Updated: Dec 11, 2020
First off, I am not a soccer player (I realize that most of you do not call it soccer, but I am writing from the U.S., so I'm going to go ahead and use the word soccer) so these pros and cons are coming strictly from the point of view of the entertainment and watchability of the 7 on 7 soccer match that I watched.
One of our contributors, Enrique Ortiz plays for the Maharlika Manila soccer team in the Philippines. So, while searching the team highlights, I came across the championship game of the Philam Vitality Kampeon 7s Cup, wherein a team named Maharlika Manila played Cebu Leylam. Now, I should say, as the owner of Globally Ballin, there truly isn't a sport that I don't, at least, find a bit of enjoyment in watching; I say that so you understand that I have watched regular soccer matches in the past, and the fact that I was sitting down to watch a 7 on 7 match was not crazy of me. However, while watching, I found, in my opinion, some distinct and clear pros and cons that I would like to share with you.
Offense...A lot: This one is obvious, in the 7 on 7 league, the field is smaller. Because of this, the offense is able to move much quicker. With less ground to cover, getting the ball from one side of the field to the other is a lot easier and faster. Just like arena football averages a much high score because the game is played on a field half the size of that of a regular football field, the smaller field of 7 on 7 soccer leads to more offense. This is perfect for those of you that see traditional soccer as far too slow; however, this could just as easily be a negative to those who prefer the traditional version of soccer wherein one goal could be the end of it. It's the age-old question in sports, is more offense better?
Fast Pace: While this is related to the one above, it is a little bit different. I don't play so I can't tell if passes are faster, if players are quicker, if shots are being kicked harder. All I can say, though, is that because it is on a smaller field, it looks faster, quicker, and harder. In addition, a defensive possession can be switched to an offensive possession a lot faster than in traditional soccer. Because a goal quick can easily make it to the other net, it seems as though one of the two teams is always on a scoring chance.
Great Energy (crowd and on the field): Maybe the perception of a fervent crowd was just a result of the lucky placement of the camera next to an extremely passionate female fan, but who cares. Listening to the fans yell so clearly that you can hear what is being said, is a great reminder that there is passion at the game. A passionate crowd is what will make or break the success of a league.
Flopping...A lot!: Ahh flopping...the most annoying part of soccer. Well, I am no expert, but it sure seems as though there was a whole lot more flopping in 7 on 7. Now, if I am right, it would make sense; a smaller field and a faster pace will lead to more shots and challenges. While more shots and challenges are exciting, the inevitable increase in the number of flops that waste the time of the viewer is a major downside.
Not real soccer?: Calm down. Before you read this, I am not saying that this is not real soccer. On the flip side, I am also not saying that it is real soccer. I don't know. I guess it is in the eye of the viewer. Whatever you think, there definitely is a legitimate argument to be made that this is not the same as traditional soccer and the differences are too much to consider it "real soccer".
Pro or Con (you decide)
Smaller Nets: Even when simply asking myself and not caring about what anyone else thinks, I still don't know if I like the small nets or not. On the one hand, it does decrease the scoring which makes each goal still hugely special. In doing this it increases the pace of the game without making the score, on the other hand, also increase at the same rate. On the flip side, it seems to make free kicks nearly impossible. As you can tell, I truly don't know how I feel about this.
My final word, give it a chance. Watch the video attached to this article. Do you agree with the pros and cons that I came up with? Did I miss anything? Does the league get your seal of approval or not? Comment below and let us know what you think.
This article was written by the owner of Globally Ballin, Aaron Arendsen.