Regulating Paradinha Kicks

My family, who spent a year in Paris, is big time into soccer.   My son Morgan (13) knows all the player names from Real Madrid, Manchester United, Lyon etc.   So I took time to read an article last March in Wall Street Journal about the controversy over a soccer penalty kick maneuver from Brazil, called the paradinha (think parade=step, in=little, ha=stop, pronounced par-a-JEEN-ya).

Not as noisy a controversy as the droning, vuvuzelas in South African football, but a this is a rules-issue that affects scores.

In 1997, an official soccer rule was changed to improve goalies chances of blocking the soccer penalty kicks.   FIFA removed the restriction against the goalie moving laterally before the kick.   This was supposed to increase the chance that a goal would be blocked, adding a little excitement to the (ahem) unique resolution mechanism of tied soccer games.

So it was intended to give the goalkeeper a slight head start.  But what happened was an unintended consequence.  Since 1997, the WSJ writes, penalty kickers have increasingly turned to an old Brazilian Didi and Pele's kicking technique.  They recycled the paradinha (stutter or little stop) kick, which fakes the kick and uses the goalkeepers head start against them.

They make a big run as if they are going to whale on the ball, but stutter the move, throwing the goalie at the fake direction.  The result is that the goals are now more imbalanced in favor of the kickers than they were in 1997.  In the spring, FIFA was debating how to enforce a rule about just how much you can stutter your run before a penalty kick.

Here in the 2010 World Cup, it has been outlawed.  We'll see if the goalies now have the edge, and if the scores fall too too far for TV ratings, what the next rule change will be.

The foremost authority on world cup soccer, vuvuzelas, paradinhas, and California computer monitor destruction is now Richard Athony of CRRA and GRRN.  I met with him in San Diego at ISRI and we had a terrific breakfast burrito on the beach, discussing ways to pay cash strapped CA not to smash working equipment.   But now Rick's in Johannesburg South Africa, enjoying the World Cup live. 

The parallel to California SB20 paying to break good monitors in order to reduce junk exports?  CA creates a shortage, and exporters in other states can mix more junk monitors into loads than they did before.  Now I am trying to buy good monitors in CA - or perhaps just from areas where they ship the junk monitors into CA for the subsidy, ie buy good monitors from AZ and NV and close one eye if the recycler is shipping the bad ones into CA to break at CA's expense.

I hope Rick Anthony remembered his earplugs, they seem to be in shortage.   I think there must be a glut of earplugs in California, I think I run into them everywhere. Maybe they can export some to South Africa (after poking little holes in them so they won't work).

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