things to keep in mind from The ...
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  • 2,486
12 votes
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Why do teams take knee before halftime?

It's hard enough to score in American football when you have half an hour to score in. Trying to score when you have 0:30 left in the game? Nearly impossible, if you're on your side of the field. ...
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  • 11.4k
12 votes
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Why would NFL teams do a fair catch?

Typically, a fair catch is called when no yards will be gained if a return was attempted, e.g., when a player of the kicking team is going to crush the returner the moment the ball touches him. It ...
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10 votes

Do they ever pull the goalkeeper in football?

You don't see this in soccer. If a team is desperate to score a goal, the goalie comes out of his net and plays in the middle or front. For example when there is a corner kick, the goalie could go all ...
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  • 10.3k
10 votes

Has there ever been a situation where the outfielder has intentionally dropped a foul ball to prevent a run from scoring from third?

Video - Matt Holiday did this in an extra inning game against the Brewers in 2014 with the game tied 3-3 and a runner on 3rd.
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  • 101
10 votes

what is the purpose of a 'Squib' kick in the NFL?

Basically the squib kick is used at the end of the half or end of the game to run out the clock, and keep the ball away from a top of the line return guy. You basically pooch it down the field so ...
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  • 2,037
9 votes
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"Pressing high" in football (aka "soccer")

It means the team without the ball, moves higher up the pitch to put pressure on the team with the ball, with the idea of getting the ball back or forcing the other team to make a mistake. Say, teamA ...
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  • 1,796
9 votes
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The Dime Package in Football

The biggest difference is in the number of Defensive Backs on the field for the play, and you would use the dime defense to prevent the mid to longer range passes. A couple of explanations below will ...
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  • 2,037
9 votes
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Why did Japan stop to play just before the game ends on a match vs Poland?

I didn't watch the game, but from what I've heard, the result of the Colombia-Senegal game meant that Japan were still set to qualify from the group even though they were losing 1-0. However, as they ...
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  • 2,169
8 votes

How do pro baseball (or cricket) players decide who should catch a fly ball?

I cannot speak to cricket, but in baseball there is a system of who has precedence in a fly ball situation: Outfielders have precedence over infielders Infielders have precedence over the catcher and ...
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  • 3,160
8 votes
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Why do NBA stars keep playing in playoff blowouts?

Wikipedia lists quite a few comebacks from deficits of 25+ points in the 3rd or even early 4th quarter. The odds are certainly small that a team would turn it around, but even a glimmer of hope to ...
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7 votes

Why did the Netherlands put in their backup keeper for the PKs?

First of all, to a question like this - there are no correct answers. As we do not know what went through van Gaal's head, we can merely speculate. One reason could be that Cillessen hasn't saved a ...
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  • 605
7 votes

Defense against an isolation play

Simplest solution is to go for a strict force-a-side defense. There's at least some chance the defender can watch both the disc at the current handler and keep track of Bob's actions in the corner of ...
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  • 432
7 votes
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Why are there so many pitcher types in baseball?

Bullpen specialization is a relatively new phenomenon. And there are a ton of factors that come into play, but I'm going to keep it simple here. First and foremost, almost ever pitcher is more ...
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  • 9,096
7 votes
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What is the rationale behind short-term substitutions in volleyball?

It's a bit hard to be specific without more details, but the reason is the same as everything else: to gain a tactical advantage. Some common examples: If one of your substitutes is better at serve ...
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  • 22.1k
7 votes

Why do NBA stars keep playing in playoff blowouts?

As it is mentioned in the question, the stars are pulled out with a few minutes left in the game. How early they are pulled depends on the point differential, the coach, and the team's momentum. In ...
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  • 10.3k
7 votes

Can a football team force its defeat, e.g. via own goals?

TLDR: The answer is more or less "FIFA takes the action it feels like taking". We can look at examples and speculate, but that's about it. ..with that said: This has already happened, in a lower ...
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6 votes

Do they ever pull the goalkeeper in football?

Yes, it does happen, although not very often. Goal difference can be important at the end of the season, so if your team was losing in a regular game, there's no point going all out to tie when the ...
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6 votes
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Are there strategical differences between two-man and four-man bobsled?

Here is a great article regarding this subject The most critical part of a bobsled run is its start. Teams focus on explosive starts because momentum at that point strongly affects the sled’s ...
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6 votes
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In American football, purpose of motioning the slot receiver

The answer you accepted is undeniably incorrect for the NFL - I know it is an old question and answer but this needs a correct answer. Yes NFL teams may have their slot motion to drag a man defender ...
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  • 5,093
6 votes
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Origin of Counter-attacking style of play in football?

Herbert Chapman is believed to be the inventor of counter-attacking style of play. From his Wikipedia article, citing Studd, Stephen (1998) - Herbert Chapman, Football Emperor: A Study in the Origins ...
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  • 5,824
6 votes
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What criteria does each batter in baseball's batting order have?

Traditional 1 - High OBP/Speed This guy should have a high chance of getting on base. You want to get your guys on base so the later hitters have a chance to drive in runs. 2 - Contact/Bunt This ...
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  • 2,037
6 votes

Better to fall down after interception in end zone?

It Depends Falling down, taking a knee or being tackled in the end zone does lock in your team's starting position at the 20-yard line by rule of touchback, however returning an interception can ...
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5 votes

What are some techniques for masking a ping pong serve?

There are serves called "high-toss" serves. You might want to research on that. But for me as a player, the best way to know a difficult service is to do the "trial-and-error" technique. Try to ...
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5 votes

In tennis, is there any advantage to decline the opening serve?

If a player (or doubles team) wins the coin toss the somewhat-standard strategy is: If you feel like you have a superior return of serve and have a better chance at breaking your opponents serve than ...
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  • 8,379
5 votes
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How can I recognize what formation a soccer/association football team is in?

The easiest way is to watch the pregame show. Usually about 5-10 minutes before kickoff they will show the two teams and their formation on the field. This can also be a good way to familiarize ...
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