With more than 4 billion followers and over 190 national teams, soccer is still caught in the crossfire for being quite a boring sport!
Typically, you’ll see soccer get questioned for its boredom among fanboys. And then hear endless arguments about what makes the sport so exciting and enjoyable, which is partly true.
And the small minority of people that find it boring are usually also the ones that understand the least about the beautiful game. If you can’t admire a clever dribble, goal-line save, or last-minute equalizer, finding the sport boring is partly on you too!
But since we have our own little bloc here today, we can generously go over the various aspects of soccer that make it a boring sport compared to others!
- Why Soccer is So Boring?
- It’s Partly Because You Don’t Get It
- The beauty of soccer is not only in the goals
- Soccer is Slow for American Sports
- A Low Scoring Sport
- Too Much Effort is Wasted on the Field
- Soccer is Too Restrictive
- Falls Short on Entertainment
- Is Generally a Struggle for the Defense
- Injury Faking/ Running the Clock
- Not Enough Contact
- Games Are Way Longer
- Is An Exhaustive Sport
Why Soccer is So Boring?
Some point their fingers at how unsatisfying the scoreboards are in a soccer match. At the same time, others complain about how professional athletes fake fouls for short-term advantage.
But what remains constant among the haters and fanboys of soccer is that the sport has much more potential for entertainment and excitement than it currently delivers.
Whether it’s the uniquely long playing time of 90-minutes that exhausts players out or the intrusive set of rules restricting players from performing better, we’ll go over every bit of detail that makes soccer boring.
So, let’s get started!
It’s Partly Because You Don’t Get It
And don’t get me wrong, soccer can be somewhat complicated if you’ve never really looked into it before.
Who are the two players wearing different jerseys than the rest? Why did the referee give a freekick when nobody pushed or tackled? (Offside!) Why doesn’t the clock stop exactly at the 45 and 90 minutes mark?
If you nodded your head to even one of these points, your basic knowledge of soccer lacks quite a lot. And if you haven’t picked these rules up as a kid, you’re going to take time.
One of the things that makes soccer so exciting for people to watch is the athletes performing in such a restricted environment.
The rules of soccer don’t allow a player to do pretty much anything other than touching the ball. Oh, and that too without using your hands if you’re not a goalie.
So, when a player dribbles past 3 defenders and puts the ball into the top-corner, the whole stadium gets on their feet. But since you don’t know how or why he did that, you miss out on the excitement and find it boring.
The beauty of soccer is not only in the goals
People often don’t know that the beauty of soccer is not only in scoring, other aspects of soccer are worth appreciation too.
Long-time soccer viewers know how to admire the beauty of the tactics between the two teams, the neat tackles, the fast dribbles, the strange techniques, the incredible saves, etc. That’s the beauty of soccer!
So the main reason you feel that soccer is boring often comes from the fact that you don’t know how to watch them. Like Van Gogh’s paintings, not everyone truly understands it and finds it beautiful.
If you have just entered the soccer world, don’t rush, observe carefully, once you play a lot of soccer matches, you will get its beauty.
Soccer is Slow for American Sports
First things first, soccer is a very slow sport. Unless you have a Robert Lewandowski on your squad who comes up to score 5 goals in 9 minutes, you’ll mostly be seeing the two sides exchanging possession.
Soccer strategies and tactics are not as explosive and compelling as those of American Football. Most of the game is narrated by frequent passes with little or no aggression.
And when you do see an odd player break free of his defender and charge towards the opponents’ goal, he’s quickly caught by another defender before you can get excited.
It takes dozens of passes and a few fouls for a team to even close in into the other team’s penalty box. And that attack is very often broken by a slight miscalculation of a pass or a shot at the end.
This throws all the effort and buildup into waste as the teams prepare for another such attempt. And watching this go on for 90 minutes gets a little boring even for the avid fans of the sport.
A Low Scoring Sport
Fans will call it the competitive factor and a skillful element of the sport. But we all agree on how much low-scoring matches are a buzzkill.
And the fact that it is the norm in soccer makes it a top contender for making the sport boring!
Tackling, dribbling, and fancy passing are all delights on the pitch. But what makes you win a match is scoring a goal.
And seeing how it’s the most celebrated moment of a soccer game, isn’t it supposed to happen quite often? Well, no!
Soccer teams are known for parking the bus after getting a lead by just one goal. And though it earns points for the team and marks a win, it does little to satisfy the spectators.
You’ll rarely see a soccer team score more than three goals against a side. And when that happens, it indeed makes the headlines the day after. That’s how low-scoring the sport is in general!
Too Much Effort is Wasted on the Field
How a team plays together as a single unit is what makes soccer an exciting sport to watch. But that’s also precisely what makes it so dull. Here’s how!
If you’ve seen a few soccer fixtures, you’ll know how much effort it takes to get the ball near the opponents’ goal.
And though that doesn’t happen very often, a timely tackle by a defender or a blunder by a player resets the entire gameplay. Both the teams are hellbent upon taking and keeping the possession.
Defensively, a team wants to stop the other’s attack and prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. And offensively, a team wants to get nearer to the goalposts to have a clear shot at the goal.
While that sounds excellent in theory, it wastes too much effort of the midfielders and strikers in practice.
A team can make the best passes and have top-of-the-line coordination. But even a single mistake resets the entire play for a team as they have to make their way up all over again. And that’s boring!
Soccer is Too Restrictive
A major contributor to making soccer such a boring sport is the over-regulation of rules. Just imagine how aggressive and offensive soccer would be without the offside rule?
