Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Why Soccer Appeals to Those Under 50

I had some thoughts today about why soccer is appealing to the younger generations (compared to those over 50).

1. Soccer games last almost exactly 2 hours including half time. This means that you can plan your day around the game easily. No wondering if the game will go to overtime.

2. Soccer has no time outs. Other than half time there are no long stoppages of play. So even if the action on the field is not always high paced, the ball and the people are always moving.

3. Most leagues have around 40 regular season games. The less games you have, the more significant each one is. This is one reason for the success of American football. The NBA and NHL have around 82 games each and major league baseball has 162.

4. Team chants (or cheers) give each game and venue a unique sound and setting. For those who want to jump and sing (like the older generations did at high school football games) they have a place to do it.

5. Teams are only allowed 3 substitutions per game. With a limited number of substitutions, the best players tend to play the entire game. So if you buy a ticket to see a certain player play, you will most likely get to see him/her for the entire game.

6. Most younger people grew up playing soccer so they already know how to play and know the rules. One reason that baseball and football have been so popular in the US is that most boys played one or both of them growing up. Now most men and women played at least a few years of soccer when they were growing up so they know what the different lines mean and can explain to you the basics of rules like offside.

No sport is for everyone, so there is no judgement against those who aren’t interested in soccer. But TV ratings continue to improve so it is good to understand the appeal of the sports that you don’t like.

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