Please note that this is not a post where I will ‘name and shame’ habitual divers and talk about how disgusted I am by diving.
I will also not be talking about diving in relation to cultural differences/what is culturally acceptable in different parts of the world or try and talk about how to stop diving in the game through educating the young who play football; although, looking into both of these issues and other issues in great detail and finding methods of getting through to young players and solutions to breaking cultural barriers, will help to decrease diving from occurring in football matches in the future and can have long term benefits, but we need to focus on the ‘here and now’.
If a player chooses to dive that is his choice, however this player should be punished for his actions and/or the ‘would be’ victim of a successful dive and his team should be given some sort of advantage and this is what this discussion post is about.
The famous ‘Archer’s bow’ in action. This is probably the most obvious sign of simulation as this action is contradictory to normal reflex mechanisms e.g. putting you hands out in front of yourself in a fall to protect yourself.’
Simulation (diving) is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by diving to the ground and possibly faking an injury, while exaggerating the amount of contact made in a tackle by an opposing player (if there has been contact at all) to make it appear as a foul has been committed, in an effort to provide a goal scoring opportunity for himself and his team, by deceiving the referee in the hope of receiving free kicks (in dangerous areas) and penalty kicks as well as getting players booked and/or sent off.
The football rule book currently states that any attempts made by players to deceive a referee by pretending to have been fouled and/or feigning injury must be sanctioned as behaviour which is unsporting and equates as misconduct and is punishable by a yellow card (an official caution).
Numerous studies into diving have identified many traits which are recognised and can easily be seen when a player dives. These common traits are:
1) Lack of ballistic continuity, which is where the player diving moves across the pitch at a distance further than the distance that would normally be expected in relation to the momentum from the tackle.
2) Lack of contact consistency, which is where a player will ‘nurse’ any part of his body, apart from the actual part of his body where the impact from the tackle occurred.
3) A separation in the time between the impact (from the tackle) and the simulation.
4) A player taking up the ‘Archer’s bow’ pose which is where the head is tilted back, the chest is thrust forward, both arms are raised and both legs are bent at the knee to lift both feet off the ground to the rear.
Further studies and research have shown that simulation is more prevalent in leagues where simulation gets the highest rewards. With the current benefits of diving outweighing the costs of diving, the most effective way to decrease the level of simulation in football is to increase the punishment served to those who choose to participate in the act of simulation, as well as helping and aiding referees in their ability to detect simulation.
When it comes to diving I am just quite frankly sick of diving. I am so sick of it that it does not even make me angry or disgusted with the player who has dived. Instead I pity him. You should have respect for your fellow footballers and even if you do not (and there are quite a few) you should have respect for yourself. Diving means you do not.
I can talk about numerous incidents where a dive has screwed over a team and prevented them from getting a draw, a win or progressing in a tournament but I will not do so, as I would be here all day.
Let’s not dwell on the past but look forward and see how we can punish those who dive in football matches. So what punishments could be put in place for those who are found guilty of diving during a match, and after a match has finished?
I’ll start us off with some suggestions to get your juices flowing and then you guys can get involved.
Bans imposed for players who repeatedly dive.
Players who repeatedly dive get suspended. For instance a player caught diving twice in a season would get a one match ban, a player caught diving more than two times in a season would get a two match ban etc.
Teams who have a player or a number of players who repeatedly dive are deducted points.
Some sort of time out could be put in place for players caught diving in a game.
This would really motivate teams to make sure that their players do not dive and receive a punishment that is harsh enough to deter them from diving again.
Any player caught diving by the referee in a match would be given a yellow card and made to leave the pitch temporarily for a period of time e.g. 10 minutes, leaving his team to play with ten men for this period of time.
Teams could be given a challenge which they could use at any point in the match.
How this would work is that both teams are given one challenge which they can use at any time in a match. This would allow teams to question a referee’s decision on a foul (deemed by the team to be harsh or wrong) which results in a free kick or penalty kick for the opposing team or a booking (either yellow or red card) for one of their players. This would not really be a punishment for the offender but would render the offender’s action pointless. The offender could then also be given a yellow card for his actions.
This would not take too much time and cause too much of a disruption to a game. Experts and former referees have said that the option of an instant replay looking at a challenge or potential dive could be looked at several times and analysed by referees and officials in a matter of seconds, which is enough time for a decision to be made.
What rules and regulations would you put in place now to try and combat the problem of simulation?
Any ideas of punishments/or advantages for the team targeted by diving I thought of, and want you guys to think of, should be realistic, but should also be harsh enough to make potential offenders think twice before deciding to dive.
Additional thoughts relating to the topic of diving which I might not have discussed are also welcome.
Written by: AFC.