Seemingly, there are only two rules to the game. The first is to put the ball in the back of your opponent’s net, and the second is to do it without using your hands or arms.
But soon after, you learn the technicalities of “Illegal Challenges,” back-passes, high-foot, and even taking your shirt off on the pitch!
Even when a player sucks it up and tries to play out of the box a little, he is quickly stopped and booked for a foul. And sometimes, even sent off from the remaining match for lack of discipline.
These rules restrict a player too much from trying new things. And unless you give new scenes to the spectators, it’ll remain a boring sport.
Falls Short on Entertainment
Soccer falls short on entertainment in the most crucial areas in the sport. Like scoring a goal or charging up your fists on the field. Yes, fans love physical contact! (But more on that later!)
The biggest downer in a soccer match is when both teams leave the pitch without scoring a goal. And if you haven’t guessed it already, it happens a lot!
Scoring a goal is such a scarce sight on a soccer field that even when a player comes close, the entire stadium gets charged up and roars. Only to see the player miss the goal or give away the ball.
Instead, you have to get into the tactics and technicalities of the sport to really enjoy it. Because you’ll only enjoy a good Panna, False 9, or Tiki-Taka if you know what they mean in the first place.
So much so for the easiest and most entertaining sport on the planet!
Is Generally a Struggle for the Defense
Despite the emphasis on scoring a goal, most soccer teams do the exact opposite. Instead, they build up an iron defense and focus all the energy on keeping the other team from scoring a goal.
It is not uncommon in soccer to hear how offense wins you matches, but defense wins you titles. But whoever said that missed out on the most critical part.
The offense doesn’t only win you matches, but it also sells tickets!
Such defensive tactics and strategies might be fruitful for the team and tournaments. But for spectators, it introduces another kind of blandness into the game.
Nobody wants to buy a ticket and go to the stadium to see a defender crisply tackle a striker. It’s the opposite, people wish to see players score goals, and that’s that!
And since the soccer universe is very keen on amping up defenses with new words like Tactical defending and Zonal marking, the sport will probably get even more boring in the times to come.
Injury Faking/ Running the Clock
Athletes fake injuries and employ dirty tactics to get the upper hand across all sports. But soccer players take this phenomenon to a whole another level!
When you compare soccer to other native sports here like Football and Hockey, you’ll see why many people call soccer a girl’s sport.
Hockey and Football players will take a beating, break a leg, be bleeding over the eyes, and still try to make it to the end of the match.
While a soccer player will throw himself to the ground and whine like he’s been shot when he comes a little close to a defender. And the fact that the referee often calls it a foul makes it even worse.
Injury faking and time-wasting are the top handy tools of soccer players and managers.
When they’re up on the scorecard, and there’s little time left on the clock, a team will delay their fouls and goal kicks only to waste time.
Not Enough Contact
Whatever dirty days there were in soccer during the times of Cantona, Pepe, Vidic, and Zidane, they’re long over!
Though Zidane’s notorious headbutt to Materazzi’s chest had him sent off the field, it is still glorified as one of the sport’s biggest and most entertaining moments.
And though a little weird, Luiz Suarez biting other players is still a far more entertaining sight than Neymar calling for a fake foul!
Though the safety of players is still a good reason for all the rules to be in place, we can all agree on how much room there is in easing them out.
A dirty tackle here and there with bits of pushing and pulling will definitely introduce an exciting element to soccer.
But seeing how things are evolving in soccer, the sport will only get more restricted in physical contact, thanks to the Decision Review and the added referees.
Games Are Way Longer
Among many other things, soccer has unnecessarily long matches compared to other mainstream sports.
Watching a match for 90 minutes when not much is happening throughout the game is kind of pointless. Especially when you know the game might end up in a tie!
The one and a half hours are spent watching a player with the ball circled by defenders and making slow-paced passes to the sides and even back.
And a big reason for soccer being such a slow-paced sport is the extensively long time on the clock.
Regardless of how fit and active soccer players are, running around for 90-minutes is a little too much. That’s why players are also concerned about conserving their energy.
And though they do make it to the 90-minutes mark by conserving energy, they don’t perform as explosively and make the general game more boring with short passes and sluggish play.
Is An Exhaustive Sport
All things aside, soccer players are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. They average about 7 miles of running per game twice or thrice a week. And that’s no joke!
But 7 miles of running in 90-minutes reminds me of a marathon. And that kind of makes it more of a running contest than a competitive sport.
Though every player rarely gets equal time with the ball at their feet, they all end up running about the same distance and getting exhausted similarly.
Soccer players usually run up and down the pitch in either supporting runs or defensive maneuvers to get the ball but rarely succeed. And instead, exhaust themselves a lot.
That’s partly due to the gigantic pitch that soccer is played on. For your reference, a football pitch is much smaller than a soccer field and has a much shorter time, but has the same number of players on the field.
And since soccer players have much more vacant room to run around and position themselves, they get over exhausted and usually put up a boring show.
Soccer is by far the most-watched and eagerly anticipated sport on the planet. There are more countries with National Soccer Teams than countries in the UN charter.
But that isn’t a guarantee of soccer being an entertaining sport. Soccer has very unique rules and styles of play. If you don’t understand them well enough you’re likely to be more bored than entertained.
Despite such a huge fan following, soccer has many moments of boredom and is a slow-playing game if you can’t comprehend what’s happening on the pitch and why it’s happening.
If you resonated with one or more points that I listed above, you’re not alone in thinking how boring soccer can be at times!
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!